Wednesday, March 21, 2007
Australian committed to staying races

Perceptions of a decline in staying races as a feature of Australian Racing are topical at the moment and the Australian Racing Board believes it is important that this issue is given proper attention, the Chairman of the ARB, Bob Pearson, said today:

“It is obvious that there is a significant level of interest in the subject of staying races. The Australian Racing Board welcomes this, and it is also a subject that has the attention of the Board, its Racing Committee, Principal Racing Authorities and race clubs” Bob Pearson, Chairman, Australian Racing Board.

“The right place to start in any discussion like this is to get the facts on the table” “The ARB’s National Race Planning Committee (NRPC) will be circulating a document for industry comment next week, but already the research that has been done is instructive. This includes the following facts for the 12-year period from 1994/95 to 2005/06:

  • the total number of 2200m + races in Australia has increased from 476 to 508.
  • the number of 2200m + races as a percentage of all races run in Australia has increased from 2.04 % to 2.56 %.
  • after a sharp dip, which bottomed out in 99/00, the total number of starters in 2200m + races was in 05/06 at the same level as in 94/95.
  • the number of starters in 2200m + races as a percentage of all starters has increased from 2.33 % to 2.67 %.
  • the total number of 2700m + races has increased from 20 in 94/95 to 38 in 05/06.
  • the average runners in 2700m + races has dipped from 13.05 % in 94/95 to 10.95 % in 05/06.
  • 2200m + races as a percentage of races run in each state has increased in NSW, Victoria and Queensland while decreasing slightly in South Australia and Western Australia.
  • 2200m + metropolitan races constituted 5.4 % of 2200m + races in 94/95 and by 05/06 represented 5.2 %.
  • 2200m + non-metro races constituted 1.2 % of 2200m + races in 94/95 and by 05/06 represented 1.8 %.

    Therefore, in a nutshell, races in the 2200m + category have actually increased as a proportion of the total number of races run. (This is against background of an overall contraction in the total number of races in Australia.)” Bob Pearson.

    “This is not the end of the matter as it is still necessary to examine how Australia compares internationally, and to drill down and investigate the causes of the concerns that have been expressed. This will be the objective of the NRPC’s work.”

    “It is nevertheless important to bear in mind that, as with everything in life, balance is important, and the financial implications for the industry that would be associated with a greater emphasis on promoting staying races will have to be seriously considered.”

    “Neither should we lose sight of the work that the NRPC under Leigh Jordon has already done in this area, with the Australian Stayers Challenge now entering its second year of running.” Bob Pearson.

    The Chairman of the Australian Pattern Committee indicated that the NRPC report would also demonstrate current disparities in the black type listings and that the APC’s emphasis was on reclassification of black type within the staying distance categories, not removing black type opportunities within those categories.

    “The Australian Pattern Committee has already stated publicly that while there have been changes in the classification of several staying races the quantum of Black Type opportunities from Group 1 through to Listed has remained largely unchanged. The APC has signalled that it is mindful of ensuring adequate opportunities for staying horses in the long and extended race distance categories, and in February 2007 reaffirmed a 20% surplus variance in Black Type opportunities matched against current metropolitan race programming opportunities in these distance categories” Ian Hart, Chairman, Australian Pattern Committee.