From the CEO's Desk - July 2014

01:08 AM 15 Jul 2014 NZST
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HRV CEO John Anderson
HRV CEO John Anderson
Congratulations to the father/son combination of Ross and Greg Sugars who trained and drove the first 3 winners at Tabcorp Park last Friday night (July 11). I wonder when was the last time that happened at a metro meeting? And Lance Justice has announced that Smoken Up will travel to Sydney for the last time this Saturday night (July 19). We look forward to celebrating his career in Melbourne soon. Follow HRV on Twitter @HRVnews
 
Additional $1.7m in Stakes in 2014/15

The HRV 2013/14 financial year was completed on June 30 2014. The financial results are not yet formally audited, however the Board is anticipating announcing a profit for the 2013/14 year in excess of $1m.
 
The $1m result follows a $2m profit the previous year, on the back of which HRV then announced stakes increases of $2.5m for the 2013/14 year. Stakes of $36m were paid out for the year, up from $33.5m the previous year.

The profit result in 2013/14 was assisted by wagering revenue growth of $2m, largely due to HRV's increased race field fees from corporate bookmakers and interstate TAB's. Revenue from our Joint Venture partner Tabcorp declined by $1m as we see the continued shift from the more lucrative parimutuel betting to the increasingly popular, but lower margin, fixed odds. Of the total betting through Tabcorp, fixed odds now comprise nearly 25%, compared to 14% for the previous year.

The HRV Board has also approved the budget for the 2014/15 year.

The budget takes into account another tough year for Tabcorp wagering turnover which is again predicted to decline. However HRV has structured the business such that it is forecasting another profit of $1m.

That profit will come after providing for an increase in stakes of $1.7m, up from $36m to $37.7m. The main features of the stakes rises are: An increase in the Vicbred 1st win bonus from $5,000 to $7,000 for 3yo's in the new season (continues to apply for the 2yo's); $300,000 additional stakes for the Vicbred Platinum program; Full year impact of the staged increases through the previous year. Stakes will then have risen by $4.2m (12.5%) in the past two financial years.
 
Wagering Data

Wagering revenue remains HRV's single most important source of income ($57m in 2013/14) and we are now receiving much more detailed information from wagering service providers, such as the Victorian TAB, Interstate TAB's and corporate bookmakers.

Inclusive of all wagering operators, the year's highest wagering turnover races were: Victoria Cup - $923,000; Hunter Cup - $875,000; Inter Dominion Heat - $735,000; Victoria Derby - $601,000. In regional Victoria the highest ranked races by turnover were: Cranbourne Cup - $612,000; Ballarat Cup - $559,000; Kilmore Cup - $470,000. Apart from Melton, the track with the highest average turnover was Swan Hill ($194,000) per race, followed by Bendigo ($185,000) and Ballarat ($184,000).
There is very little difference in punter preference between pacers and trotters. For the year the average turnover per race was: Pacers - $186,000; Trotters - $174,000.
 
Vicbred Trotters Exported

A hugely successful weekend of Vicbred Finals was conducted on July 4 and 5.

I would like to sincerely thank Empire Stallions, and in particular Donna Egan, David James and Les Joslin, for their support of the Series. It was very gratifying for them to see their stallions Modern Art (twice) and Four Starzz Shark represented in the Group 1 winners stall. Congratulations go to the connections of all horses involved in the two nights' Finals. The racing was exceptional and was an excellent promotion of our sport nationally and internationally.

The six Group 1 Trotters Finals were telecast into France by Sky Racing (Friday morning French time) with wagering conducted by the French Tote (PMU). It is anticipated that the wagering turnover in France will be well in excess of $1m, given that the previous 12 races beamed into France averaged turnover of $155,000 per race.
 
Gordon Rothacker Medal (Industry Awards Night)

For the first time, HRV will this year celebrate the 2013/14 season with one gala evening on Wednesday October 8.

The Industry Awards Night will celebrate season premiership winners, Horse of the Year and Country Club awards, with the pinnacle of the evening being the Gordon Rothacker Medal.
 
Vale

Over the past month HRV mourned the loss of several participants:
 
Bill Hanson

A large crowd gathered at Kyneton for the funeral of Bill Hanson. Bill passed away on July 4. It was a fitting tribute to Bill that so many industry people were in attendance to hear of Bill's love for breeding trotters.

On the Chapel wall hanging proudly was a picture of the great Maori's Idol, which was acknowledged by Father Brain Glasheen before his tribute to Bill. Bill had purchased Maori's Idol in 1990 for stud duties at his Homevale Stud in Fern Hill, where he stayed until his death in 2006.

Bill was a life member of Harness Breeders (Vic), the VHRSC and the Bendigo club. He was an inaugural inductee into the VHRMA Hall of Fame in 2009.

Our condolences go out to Margaret and the family.
 
Mick Lacey

Mick trained and drove many horses in Victoria before moving to Queensland over a decade ago. Several staff at HRV who remember Mick commented to me that he was always a gentleman, who never had a bad word to say or did anything wrong by anyone. Some may remember Mick's good horse, Duke Of Broadway.
 
Judith Astbury

Judith passed away in late June. She will be remembered for her work in the Hamilton Secretary's office for many many years. From what I am told she would go out of her way to help anyone in the industry and certainly the stewards would always look forward to a freshly baked cake by Judith when they arrived at Hamilton. I am also reminded that Judith's husband Rex was very proud of a horse he raced named Mockingtheclassics.
 
Did You Know?

Former trainer Alan McLean celebrated his 100th birthday with his family at Tabcorp Park on Vicbred Finals weekend.

On July 4, Alan presented the trophy to connections of One Over Da Moon for winning the "Alan McLean 100th Birthday" Trot. Copyright © 2014 Harness Racing Victoria, All rights reserved.
 
Harness Racing Victoria

 
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