It’s been another month of great racing with Kouta Mayhem winning his first Group title at the Healesville Cup on 9 September while at Sandown Park on 16 September, Poke The Bear claimed Speed Star VII with a fantastic run while Tornado Tears and Rippin’ Sam defended their 595m and 715m with new personal best times.
In developments at GRV, Marika McMahon was appointed to our Board on 11 September, replacing Jacqueline Billings who has stepped down to take up an appointment as a Magistrate. Ms McMahon is a director of Bendigo legal firm, O’Farrell Robertson McMahon, where she has been a partner for almost two decades and chairs Be.Bendigo, an organisation that works to bring industry together with community and government. She is also a director of Coliban Water and a member of the Bendigo Jockey Club and her legal skills, regional background and interest in racing makes her an important addition to the GRV Board.
On the integrity front, amendments to the Racing Act passed through Parliament last month, establishing a professional, tri-code approach to integrity and enforcement. While each code retains responsibility for making their own rules of racing and licensing, integrity and compliance functions, a new independent body, the Victorian Racing Integrity Board (VRIB), will oversee the delivery of integrity functions by the controlling bodies, ensuring the highest standards are applied. The amended Racing Act also establishes an independent tri-code Victorian Racing Tribunal (VRT) to replace the separate disciplinary boards, including the RAD Board. Having a single tribunal will promote consistent decision making, particularly in relation to penalties, across the codes. There will be no right of appeal to VCAT from rulings of the VRT and any appeals on questions of law will be heard by the Supreme Court. The amendments also clarify the powers of the Racing Integrity Commissioner (RIC) in conducting an inquiry or investigation – extending those powers to cover persons who are no longer registered but were at the time of the conduct under investigation and to order people to appear, produce documents and other materials and answer questions.
Over the last two years or so, significant efforts have been made to reduce racing injuries but it is clear that more work is required. GRV has just released an analysis of racing injury data for 2017-18 to each club for their consideration. GRV is seeking a response from each club in relation to suggestions and initiatives to improve the racing safety. At the same time, Professor David Eager has just completed a major review of the Cranbourne track following on from his recent work to redevelop Horsham. GRV has also engaged with four independent experts to review GRV’s overall racing injury action program. The results of the review are currently under consideration by GRV.
In other news I am pleased to announce that the Ballarat Greyhound Racing Club has appointed Brett Jones as Interim Manager. Brett, who was born and raised in Ballarat, has held senior executive roles in major companies, leading business transformation and growth initiatives. His significant experience in successfully working with Boards and Committees will be important for putting in place an appropriate governance framework and processes, planning with clear objectives, establishing a transparent recruitment process for a new permanent club manager and managing the transition to new Club Rule changes.
Looking ahead, GAP is hosting another Adoption Day on 6 October at Sandown Park and, on the track, we have the Great Chase Grand Final at The Meadows on 24 October and the Geelong Cup on 26 October, which is always a well-contested race. And then on 27 October The Meadows will once again host the Topgun and Topgun Stayers, a great showcase for Australia’s best sprinters and stayers and I look forward to seeing you at all these meetings.