The trainers? perspective


20 year's in Coffs Harbour and current NRRA champion

"The handicappers don't help and the class structure needs attention right across the state to create consistency.

"I won a class one at Casino and the horse carried 52.5kg after the claim.

"Next start, it was weighted on 58kg for a class two.

"It's better for me to go to Brisbane as it's a three day round trip to Sydney, making it less than economical, even if you pick up prizemoney.

"At the city and provincial meetings, four or five trainers have a stranglehold.

"They can share their horses around meetings where we'd normally go making it difficult to stay profitable."


Trained Takeover Target to win the G1 VRC Salinger Stakes and has recently purchased local stables.

"My top horse means for the moment, I chase Group racing wherever it is.

"But once I get locally established, I'll chase winners at Casino or Brisbane depending on the horse or the race on offer.

"The Sydney handicappers make it hard to win at home if the horse runs well without winning.

"At least in Brisbane and surroundings, they have the facilities to suit us and races up to $100,000 every week for us to go for.

"The Queensland class structure is also far superior."

GORDON YORKE Trained Fire Oak (from the Central Coast) to win the G1 Victoria Derby.

"From Coffs I can place a horse to win, anywhere in Australia.

"That said, it's getting harder to win anywhere at all.

"Handicappers can't seem to make the distinction between a class one race at Randwick and a class one at Tabulam and weight you the same.

"I agree that horses are weighted on potential rather than actual performance.

"Does that mean I can have a handicapper's crystal ball, too?

"The small group of top Sydney trainers not only dominate there but are taking over in our territory as well.

"They come over the Hawkesbury River, think they are in the bush, win our races, then don't get penalised in the city.

"We do that in reverse and get weighted out on the strength of one small win or placing when we come back home.


From his Coffs Harbour base, can bob up anywhere with a winner.

"The class of Sydney racing makes it hard with it's catering for class three and six horses and doing away with races for non-metropolitan winners.

"I go there if I think I've got a chance but always keep an eye on what weight I may get in the future.

"Even if you win you could be beating a bunch of maidens and end up paying the penalty for that.

"It means when they put on a feature race at home, you get weighted out on the strength off what the city handicapper thinks you can do, rather on what you actually did."

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