The current state of Racing in Australia is the result
of aggressive marketing by the various TAB’s and Gaming bodies and the
need for a “product” to sell.
Racing profits are all about turnover. The Racing authorities
gain a percentage of every dollar wagered whether that be with the TAB
To make sure they don’t miss out the TAB also offers wagering
on a variety of sports events and also participates on other gaming activities,
notably Poker Machines.
A single poker machine can average hundreds of dollars
per day in revenue and this is multiplied by thousands and thousands in
each State and Territory.
But back to Racing. In the environment where Poker machines
are available virtually 24 hours Racing has extended it’s coverage through
Sky Channel by hours per day. Where once there was a gap between the gallops
finishing and the trots and dogs starting, that gap has been eliminated
by scheduling early starts with the trots and dogs and late finishes with
the gallop meetings.
In Western Australia, due to time differences, Racing
is happening from around 9.00 a.m. through and it doesn’t stop on Sunday
either. There are now only about six Sundays and perhaps two other days,
Christmas Day and Good Friday when no Racing is taking place.
From the point of view of country Racing Clubs that now
have TAB coverage for there otherwise Non TAB meetings, this is good but
from the view of the Racing professional and I mean Punters, Bookmakers,
Trainers, Jockeys and Stable Hands this is bad.
Our Racing coverage i.e. Ratings and selections for all
TAB meetings everyday, comes at the expense of lifestyle until such time
as the business grows sufficiently to allow additional staff to be able
to roster for the extra Racing days. It is no different with Trainers but
what about jockeys? Are there jockeys who can afford to say “No” to rides
on Sundays? Probably not, unless you are a member of the elite few.
Is it any wonder that some riders have severe lapses of
form and judgement?
Racing as it is today will not stop, indeed this year
(1999) we will see another night Racing venue (Canterbury) to make up a
roster of twelve multiple night meetings. How many by the year 2000?
Our advice is to you as a punter is to choose the day
(night) or days you wish to operate and build your plans around that. You
may wish to only bet at certain venues e.g Randwick and Rosehill and only
at certain times of the year. Or you may choose to become a night Racing
expert. In time you will find that there will be horses that race better,
or worse, of a night. It happens with the trots and dogs, now!
Finally. How long before all Australians can access Sky
Racing? The coverage is a joke. Did you know that many areas of Rural Australia
can receive Sky Racing while many major Metropolitan areas cannot?
Good luck for all of 1999