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By Graham Potter | Friday, October 5, 2018

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily.

Racing stakeholders in Queensland often look south with envy at the way Racing NSW is managed and bemoan the fact that their state does not have a leader with the single-minded focus, strength of purpose and vision of Peter V’Landys, the ‘El Supremo’ of racing in New South Wales.

It was therefore of particular interest when V’Landys was asked … to my knowledge for the first time in public … what, in his opinion, is the solution to the current woes of racing in Queensland.

That question was posed by Peter Gleeson on the Sky News television program Richo on Wednesday evening and it is key that V’Landys’ informed response should be taken seriously by those who hold sway over the fortunes of racing in Queensland.

“The solution for Queensland is that it needs a major injection of cash into prize-money,” said V’Landys.

“Prize-money drives the industry. It is the economic stimulus. It pays the trainers. It pays the owners. It pays the jockeys. It pays everyone that is associated with racing.

“In NSW there is 50 000 people directly or indirectly employed by the racing industry. There is a similar number in Queensland. So, there is an enormous economic stimulus driven by prize-money.

“What people don’t understand is the actual people that subsidise the industry are the owners. In NSW for example, just to train the horse, to have the horse compete, agisted, vetted … cost between $300 million and $350 million to the owners as a group.

"We only pay them back $250 million. So, they are basically subsidising the industry every year by $100 million.

“You need to correct the disparity between what is paid out to owners to what it’s costing them to own and have horses compete.

“The disparity is very big in Queensland and unless that disparity is corrected there is not a big future for Queensland racing,” concluded V’Landys.

Let's repeat that, 'unless that disparity is corrected there is not a big future for Queensland racing,”

A solution strategy … short and to the point.

Clearly the Queensland Government need to get their head out of the sand and get on with it.

Yes, V’Landys’ solution requires ‘a major injection of cash into prize-money’ and the Queensland Government and Racing Queensland will cry poverty but it hard to believe them when they find large sums of money to channel into other activities far less critical to the future prosperity of racing in the state.

It’s all about priorities and V’Landys, who runs the most successful racing precinct in Australia, has no doubt what should top that list.

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