Daily News Wrap

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Advisory Committee established

Racing Minister Winston Peters has announced a five-member Ministerial Advisory Committee to further the implementation of the Messara Report’s proposals to overhaul New Zealand racing.

“This Government is committed to reforming the racing industry. The Ministerial Advisory Group will develop a plan to operationalise the Messara Report to deliver better governance and economic outcomes,” Peters said.

“The five people appointed to the Ministerial Advisory Committee bring their personal expertise and ability to provide independent, strategic assessments of the business to change proposals for the racing industry. Between them they have experience across the three racing industry codes.”

Peters has appointed Dean McKenzie as chairman. He is an experienced racing administrator whose dedication and passion to improving the industry make him the ideal choice to lead this very important work, Peters said.

He will be well-supported by Committee members Bill Birnie, Liz Dawson, Kristy McDonald and Sir Peter Vela.

“Collectively, they will identify the technical, legal, financial and process-oriented decision points for racing reform and return the industry to a well-managed and sustainable economic growth path,” Peters said.

“They will also take into account the feedback received during the public submission process.”

The Committee will provide an interim report to the Minister for Racing by the end of February 2019, to be followed by Cabinet decisions and legislation to modernise the industry.

The Committee is being created as a potential precursor to the establishment of a Racing Industry Transitional Agency (RITA), subject to future government decisions.

Fradd back to business

Robbie Fradd has returned to Queensland following a successful riding stint in Mauritius.

The well-travelled South African jockey finished third in last season’s Brisbane metropolitan premiership, despite missing two months of the term, and won the Mauritius title with 34 winners.

Robbie Fradd (centre) with Gerald Ryan (right)

“It was obviously terrific to win the title but it is back to business in Queensland,” he said.

Fradd returned to Australia on Tuesday and his services were quickly snapped up by Chris Waller.

On Saturday, he will partner Tumultuous (Fastnet Rock), Krameric (Rubick) and Dolci (Brazen Beau) for the champion trainer.

Fradd has also been booked for the Bryan and Dan Guy-trained Slydini (Magic Albert), the Matt Dunn-prepared Snitz (Snitzel), and the Scott Morrisey's Aqua Vite (Northern Meteor).

Stakes rises in Victoria

An additional A$40 million in prize money will be rolled out in the New Year in Victoria.

The extra money follows a commitment from the recently returned Victorian Labor government to support the racing industry to the tune of A$33 million.

Racing Victoria has committed to boosting the package beyond A$40 million over the next two years.

Prize money increases will be across the board, ranging from standard country TAB meetings receiving a A$2000 increase all the way to Listed and Group Three races having their minimums boosted.

With the latest increases and the introduction of the All-Star Mile, there will be $255 million in prize money on offer, an increase of $82 million, or a 47 per cent rise since 2015.

Track tipped to hold up to rain

The Mathew Ellerton and Simon Zahra-trained pair of Essence Of Terror (Reward For Effort) and Smart Coupe (Smart Missile) shouldn’t be inconvenienced by the heavy rain that fell in Melbourne on Thursday.

The stablemates will run in the Wingate Avenue Community Centre H. at Flemington and both are better suited to good ground.

“Mathew and I have had a look at the track and it's in amazing condition for such a quick turnaround from spring to now,” Zahra said.

“It looks fantastic. I don't think the amount of rain they're tipping will be a problem as Flemington is usually pretty good.”

Zahra said Essence Of Terror would appreciate the 3kg claim of Lachlan King and would strip fitter for her last start at Moonee Valley.

“The six weeks in between runs and the 60 kilos probably got her the other day and now that she's had that run, and with the claim, it's really going to help.

“She gives everything in her races and now that we keep her fresh and keep her to sprint races she's a different horse.”

Smart Coupe has performed moderately at her two most recent starts on ground rated soft.

“We've kept her fresh and she's got to get back on a dry track,” Zahra said.

Pinmedown wins Gerard over

Pam Gerard may not have been sold on Pinmedown (NZ) (Pins) when she first saw her, but time has changed her mind.

The Matamata horsewoman, who runs Ballymore Stables’ New Zealand arm for the Flemington-based Mike Moroney, now believes the 3-year-old can be competitive at stakes level following her maiden success at Hastings on Wednesday.

Pinmedown winning at Hastings

“Obviously, Mike and Paul (Moroney) buy these staying type fillies and they got her at the sales and I had a look and thought what the hell have they bought, but I have to eat my words because she’s grown into a really nice filly,” Gerard said.

“She’s got fantastic breeding and could be an Oaks filly. She can still get a bit hot and has to work it out mentally, but we’ll just place her in some races for 3-year-old fillies over Christmas and I think she can pick up something.”

Pinmedown is a three-quarter sister to the former two-time Hong Kong Horse of the Year Ambitious Dragon (NZ) and was purchased for NZ$28,000 at Karaka out of Ardsley Stud’s draft.

Stakes winners Delightful (NZ) (Omnicorp), Salamanca (NZ) (Alamosa (NZ), Needuask (NZ) (Howbaddouwantit {USA}) and Roxon (NZ) (Postponed {USA}) are also members of this family.