CAMPERDOWN Turf Club will be forced to partly pay for training facilities at its racecourse after Racing Victoria decided to slash $82,000 in funding from the club.
The decision has some trainers, including veteran Geoff Daffy, up in arms as the vital training track funding will cease next Thursday.
Daffy, who has trained hundreds of winners from Camperdown over more than 40 years, told The Standard yesterday he was unsure what the future holds for him as a trainer.
“It’s probably fair to say my training career is at the crossroads,” he said.
“I’ll be having a chat with my assistant trainer Neville Wilson over the next few days as to what the future holds for us.
“Racing Victoria expects Camperdown’s trainers to stay competitive in a very tough environment but we are working with blunt tools.
“They’re expecting a 71-year-old trainer who is in declining health to harrow the training track after his horse has worked on it.
“The training track funding cut will not help the club to entice any new young trainers to the facility.”
The Standard believes the Colac Turf Club will receive $150,000 in training track funding for the 2014-15 season, while the Terang and District Racing Club gets $45,000 in the new racing season, which begins on August 1.
Racing Victoria CEO Bernard Saundry confirmed Camperdown’s training track funding would cease next Thursday.
“We’ve made the decision that Camperdown will not receive training track funding for the 2014-15 racing season,” Saundry said.
“We will be talking to all the country clubs about our training track funding model going forward over the next few weeks. We will address the Western District clubs on this matter at a forum at Terang next Thursday.
“It’s fair to say there have been some issues about our training track funding across Victoria but we hope to have a new model released within the next five months.”
Camperdown Turf Club manager Karen Van Kempen said it was disappointing that the funding had been cut but the club was doing its best to ensure facilities were still viable and safe for trainers and horses.
“We put in three submissions to Racing Victoria regarding training track funding and each was rejected,” Van Kempen said.
“We’re trying to work things out that the club will pay for the track to be open from October to May as there are jump-outs, hurdle trials.
“Camperdown gets a lot of use before the Warrnambool May carnival as the Warrnambool course is closed leading up to its three-day event.
“For the winter months it looks like it will be up to the trainers to maintain the facilities. The club has had a few meetings with trainers over the past few months about the matter.
“The club will be paying for the trainers to get their first-aid certificates as part of the track watch supervision program.”
Camperdown hosts one race meeting a year. Its 2015 cup fixture is set down for Saturday, January 17.