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Pakula weighs in on Golden Eagle

Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula has questioned Racing NSW's decision to run The Golden Eagle on the same day as Derby Day in Melbourne, suggesting it is not in the best interest of the sport to cannibalise the product.

Speaking on RSN927's Racing Pulse on Thursday morning, Pakula said the creation of the new $7.5 million race can have positives for the industry but he was not pleased with the day it has been chosen to be run on.

"My reaction when I read it was more bemusement than anything else to be honest, I've spoken to RV (Racing Victoria), I've seen the comments from people like (Moonee Valley Racing Club CEO) Michael Browell, there is not a huge amount of concern about what NSW has announced to be honest," he said.

"I think the concept of a race that might play a role in keeping horses racing at four is a good one, it is a valid concept, why you would put it on Derby Day is a bit beyond me to be frank.

"I don't think it will have any impact on the Flemington Carnival at all, it might take a horse or two out of the Kennedy Mile conceivably, if horses are down for the Spring Carnival anyway, it is hardly likely they would head back and forward.

"I would have thought for NSW they would get more bang for putting it at some other time but frankly that is a matter for them."

Pakula also said the decision by Racing NSW to run in direct competition to Victoria shows the inability of Racing Australia to prevent such clashes occurring.

"It is not desirable ultimately if we cannibalise the racing product, I think Peter (V'landys) talks about competition, there is nothing wrong with competition but collaboration is important as well," Pakula added.

"Making sure you are not putting owners, trainers, jockeys in a position where they have to make these invidious choices, they want to be able to set their horses to go through a pattern of racing and not have to choose between great races in two different cities on the same day.

"Events that bring more eyeballs to racing are fundamentally good, but you don't want a situation where landmark events are having smaller events put up against them.

"I don't think that is in the best interest of the code more generally but I think what has been demonstrated is we don't have a national body that has the capacity to do much about that unless a state principle racing authority wants Group status and then at that point they can do something about it."

Flemington, picture Quentinjlang.com

 
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