Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula wants to see Racing Australia have more power in the national interests of racing.
His comments have come the day after Racing NSW announced three new races to be run during the spring of 2019, including the $7.5 million Golden Eagle at Rosehill on Melbourne’s Victoria Derby day at Flemington.
While conceding the new race was likely to have minimal impact on fields at Flemington, Pakula said there needed to be more collaboration between states over dates.
“The concept of a race that will keep horses racing at four is a good one. It’s a valid concept, but why you would put it on Derby day is a bit beyond me,” Pakula told RSN927.
“I don’t think it will have any impact on the Flemington carnival at all.
“You could argue that it could take a horse or two out of the Kennedy Mile but if horses are in town for the spring carnival anyway it’s hardly likely they’ll be heading back and forwards.
“I would have thought for NSW they would have got more bang putting it some other time, but frankly that’s a matter for them.
“It demonstrates Racing Australia needs more powers and abilities and it’s not desirable ultimately if we cannibalise the racing product.”
Pakula said it may be time he had talks with counterparts at a Commonwealth level to see if Racing Australia can gain more power.
“I’ve had discussions with NSW racing ministers in the time I’ve been minister and I don’t want to get into a political slanging match,” Pakula said.
“I’ve not detected any great willingness to circumscribe the conduct of Racing NSW. They pretty much leave them to their own devices.
“We’d (Victoria) be comfortable with Racing Australia having more ability to make more decisions in the national interests of racing.”
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