It seems just a tad too coincidental, doesn’t it? VRC CEO Dale Monteith announces he will call time on his position after this year’s Melbourne Cup Carnival in November, just about the same time as Racing Victoria Chief
Executive Rob Hines cleans out his office desk.
Perhaps the most telling clue was the statement by Dale Monteith that he was not planning to retire from racing and beat a hast exit away from the industry. Instead he declared that he would be actively pursuing the Racing Victoria Chief Executive position which was advertised a fortnight ago. It was an unequivocal statement. A very strong throw of the dice.
From what we know, and what we are told, Dale Monteith would be the ONLY credible candidate for the position within the Australian racing industry. Under his leadership, the VRC has enjoyed a golden era. It has become the organizational and administrative blueprint for Race Clubs and sporting clubs in Australia. The VRC model has also been successfully replicated outside Australia. The Melbourne Cup carnival has become one of the most successful and vibrant sporting events in the world. It is Australia’s premier racing and sporting carnival. It has given new meaning to the “race that stops a nation”.
The success that the VRC has achieved; its elevation to its pre-eminent position in Australian racing and the respect in which it is held in the racing industry, in sport and by the community at large, doesn’t happen by accident. It is the result of a well administered and well governed organization, and both the VRC Committee and it’s Chief Executive can take credit for that. Do you hear us making loud sucking noises? We don’t even know why as we’ll not benefit from any of this.
Dale Monteith’s firm and unequivocal declaration- hmm, firm- of interest in Racing Victoria’s Chief Executive position- hmmm, position, and a firm position- will surely produce a collective sigh of relief by the Racing Victoria Board. Hmmm- sighs. Faced with the daunting prospect of possibly hiring another “dud” from the corporate world, as they have done previously, (Rob Hines excepted), or from within either Racing Victoria or the Race Clubs either in Victoria or from another State which would have produced a similar result to recruiting from the corporate world; the choice is now a “No Brainer”.
As we pointed out in our previous blog, the talent cupboard at Racing Victoria, and at the Race Clubs in every State is hopelessly bare. It’s like opening up a wine cellar and finding a “cleanskin” wine, when you were desperately hoping for a Grange or a Hill of Grace.
And Racing Victoria only has itself to blame. Their succession planning has been as tres ordinaire as a crap wine. The one shining light – Paul Bittar- flew the coop and is now Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Board. From what we have been told in NSW and through our Victorian mates, the only name offered up is Bernard Saundry, who is Chief Operations Manager at Racing Victoria. At best he has been described as a “plodder”. And God knows, there are plenty of them in racing, both on and off the track. Please spare us another one.
There is little doubt that the Victorian race clubs and the Victorian racing industry in general would welcome Dale Monteith’s appointment as Racing Victoria Chief Executive. Importantly, we are told, it would also get the tick of approval from the Victorian Racing Minister, a passionate racing person, who has matched his pre and post election rhetoric with real and tangible financial support for racing.
FAVOURITE FLOPS SET TONGUES WAGGING IN SYDNEY
It was the topic du jour at Rosehill last Saturday. Favourites going down like proverbial “nine pins” at Sydney Saturday race meetings. It kicked off the Hawkesbury stand alone Saturday meeting two weeks ago when “good things” Fast Clip and Landing could not even run a place at the deep into the red quotes that bookmakers offered and still managed to suck punters in.
The excuses were confusing to say the least. Fast Clip’s was more plausible. His was a relatively long campaign, and yes maybe he did run out of his skin in the Doncaster. But surely, apart from the “buyer beware” truism when it comes to punting, it does make you wonder why he wasn’t in the spelling paddock. Landing, on the other hand, who was spruiked as the next biggest middle distance thing in Sydney racing raced as though he had a twin brother whose recent wins had punters starry eyed and playing with the fairies.
Fast forward to last Saturday, and there was Rowie, Mickleberg and Herculean Prince and Moriarty, all drifters in the betting who did not let the risk taking “satchel swingers” down. Talking to some very seasoned Sydney punters and form analysts, there was no holding back on the state of play in Sydney.
The finger pointing was far and wide. The common theme was that the “racing police” need to use the blowtorch rather than the feather duster on connections when horses appear to inexplicably put in “form reversals”. As we have pointed out on previous occasions, there just could be genuine reasons for form reversals. And rather than accept the insipid “change of tempo” or “track bias” or “raced like a tired horse” set of “pick a box” excuses, the Stewards must demonstrate they are serious about addressing the unwanted slurs on racing that such perceived inexplicable form reversals in Sydney Saturday metropolitan racing.
BOSSY, BLACK CAVIAR TODAY. TRAFFIC RESTRICTIONS LATER. AVOID AREA.
Read one sign. Glen Boss got held up in the traffic and missed the winning ride on Red Typhoon in one of the earlier races. Ironically the late replacement jockey for the “Boss Man” was Luke Nolen, Black Caviar’s jockey!
This week, Australia Post announced the release of a special postage stamp to honour the world champ.
In the meantime, the AFL has floated the possibility of Black Caviar being the headline act in the pre-match entertainment on grand final day – the last Saturday in September. Black Caviar at the world famous MCG on Grand Final day? Guess dreams just can come true. Sometimes.