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Letter of the Week

Spread the wealth

Mitch Matheson (1/6) makes good sense in his response to my own concerns about state rivalry in racing — although what my living in Tassie has to do with that I’m not sure. 
I’m from Sydney but “invest” mostly in Victoria simply because of the overall strength of its day-to-day racing. And it’s the week-in, week-out aspects of this great industry that concern me much more than gala days for the champagne set.
Just last week NSW racing announced a nine-week schedule starting September 28 where there will be at least one million-dollar race each Saturday. This will split quality horses and jockeys across the two states and obviously impact Melbourne’s spring carnival.
 No one can deny that grass-roots initiatives such as the Provincial and Country Championships and the Highway series assist overall but why the excessive concentration at the top end? 
The point-of-consumption tax from racing is 10 per cent in NSW but only eight per cent in Victoria and that two-point difference is actually 25 per cent in dollar terms. No wonder the NSW government is right behind all this — it’s more dough in the coffers. But as I’ve always maintained, the majority ends up with the big end of town, a few owners and a few trainers. 
Time will tell which state has it right — but then NSW administrators have long shown themselves able to wrangle money from governments, state and federal, for issues from equine influenza to World Youth Day “disruptions”. It’s always good to have contacts at the top!

Jack Bell
Hobart
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