Racing Australia chief executive Barry O'Farrell has responded to criticism the sports administrative body isn't doing enough to keep Racing NSW boss Peter V'Landys in line and suggested the fierce state competition had its benefits.
"We aren't an AFL commission and we aren't an NRL commission," he said.
"What I think people don't understand is that unlike those bodies, we don't have constitutions that enable them to direct clubs or determine draws or change things. That isn't in our ambit, it's not in our constitution.
"We are a business whose shareholders are the state racing bodies and we have been established to operate three principle businesses – the technology that sits across the racing industry from people lodging nominations, prizemoney delivery, and the Australian Stud Book.
"They are the three things the company was set up by the states to do. The shareholders are proportionate to the size of the states."
While ever the racing bodies are locked into state-by-state legislation when it comes to tax, which isn't likely to change, then a national racing body remains a pipe dream. So as Racing NSW and V'Landys launch a slew of new races – $45 million worth of them in total during the spring – all aimed at capturing attention during the period, it has become increasingly clear that Racing Australia isn't a referee for disgruntled administrators to complain to, or about.
Still, it hasn't stopped many asking "where is Racing Australian in all of this" and some critics have suggested that Racing Australia could use the limited authoritative powers it has to not allow Racing NSW the chance to attach "group race" status to races. But as O'Farrell pointed out, new races like the Everest and Golden Eagle fall outside that category anyway.
Deliberate schedule clashes from Sydney have raised the ire of some Melbourne administrators, most notably Victoria Racing Club chairperson Amanda Elliott, but O'Farrell preferred to look at the positives and innovation that has sprung out of the fierce interstate competition.
"I am not denying there haven't been issues, but I think everybody is responding and that means everybody is going to have to be kept on their toes," he said, pointing to Victoria's answer to the Everest, the $5 million All-Star Mile, as "a terrific initiative".
"I think the All-Star Mile is as significant an innovation in Australian racing as the Everest. We are not talking prizemoney here, we are talking innovation that is attracting new people and participants to the track," he said.
"I thought the All-Star Mile was a terrific initiative. Both of the big states are quite capable with their infrastructure and both have very good boards to deal with these issues, so while I understand that while eRead More – Source