DESPITE THAT “13 PERCENT INCREASE IN TURNOVER”, CHAMPIONSHIPS ON THE LINE THIS SATURDAY.
Whichever way the spinning wheel is turned by the ATC, Racing NSW and the Sydney Yes, Minister racing media pack, last Saturday’s first day of the Championships deserved- and should have- attracted a bigger than 25,000 crowd.
As for this “Thirteen percent increase in turnover compared to last year’s same race day”, just mouthed by the trained members of the Yes Minister of the Racing NSW glee club, what IS this in actual NUMBERS?
Yes, the weather was a major turn-off, but try telling that to the NRL or AFL, or the administrators over the border in Victoria.
Sure, even in “bleak city”, Sydney’s deplorable weather, when replicated in Melbourne over the spring racing carnival, can still manage to attract crowds of 70,000 plus.
And yes, the Melbourne spring racing carnival has had a massive head start as an established racing carnival and sporting event, domestically and internationally. But, it would be delusional to play the blame game with the weather.
The Championships, as we have always said, will be a long term work in progress.
Not only does it need to capture the hearts and mind of the non-racing sector, but it needs to hijack the sporting and front page headlines away from Sydney racing’s biggest and long-established competitor during the Autumn – the NRL.
The NRL has long-owned this seasonal territory. Sydney and NSW in Autumn and Winter belongs exclusively to the NRL.
When the Sydney Autumn racing carnival was at its peak, it was when it owned Easter week and was the Sydney version of the Melbourne spring racing carnival- four magnificent days of racing – two on weekends and one on a public holiday and one on a working day.
Get the drift?
Replicating Flemington- and guess what- it worked.
Throw in the Easter sales, and the economic benefits to Sydney and NSW, were huge.
Interstaters spent the week in Sydney, getting dressed up, wining and dining, booking out accommodation, and doing all the things that visitors to the Melbourne Spring Carnival do.
Throw in crowds of 45,000 and you had the foundations of what could have built into a Autumn Racing Carnival that the Championships aspire to.
To get it back to those glory days will be a massive challenge, particularly with the stuff-up with the Randwick rebuild, the parlous state of finances of the ATC and the power games that are being played by the Emperor and his Court Jesters at Druitt Street.
Dance, little monkeys, dance! Fat Boy, get your head outta Waller Wallet’s arse and dance like a crazy fool.
Throw in a new and unknown Premier in NSW and, possibly, a new Treasurer and Racing Minister and the Kilimanjaro appears even more daunting.
Take away the power games and start producing REAL results- not this vapid “13 percent increase” mantra which means squat other than Corporate Speak- plus tangible economic benefits for the State Government to justify signing off on further multi million dollar cheques to bankroll the Championships.
Go back to a four-day Easter format, reduce some of the obscene prize money for the QE 11, Doncaster and Derby by a million off each to fund an extra day of racing mid week, rejig the program, and you just might get the Autumn Carnival back on track and give Sydney racing a chance at owning a week that it previously did and can do again.
While at it, stop throwing money at off-the-mark advertising campaigns such as the current amateurish load of rubbish that gives the non-racegoer another valid reason to give the Championships the flick.
It is time for the ATC to stand up and be counted- and to grow some balls and go head to head with Druitt Street and take ownership of its own property.
Over to you Michael Crismale and your ATC Committee.
NEWS CORP OZ: CLUTCHING AT STRAWS.
The stupidity of some people while flying on the seats of their pants never fail to amaze us.
Take, for example, our old mates at News Corp in Oz which was a well-oiled and professional organ during the days when Gene Swinstead ran the joint.
Today, it’s come down to bogan gossip racing reporters- is there any more “noble” a profession- tacky “reportage” and tragic attempts at intimidation and ck while at it.
In other words, just another Corpse De Noos Day in their paradise.
For the past few weeks we have been receiving emails that we have “infringed” copyright by using NewsCorp photographs without approval, something brought to the attention of the organization’s NewsPix or NewsWhatever division by their- quelle supris- racing writers.
Ironic that after over two years of, apparently, “infringing copyright”, this need to cough up dough has come up at a time when we’ve joined the choir against a gossip racing writer with News Croupier who’s not exactly the smartest tool in the shed.
We’ve been fair enough to remove whatever “offending pictures” were used- as we have done wit s when asked to by the South China Morning Post- but, in typical Noise Corpse bully boy fashion, they want to intimidate and threaten legal action for refusing to pay AUS$5,000, this, we don’t like.
It makes us not nice people.
As for the question of “infringement of copyright”, think about what’s uploaded and made available on Google, what’s tweeted, what’s uploaded onto every social medium alive and kicking today- and, as we have done, taken and shared what millions of others have done with zero interest in reading the small print that is hidden as “Terms and Conditions”.
Corpse De News of the much-despised Rebekkah Brooks and wire tapping scandal in the UK and Rupert Murdoch-Wendi Deng-Tony Blair infamy- let’s not even talk about Lachlan- wish to preach to US about ethics and “doing the right thing”? Hmmm.
To quote our mate and legal advisor extraordinaire Kevin Egan, fuck ’em.
Yes, fuck ’em, and threaten us and Corpse De Noos better also take on the twitterverse- and Google- look like even bigger twats than they are and open up a can of worldwide worms that can make different kinds of headlines.
DO WE GET A WHIFF OF ANOTHER LEGAL STOUSH?
The ominous signs of yet another expensive, protracted and undignified legal stoush with the corporate bookmakers are well and truly on the radar with the news mid-week in the Australian Financial review by a piece from John Stensholt titled “Odds-on for higher fees to hit on-line only bookies”.
Stensholt is not only on the money, but the armaments makers are working overtime to produce enough weapons for “Product Fees War 2”.
We can only imagine that the fearless leader and Rocky Bullwinkle of Australian racing- no guessing who that might be- spending his waking hours dusting off all the tired old clichés, the one-liners, the spin to fight the noble battle in the courts against those dastardly corporate bookies who have feasted on the racing industry for so long.
Hit them bloody hard, Oh, fearless leader- and where it hurts- in their hip pockets.
Jack up the 1.5% -2% fee on turnover arrangement that presently stands by 100% and make it 3% -4% on turnover.
Bleed the bastards to death,Rocky, and- giddyup- run them out of the country.
How dare they operate a modern technological low-cost model and use left field, slick and savvy marketing strategies to ambush the ultra- conservative and outdated Tab’s and hijack their market share? And if the administrators in bleak city dare to go down the revenue model for Product Fees, you just make sure you fix them up as well, oh, fearless shwiiing leader.
You won’t have any problems winning the media war- none, whatsoever, not with News Limited backing you 200 per cent.
C’mon, Rocky, run up those stairs, do a little dance when you reach the top and scream out, “I’m doing this for my 50,000 participants ‘cos they need their favourite martyr now, more than ever!”
GARY MOORE HEADING DOWN- AND UNDER. EXCITED?
The racing grapevine is never far from nailing it, and on this occasion, they’re on the money: Gary Moore, the man with the Mandarin Hotel doorman’s wardrobe and the waaaay over the top and outrageous theatrics- kissing jockeys who have won on his horses, jumping on his winning horses with the jockey still on, taking off his canary yellow jacket and, like Sir Walter Raleigh, spreading it over mud pools so that winning owners can walk over it etc- could be heading to that other “sin city”.
It’s no surprise, the fat lady is getting her backing group and musos ready to perform her encore for Macau racing. And Gazza- we actually like his zaniness- wisely, is parachuting outta casino and whore city while he can- and before the exodus of racing refugees from the former Portuguese enclave resembles the asylum seekers off the Australian coast up north and west.
The mail we are hearing puts Gary in Tim Martin’s stables as one option, although his preference might be Randwick.
Of course, there will be a series of interesting conundrums- what will Brother Gary do with his Macau owners, some of whom still make the ferry ride across from the Shun Tak terminal each race day to cheer their “B graders” on at the Taipa track?
Many of them do not the fit the profile of owners that the HKJC would issue permits to race horses in Hong Kong- and so settle to be very big fish in Macau’s tiny pond.
Our mail also suggests that Gary is looking for someone to take over his Macau stables, pending the fat lady’s final encore.