High Court Ruling good for racing

No wonder jockey Tegan Harrison is wearing a smiley face after hearing news country racing prize money will boom.
No wonder jockey Tegan Harrison is wearing a smiley face after hearing news country racing prize money will boom. Rob Wright / Coffs Coast Advocate

RACING in Coffs Harbour and Bowraville is set for boom times as a result of the High Court victory in the long-running dispute over Race Fields Legislation.

Prize money for each race at TAB meetings is about to rise from $10,000 to $15,000 which alone is expected to bring a flood of new owners into the sport.

For the diehard local owners who have been helping prop up the industry, their special reward is to see a 71% rise for each non-TAB event to $6000 and a 60% increase to $8000 for SKY2 events.

In addition, lowly-paid licensed strappers and stable hands will for the first time share in the dollars by receiving 1.5% of total prize money while runners down to tenth place will be paid.

No date has yet been set for the new distribution structure and CEO of Coffs Harbour Racing Club, Russ Atkinson, said it had taken a few weeks to sink in that racing in NSW has secured a financial lifeline for the future.

"This case has been going on now for several years and the favourable outcome should have a positive impact for all participants in the short term," he said.

"The greater legacy will come over the next few years as the benefits filter through to all sectors of the industry.

"The increase to prize money that was immediately announced will especially be of great benefit to owners, trainers and jockeys and the promised funding for clubs such as Coffs Harbour in infrastructure improvements, will be a godsend."

Racing NSW bosses John Messara and Peter V'Landys have been in Coffs Harbour for an industry forum.

"They were able to paint a much brighter picture for racing going forward," Atkinson said.

"As a significant employer, the industry has a large footprint in every community where a racetrack resides and the ability now to develop and grow the industry should benefit those communities.

"The forum was a great opportunity for participants to ask questions of the racing officials on a range of issues from veterinary services, bookmaking, benchmarking and training and racing facilities.'

The Coffs club will race again next Saturday with a six event SKY2 program.

It's the 11th annual Camp Creek Cup race day which celebrates the community and history of the Orara Valley.

Topics:  high court of australia, race fields legislation, sky2, tab



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