Victoria set to respond to NSW millions with spring prizemoney rise

Racing Victoria and the Melbourne metropolitan clubs are set to hit back at Racing NSW's cavalier $45 million Everest carnival with a coordinated spring prizemoney increase that has the backing of the southern state's government.

While the dates are set in stone for the spring in Melbourne and based on tradition, the funding of prizemoney for races is completed on a financial year basis and has not been confirmed.

Fight back: Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula is set to support prizemoney increases for the spring carnival.Credit:Joe Armao

Racing Victoria and clubs are assessing what they can do together to challenge the nine consecutive Saturdays from the end of September to November when there will be at least one race worth $1 million or more in Sydney.

The carnival highlights are the $14 million Everest, which in three years has changed the landscape of Australian racing, and the $7.5 million Golden Eagle, which will be run for the first time on November.

There is a sense of disappointment from Victoria about the comments of Victoria Racing Club chair Amanda Elliott, who called Racing NSW boss Peter V’landys “a silly little man” on Tuesday, dropping the tone of the bitter rivalry further.

Victoria racing minister Martin Pakula last week indicated there could be be a level of government support for its proud spring carnival.

‘‘As for prizemoney levels for the spring carnival specifically, it’s important to note that Victorian racing is yet to announce its plans for this spring, but you can be sure we will have more to say in the coming weeks,’’ Pakula told Nine last week.

A Racing Victoria spokesman said on Wednesday: “We are currently undertaking our annual planning and budgeting for the 2019-20 season and any changes or enhancements would be announced in due course.’’

Moonee Valley Race Club chief Michael Browell said he could only speak on the behalf of his club, which is in the process of working out it spring prizemoney.

“We are looking to make some sort of announcement about the spring in the next couple of weeks,” he said.

Browell joined Elliott in calling for “cooperation and collaboration” between Victoria and NSW in the national interest.

“I do have a view that it would have been better for an industry, the outcome could have been better, if both NSW and VIC worked together. You’d like a sense of cooperation and collaboration,” Browell said on Melbourne radio.

“I’m not saying that I accept at this point in time that it [Racing NSW prizemoney changes] is a negative … a rising tide is good for all.”

Browell said there was no plan to move the Cox Plate meeting back to be a night meeting at this stage.

Meanwhile, Josh Parr will not ride at Gosford on Thursday after dislocating his knee in a fall after the post following a victory on On Her Word at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.

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