South Australian industry makes bold play to lure trainers to the state

South Australian industry makes bold play to lure trainers to the state

International and interstate stables on radar as relocation packages on offer

 

The governing body of racing in South Australia has launched a campaign targeting international and interstate trainers to incentivise them to move their stables to the state in a bid to ramp up the horse and participant population. Thoroughbred Racing South Australia (TRSA) this week officially called for applications from trainers who would be willing to open a stable at racecourses such as the metropolitan venue of Morphettville and provincial tracks of Gawler and Murray Bridge. Relocation packages are being offered as part of the inducement. In an advertisement placed on employment website Seek.com.au on Wednesday, TRSA appeals for Group and Listed-winning trainers who are prepared to employ and mentor an apprentice jockey if they move to the state. Expressions of interest are to be registered by July 10.
TRSA chief operating officer Vaughn Lynch yesterday confirmed the organisation was embarking on the unique plan as a way of continuing a revitalisation of the local industry. “It’s a long-term strategy to increase participation at all levels in the state, whether it be trainers, jockeys, track riders and stablehands and we have already had some overtures at this stage even prior to placing the ad,” Lynch told ANZ Bloodstock News. “We are really committed to developing participation in the industry and this is a big part of it.”
 It is no secret that South Australian racing has struggled to match the prize-money levels of rival states in recent years, NSW and Victoria in particular, and that field sizes have also taken a hit and as a result wagering turnover has been adversely impacted. Tony and Calvin McEvoy, who lead this season’s South Australian trainers’ premiership by 35 winners, are expanding their Victorian presence with a new 100-box complex at Ballarat while Will Clarken (fourth) is also opening a stable at the provincial precinct over the border. Phillip Stokes, who is currently second on the SA premiership table, has also relocated to Victoria in recent years with his Morphettville stable becoming a satellite operation. Lynch would not give specifics about what kind of assistance would be provided to any successful candidates but indicated that the packages would be tailored to each individual. There is also no set number of trainers TRSA hopes to secure during the initiative.
“We want people who are going to bring new owners and new eyes on our industry and who have the ability to attract new owners from all over Australia,” he said. “That’s important as we all value the link between ownership and returns and owners are one of the key customers. “We want people who will represent the industry well and we can go from there.” In the advertisement, TRSA says it conducts more than 180 TAB meetings and 11 non-TAB meetings each year and offers prize-money of more than $40 million a season while improving facilities for trainers was also part of the plan to increase the appeal to owners and trainers to race in South Australia, according to Lynch. A development application for new stabling to be constructed at Morphettville is currently before council while Murray Bridge and Gawler have also been earmarked as training centres who could house extra trainers. “Gawler has got plans to build more boxes on track to increase its training base and it’s a reflection of the positive outlook for the industry in South Australia after a period which was tough for a while,” he said.
“We’ve got through the worst of it and the results, given Covid, over our (autumn) carnival was testament to that. “We are hoping some bigger stables may also want to look at opening satellite stables – we would encourage that – and we’re bullish about the future.” Lynch, who moved to Adelaide last year after stints with Greyhound Racing Victoria and Tasracing, believes South Australia’s rich history of Hall Of Fame trainers operating from the state was a strong selling point to any potential applicants. He said: “You can go back to Hayes, Cummings and Hawkes, they all started here. In the last season, Dalasan won a good race for Leon Macdonald in Melbourne and the horses of Gordon Richards’ (Gytrash and Bold Star) have gone well. “Bella Vella for Will Clarken won the 955-metre sprint challenge at Moonee Valley and she was then able to come back here and win the Group 1 Sangster. “We’re committed to working with the industry to continue to improve racing in South Australia.
” While excited about the initiative, Lynch was also mindful of looking after the state’s trainers who are the backbone of the industry and support the meetings each and every week. “We’re very conscious of not providing an unfair advantage for someone. We have to look after our locals first and foremost,” he said. “However, we’re working with the clubs, in particular, because they are going to be the ones dealing directly with a possible relocated trainer and (TRSA) just helps facilitate that. “It’s very early days but as they say, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’.”
“We want people who are going to bring new owners and new eyes on our industry and who have the ability to attract new owners from all over Australia,” he said. “That’s important as we all value the link between ownership and returns and owners are one of the key customers. “We want people who will represent the industry well and we can go from there.” In the advertisement, TRSA says it conducts more than 180 TAB meetings and 11 non-TAB meetings each year and offers prize-money of more than $40 million a season while improving facilities for trainers was also part of the plan to increase the appeal to owners and trainers to race in South Australia, according to Lynch. A development application for new stabling to be constructed at Morphettville is currently before council while Murray Bridge and Gawler have also been earmarked as training centres who could house extra trainers.
“Gawler has got plans to build more boxes on track to increase its training base and it’s a reflection of the positive outlook for the industry in South Australia after a period which was tough for a while,” he said. “We’ve got through the worst of it and the results, given Covid, over our (autumn) carnival was testament to that. “We are hoping some bigger stables may also want to look at opening satellite stables – we would encourage that – and we’re bullish about the future.” Lynch, who moved to Adelaide last year after stints with Greyhound Racing Victoria and Tasracing, believes South Australia’s rich history of Hall Of Fame trainers operating from the state was a strong selling point to any potential applicants. He said: “You can go back to Hayes, Cummings and Hawkes, they all started here. In the last season, Dalasan won a good race for Leon Macdonald in Melbourne and the horses of Gordon Richards’ (Gytrash and Bold Star) have gone well.
“Bella Vella for Will Clarken won the 955-metre sprint challenge at Moonee Valley and she was then able to come back here and win the Group 1 Sangster. “We’re committed to working with the industry to continue to improve racing in South Australia.” While excited about the initiative, Lynch was also mindful of looking after the state’s trainers who are the backbone of the industry and support the meetings each and every week. “We’re very conscious of not providing an unfair advantage for someone. We have to look after our locals first and foremost,” he said. “However, we’re working with the clubs, in particular, because they are going to be the ones dealing directly with a possible relocated trainer and (TRSA) just helps facilitate that. “It’s very early days but as they say, ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’.”