New Racing Victoria board to be announced soon

CHANGES: Racing Minister Martin Pakula is expected to announce the state's new independent board in the next two weeks. Picture: Rob Gunstone
CHANGES: Racing Minister Martin Pakula is expected to announce the state's new independent board in the next two weeks. Picture: Rob Gunstone

SYMON Wilde is only weeks away from having runners from his new satellite stable at Ballarat hit the track.

Wilde, who took over the Ballarat stables earlier this year has been busy putting structures in place to ensure there is a smooth transition before the busy spring and summer racing season kicks off.

“We’ve got things basically worked out,” he said.

“It’s an exciting time for the stable. Our Warrnambool foreman William Morrissey will be moving up to Ballarat in two weeks to oversee the operation.

“The stable is focused on having plenty of runners over the spring and summer from Ballarat.  One of our main aims will be the night races at Moonee Valley, and Cranbourne having the Ballarat stable will save travelling time from those meetings instead of coming back to Warrnambool late at night.”

Wilde, who has come off a record breaking 2016-17 season for his stable, said the Ballarat stable’s facilities are excellent.

“We’ve got the best of both worlds, having stables at Ballarat and Warrnambool,” he said. “Both facilities have their advantages. It’s only a couple of hours between Ballarat and Warrnambool, so we can easily swap horses between both stables to keep them fresh.”

Meanwhile, Wilde’s first season jumper Kuridala, with stable jockey Shane Jackson in the saddle, scored a long head victory over Silent Interest in a maiden hurdle at Casterton.

“I think Kuridala has a bright future over the jumps,” he said.

“He’s a type of jumper who can stay. We’ll give him a run in the restricted hurdle at Coleraine in a fortnight to finish off his campaign. I’m quietly confident he’ll come back a better jumps horse next season.”

Kuridala picked up $15,000 for his win.


RACING Victoria’s new, independent board will be announced within a fortnight.

Victorian Racing Minister Martin Pakula introduced legislation earlier this year to amend the Racing Act, to have an independent board to oversee racing in the state.

The change is to ensure directors are selected to deliver a board which is independent, diverse and where conflict of interest is minimised and appropriately managed.

The Standard understands the advisory panel has  finished all their interviews regarding the new board members, and probity reports should be forwarded to the Racing Minister by next week before an announcement is made.

Eight people will make up the new entity, compared to 10 on the old board. It’s believed a minimum of three members from the old board will be on the new body.


WARRNAMBOOL-BASED jumps jockey Braidon Small was in the wars with stewards after his losing ride on top-weight Dormello Mo in the Moredun Steeplechase at Casterton on Sunday.

Small pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge.

The charge related to an incident near the 150-metre mark, where Small failed to leave sufficient racing room to his inside for Surging Wave which was racing on his inside.

The interference resulted in Surging Wave being significantly tightened onto the running and losing his rightful racing position.

Small was suspended for five highweight-jumps races. Stewards deemed the incident to be in the high range. His suspension started at midnight on September 10 and he will be a available to resume September 25.

Stewards also fined Small $200 for using a profanity after crossing the finishing line on Dormello Mo.

Versatile jockey Aaron Lynch also felt the wrath of the stewards, outed on a careless riding charge after his ride on Red Crown in a maiden flat race. He’s on the sidelines from midnight September 12 until September 21.


TOP jumps trainer Eric Musgrove holds no ambitious plans for maiden hurdle winner Tangara at Casterton on Sunday.

Tangara, having his 12th jumps start, defeated Silent Interest and Babbage in a maiden hurdle over 3480 metres.

Musgrove played down the win of the eight-year-old.

“Tangara was pretty fit,” the respected horseman said. “I think he benefited from two hurdle starts at Morphettville and one at Ballarat over the past few weeks.

“His win today was over 3480 metres, but I’ve got a doubt if he is a strong stayer. I think his best distance may be in races over 3200 metres.”

Musgrove said Tangara may run in a restricted hurdle race at the last jumps meeting for the season at Coleraine  on September 24.

Casterton Racing Club got the thumbs up from Musgrove for running two divisions of the maiden hurdle.

“The club got strong nominations for the maiden hurdle so they decided to divide the race,” he said.

“It was a positive move by the club.

“The move allows horses to go through the lower grades quickly. Jumps racing has had a top season.

“We’ve had good numbers going through the ranks and I believe there will be even more jumpers next season.”

Musgrove finished the day on a good note, winning a restricted flat race with Solas.


JOCKEY Jake Bayliss pleaded guilty to a careless riding charge following his ride on Princess Titanic at Kilmore on Saturday.

Princess Titanic ran third in a maiden over 1600 metres.

Stewards suspended Bayliss from midnight September 9 to September 20.