Friday, April 5, 2013

Messara's grand vision for Randwick

''If we can get this plan in place it will be an incredible boost for the industry in NSW": John Messara.

''If we can get this plan in place it will be an incredible boost for the industry in NSW": John Messara. Photo: Louise Kennerley

Racing NSW chairman John Messara announced a vision for the way ahead and plans for up to a $60 million boost to prizemoney on Friday.

He promised a return to a glorious week of sales and racing at Randwick in the autumn as he addressed a special group of investors at Blue Sky Thoroughbreds' breakfast at the Inglis sales complex.

Messara said Racing NSW and the government were working towards a restructure of the wagering-tax system to mirror Victoria's.

''The Victorian industry gets $85 million more funding than NSW and, in conjunction with the state government, we are getting closer to matching the system there,'' Messara said. ''If we can get this plan in place it will be an incredible boost for the industry in NSW. We have been working on this for quite some time and it would make NSW the leading open jurisdiction in the world in terms of returns to owners.

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''We can't match some of the closed markets in Asia but in the next couple of years it will be great to be part of the industry in NSW.

''This not a new concept, it was in [Racing NSW's] last strategic plan.''

The extra funding would be used to underpin the establishment of a ''Breeders Cup'' concept and increase minimum stakes levels in group 1 races to $500,000 and group 2s to $300,000. Messara spoke of his vision to make the Randwick section of the Sydney carnival a destination for horses from around the world. ''If you are interested in racing you will want to be in Sydney for this week,'' he said.

''We are looking to have the richest Derby in the world to be run at Randwick and the richest sprint race in the world. I would think we would get horses from Japan and North America to compete at the meeting.

''We would return racing to the Wednesday of this week and have the sales run around that.''

Inglis general manager Mark Webster and Australian Turf Club chairman John Cornish were in the room, which was stunned by the announcement. ''We have been working on this concept with Racing NSW for some time and it will change racing in Sydney,'' Cornish said.


http://www.canberratimes.com.au/sport/horseracing/messaras-grand-vision-for-randwick-20130405-2hc8h.html
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