The gloves have come off in the battle between NSW and Victoria over the latest spring racing initiatives which include the expansion of the Everest carnival in Sydney.
Amanda Elliott, chairman of the Victoria Racing Club which hosts the Melbourne Cup carnival, has labelled Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys “a silly little man making silly decisions” after last week’s announcement of a raft of increases to prize money for existing races and the creation of some new ones.
Elliott told Melbourne radio RSN927 on Tuesday she was frustrated by “the single-minded determination to knock off Victoria”.
V’landys said he was disappointed by the personal attack but also made light of Elliott’s comments.
“Personal abuse and cheap shots are very disappointing,” he said.
“I will always play the ball not the player.
“Also I’m 5 feet 9 and a half, and 5 feet 10 if I wear heels. I can’t help that I have short legs.
“I’ve always said that you shouldn’t attack anyone’s self esteem or appearance.
“There is not much you can do about your appearance. When I was young I used to hang my arms off the clothes line and hope I would get taller but it never worked.
“I would also stand on cow dung and that didn’t work either.”
Spring racing has traditionally been the domain of Melbourne but Racing NSW has stated its intention to build on the $14 million Everest in October and take advantage of the lack of competition from other sports.
Among the new races in Sydney is the $7.5 million Golden Eagle for four-year-olds on November 2, the first day of the four-day Cup carnival at Flemington.
The VRC on Tuesday announced an increase to the Melbourne Cup prize money from $7.3 million to $8 million but Elliott denied this was a reaction to NSW increases.
“That was ratified at a board meeting a month ago but we’ve been thinking about that, we actually thought about it last year as well,” she said.
“But we then thought, ‘why wouldn’t we make that announcement in the 100th year of the beautiful Melbourne Cup trophy?’ So that’s been on the cards for a long time.”