Thompson: Victoria not threatened

Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson has lamented a lack of collaboration between Victoria and NSW but said that Racing NSW's announcement of three more feature races over the spring did not threaten to weaken Victoria's long-established Spring Carnival.

In responding to the announcement of the new $7.5 million race The Golden Eagle, which has been programmed for Victoria Derby Day from next spring, as well as two further $1m races on either side of that race, Thompson said the Victorian Spring Carnival was safeguarded by tradition.

"The marquee events of the Spring Racing Carnival have been built over more than 150 years and retain an important place in the heart of Australians," Thompson said in a statement released on Wednesday afternoon. "This announcement is not going to change that.

"The Victorian Spring Racing Carnival is an iconic global event that has proven to be a wonderful catalyst in growing Australian racing both locally and on the international stage.

"We are committed to continuing that not only for the benefit of Victoria and our stakeholders, but for the industry nationally who prosper off its existence."

Two racing bodies working together are better than one, picture

Thompson said Victoria fully understands the need for innovation but that the lack of an alliance between the two main states meant the bodies did not promote the sport as well as they could.

"As administrators, it is important that we continually strive to grow the overall fan base for racing and ensure that we are attracting future generations to our sport," Thompson said.

"It would be in the best interests of Australian racing if we could act more collaboratively as a nation to achieve this and ensure that we are in fact growing the overall fan base.

"We hope that New South Wales' programming initiatives do serve to grow the overall fan base of racing by encouraging new people into our sport and we wish them well in their endeavours to achieve that.

"On face value, it would appear that there will be an impact on the existing Australian Pattern of races as a result of this announcement and we will be working to understand this over the coming period.

"This announcement has not changed our focus on ensuring that Victorian racing remains successful and continues to deliver nation-high attendances, wagering, field sizes and international participation.

"Neither has it changed our ongoing commitment to explore opportunities to innovate our racing as we have done most recently with the All-Star Mile."

Moonee Valley Racing Club chief executive Michael Browell was supportive of the Racing NSW announcement despite the fact it could impact four-year-olds running in future Cox Plates.

"I applaud Racing NSW and the ATC (Australian Turf Club) on their announcement of these three new races and prizemoney of $9.5m," Browell said.

"These initiatives and this level of prizemoney will continue to generate investment in the Australian racing industry.

"From a Moonee Valley Racing Club perspective, I see no issues with these three races, particularly the new three-year-old race over 1600 metres on Ladbrokes Cox Plate Day.

"I'm sure that Racing NSW and the ATC have formulated a view on what success looks like from these new races and I wish them well in achieving their goals."

The Victoria Racing Club, which is impacted by the new races on both of their Spring Carnival Saturday dates, did not want to comment and neither did the Melbourne Racing Club, which unlike its sister clubs in Melbourne, is not directly affected by Racing NSW's new move.