THE jumps racing fraternity is outraged by Racing Victoria’s decision to strip $100,000 in prizemoney from two of the big races of the season following the abandonment of yesterday’s Warrnambool races.
The two feature jumps races have been moved to Sportingbet Park on Wednesday but the $200,000 prizemoney has been halved.
RVL said that entries for both races would be reopened but that the race names of both events would change and that $50,000 would be cut from each race.
There had already been a hurdle programmed for Wednesday, worth $30,000, that will now not be run. That race will now be merged with the Kevin Lafferty Hurdle, which was abandoned yesterday along with the Thackeray Steeple.
Robert Smerdon, Victoria’s most successful jumping trainer, said the jumps community was ”baffled” by the reinstating of the races without the names or the prizemoney.
”In just 72 hours we have two flagship jumps races that have seen their prizemoney halved,” Smerdon said. ”In fact, with the hurdle being amalgamated they’ve saved $70,000 [on one race].
”Does that mean that if a Bendigo Cup had to be moved because of bad weather the prizemoney would be halved? I doubt it.”
RVL operations manager Paul Bloodworth defended the decision, maintaining that it was keeping faith with the jumps community.
”We will look at redistributing [the prizemoney] but we have created a hurdle and steeple so horses from yesterday will get a start. People should remember that yesterday in Victoria we lost both our meetings at Ballarat and Warrnambool. That means that there’s been no wagering in racing in this state yesterday,” Bloodworth said.
Racing industry people were also questioning why the $40,000 Winter Championship Plate, a key heat to the final next Saturday, was also not moved to Sportingbet Park on Wednesday.
The seven-race meeting at Warrnambool had to be abandoned after the track was waterlogged by a week of heavy rain.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.