Rise in Stakes in NSW Thoroughbred Racing Welcome News

Pronouncements of the demise of thoroughbred racing in New South Wales may have been greatly exaggerated, as recent announcements about an increase in prizemoney for metropolitan, provincial and country race meetings were met with enthusiasm.

Not surprisingly, Chris Waller and Gai Waterhouse, both of whom have been limping along financially, were two of the most ardent supporters of the announcement.

“It is essential for everyone in racing because this is an expensive business,” Waterhouse was heard to say. More ominous perhaps, was her assessment that the elevated earnings potential in NSW, “…Will put the pressure on Victoria but that is the nature of a competitive environment.”

Others, including Newcastle trainer Kris Lees and thoroughbreds syndicator Denise Martin reacted cheerfully to the news that it will now be possible to typically earn as much as $20,000 for country wins and $30,000 at the provincial level.

Martin was heard to say, “There is no doubt NSW is the best place to race a horse. NSW is clearly leading the way nationally.”

It will be interesting to see if Racing Victoria, long considered the centre of racing, will respond with an equal or superior boost to stakes or takes a head in the sand approach of resting on its laurels.

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