Day At The Track

From the General Manager's Victorian desk

02:10 AM 16 Dec 2011 NZDT
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John Anderson
John Anderson - The chief executive officer for Harness Racing Victoria.

Harness racing Victoria successfully conducted live streaming of the Barrier Draws for the Group 1 races on SEW-Eurodrive Victoria Cup night. This was a fore runner to future initiatives in live streaming of major harness racing events.

The next such event will be Victoria Cup night on Saturday night. HRV will be presenting a live show right through the night from Tabcorp Park commencing at 5.45pm. It will feature all the colour of a big night with interviews, analysis and live odds updates, hosted by Rob Auber, Mick Guerin and Rob Gaylard. Due to Sky Racing contractual commitments vision of the race will be delayed however audio of each race will be live.


i) Swan Hill

I am pleased to report that the HRV Development Fund Sub-Committee has approved the tenders for the Swan Hill track development.

The successful tenderers for the track construction are ready to commence work early in the new year, with the lighting contractors to follow mid 2012.

Good news is that both tenders came within budget, so the funding (which includes a 50% contribution from the State Government) will be assured.

In accordance with the works timetable, racing is to commence with the 2012 Nyah Pacing Cup in October.

ii) Cranbourne

Work has now commenced on the Cranbourne Training complex, which is similarly being funded jointly by harness racing and the State Government.

To be completed in the second half of 2012, the complex will provide accommodation for up to 80 horses with all the necessary facilities available.

Enquiries should be directed to the Cranbourne Harness Racing Club on 5996 8677.


i) HRV recently conducted some research, following feedback that wagering on harness racing was marred by short priced favourites.

Interesting to note that for the month of November, in Victoria the average priced winner across the 3 codes was as follows:

  • Harness - $7.31 (from 281 races)

  • Gallops - $7.68 (from 336 races)

  • Greyhounds - $5.94 (from 885 races) Also worthy of note is that the greyhounds had 109 "odds on" winners compared to harness 58 and gallops 38.

i) Similarly, we have conducted a comparison between the recent Melbourne Cup field and this week's Victoria Cup field

  • The Melbourne Cup had 24 starters who had collectively earned $20.6m

  • The Victoria Cup has 13 acceptors who have collectively earned $12.6m

  • Melbourne Cup average stakes per horse - $858k

  • Victoria Cup average stakes per horse - $972k When you take into account the difference in costs to buy and train a horse, it pays to own a Standardbred.

HRV was saddened to hear of the recent passing of an industry stalwart in Kaye Kilgour.

Kaye was a very prominent member of the harness racing community. She was the owner and breeder of many horses. Most recently she had been enjoying success with top liners The Cavalier and Baby Bling, both winning feature races at Tabcorp Park.

She was also a member of the Geelong Club Committee as well as an active member of the Melton harness racing community. Previously she had also been a racing journalist.

Kaye's illness was only short, but shocked us all. Our condolences go out to her daughter Sammy, who we hope will continue with the harness racing passion of her mother.


i) Following the Victoria Cup, we enter the Country Cup season, with some tremendous racing during late December and early January. Before the next edition of this newsletter there will be Cups at Cobram, Horsham, Bendigo and Hamilton. I wish those Clubs well in attracting a big crowd and for a successful day or night.

ii) While on Country Clubs it is worth noting that Paul James (formerly President of the Ballarat Club) has taken over from Arthur Graham as President of the Association of Victorian Country Harness Racing Clubs.

In wishing Paul well in his new role, I also want to pass on to Arthur HRV's appreciation for the service he has given the Association as President for the last decade. Arthur has done a great job in seeing through a restructure of the Clubs together with an approved Strategic Plan. His service to the industry overall has been recognised by receiving the Gordon Rothacker Medal in 2010.


i) David Brick reached 10 years' service with HRV on 13 December to join an extraordinary band of people who have been with HRV for decades. Bricky has a long way to go to catch Cathy Shallue-Lowe who has served 34 years. Bernard Smith runs the quinella as he reaches 29 years' service today.

ii) Congratulations to Nick Murray who has been elevated to the position of Deputy Chairman of Stewards with effect from 1 January 2012. Nick is a quality young steward and thoroughly deserves his promotion.

iii) Shane Gloury has returned to HRV in the critical role as Chief Financial Officer. Shane will be a valuable asset as part of the senior management team following his role as CEO of Addington in Christchurch for the past three years.


HRV's office will be closed from 1pm on Friday 23 December and Friday 30 December. It will be business as usual on all other days but closed on the public holidays.

I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas!


Chris 'Puppet' Alford drove five winners at Ballarat on Wednesday. This is the fourth time he has done this, the last time on 22 August 1996 at Cranbourne. His other two were on 7 November 1989 at Traralgon and 20 August 1993 at Warragul.

At Mildura on Wednesday night, our Australasian Young Drivers Championship representative, Ellen Tormey drove a treble which is her equal best effort. She has now done it four times.


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