Victoria’s Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners Association president Jonathan Munz has slammed Racing Victoria’s proposal to introduce no-take charges as a “ill-conceived money grab”.
Racing Victoria announced last week that it plans to reintroduce a non-acceptance charge for race meetings from April 1 next year, subject to a three-month trial from December 1.
Racing Victoria could delay the introduction of the “owner’s fee” if the nomination-to-acceptance ratio rises from the current 31%.
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News Corp understands the opt-out would range from $30 for a country meeting to $60 for a city meeting, ending a system that has been in place since 2007.
New South Wales charges $30 for non-acceptance for country and provincial meetings, while from 2014 a non-acceptance fee of $120 applies.
“This RVL proposal is an ill-conceived money grab,” Munz said.
“The relatively small amount they are trying to recover will cause major inconvenience to coaches and create unnecessary friction.
“One leading coach described my proposal as ‘petty’ and ‘unnecessary’ and that is the overwhelming view.
“I see this recent proposal as coming from the accountants at RVL who really don’t understand racing and how the industry is supposed to work.”
Munz rejected the explanation offered by Racing Victoria’s new director of racing operations, former Racing.com employee Matt Welsh, who claimed that not accepting freebies “benefits some trainers and owners sometimes, creates problems for other trainers and owners. time.”
Munz noted that Racing Victoria was following other states in adopting no-take charges, which he said was not the way to go in tough times.
“RVL tried to justify its position by saying that other states charge fees, but it doesn’t make sense to copy an inferior model and now is not the time to lock owners in with additional costs,” Munz said.
“RVL’s reasoning of corporate bookmakers not wanting to do early form on a large number of nominated horses and the need to facilitate (small amounts) early betting before acceptances and barriers is simply nonsense.”
Trainers Association of Australia chief executive Andrew Nicholl said introducing a non-acceptance fee would deter trainers while it would collect more paperwork for them.
“The Victorian system provides a competitive advantage to Victorian landlords and
trainers and was introduced 15 years ago to cut red tape and administrative costs by reducing hundreds of thousands of small fees on invoices sent by RVL to trainers and by trainers to owners,” said Nicholl.
“Furthermore, the freedom to nominate more for different races without financial penalty is recognized by trainers as an essential management tool.”
Both Munz and Nicholl called on Racing Victoria chief executive Andrew Jones to immediately review the idea.
“If RVL wishes to consider a more constructive approach to this issue, ATA will arrange for a group of trainers to meet with them and explain how they manage programming and see if there are acceptable ways to reduce the level of administration of nominations. said Nicholl.
Originally published as Owners boss slams Racing Victoria’s no-take charge plan as a ‘cash grab’