V’landys and Elliott lock horns as spring battle intensifies

V’landys and Elliott lock horns as spring battle intensifies

The on-going power struggle between Racing NSW and Victoria
over their respective spring programmes descended into a
war of words on Tuesday as a number of key developments emerged in relation to planned
expansion initiatives.
Following last week’s news that Racing NSW have programmed an extended six-week
Everest Carnival, which will encompass the inaugural running of The Golden Eagle (1500m)
and $1 million Winner’s Stakes (1300m) prior to rich stand-alone provincial meetings at
Newcastle and Kembla Grange, Victoria Racing Club chairperson Amanda Elliott labelled
Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys “a silly little man making silly decisions”.

       

Speaking to Melbourne radio RSN927 yesterday, Elliott said she was frustrated by
“the single-minded determination to knock off Victoria” in light of the recent announcements
made in relation to Sydney’s spring, which traditionally wound down on Epsom Handicap
(Gr 1, 1600m) day but will now see Racing NSW and the Australian Turf Club offer $45 million in prize-money over Saturday race meetings between September 7 and November 9.

   

The fresh incentives injected by Racing NSW have already proved leviathan Perth owner Bob Peters, who recently revealed star filly Arcadia Queen (Pierro) will be aimed
at the $14 million The Everest (1200m) and the $7.5 million four-year-old only Golden Eagle
(1500m) – as opposed to the Cox Plate (Gr 1, 2040m) – after making the decision to send her to trainer Chris Waller.

However, the Adam Trinder-trained Mystic Journey (Needs Further) – a brilliant winner of
the Australian Guineas (Gr 1, 1600m) and the All-Star Mile (1600m) – reportedly remains on
course for the Moonee Valley showpiece in October, while V’landys struck back at Elliott’s
jibes, saying he was disappointed by the personal attack.
“Personal abuse and cheap shots are very disappointing,” V’landys said. “I will always play
the ball not the player.
“Also I’m 5 feet 9 and a half and 5 feet 10 if I wear heels. I can’t help that I have short legs.
“I’ve always said that you shouldn’t attack anyone’s self esteem or appearance.”


Elliott’s comments were made in the wake of yesterday’s announcement by the VRC that
this year’s running of the Melbourne Cup (Gr By ANZ Bloodstock News staff @anz_news
V’landys and Elliott lock horns as spring battle intensifies
1, 3200m) will be worth a record $8 million including trophies, up from $7.3 million last
year.
The winner of the contest will receive $4.4 million plus $250,000 in trophies, second
place $1.1 million and third place $550,000. Prize-money will continue to be paid from first
to twelfth, with those finishing between sixth and twelfth receiving $160,000, up $10,000 on 2018.
Elliott said the prize-money increases reaffirm the VRC’s commitment to the
Melbourne Cup, but denied this was a reaction to the cash injection made by Racing NSW.
“At $8 million, the Lexus Melbourne Cup is the world’s richest handicap and the world’s
richest staying race,” she said.

“Connections cannot buy a place in the Melbourne Cup, it has to be earned. The results
of the recently revamped Andrew Ramsden at Flemington highlights the sheer joy that comes
with knowing your horse has secured a place in the Cup.”
Regarding the prize-money increase, Elliott added: “That was ratified at a board meeting a
month ago but we’ve been thinking about that- we actually thought about it last year as well.
“But we then thought, ‘why wouldn’t we make that announcement in the 100th year of
the beautiful Melbourne Cup trophy?’ So that’s been on the cards for a long time.”
Meanwhile, V’landys made another significant announcement of his own yesterday, outlining an ambitious plan by Racing NSW to create a training centre on a proposed mine site
in the Southern Highlands.
The project, which would be modelled on Newmarket – the historic home of racing
in Britain – requires the purchase of a 400 hectare property, with the favoured location
being a greenfield site near Berrima where the controversial Hume Coal Project is proposed to
be developed.
Following a damning report by the Department of Planning and Assessment in
December, which was succeeded by the NSW Independent Planning Commission identifying
a range of environmental and social issues with the project last month, the mine is currently in doubt – potentially leaving the door ajar for

Racing NSW to create a training hub within two
hours of Sydney.