RACING Victoria will review prizemoney for Warrnambool's May Racing Carnival, but chief executive Giles Thompson has tempered suggestions there will be massive stake increases for the three-day event in the near future.
Thompson, who was trackside at last week's carnival, said he was surprised with the criticism from some quarters regarding the prizemoney.
"The comments may have been short sighted," Thompson said.
"We've lifted the prizemoney for the Warrnambool Carnival 40 per cent over the last three years.
"We had $2.3 million in prizemoney on offer over the three days. This year's cup went up $50,000, while the Wangoom was up $25,000.
"I would say other states in Australia and other racing jurisdictions across the world would be envious of such prizemoney for a country carnival.
"We will review all prizemoney levels for Victoria racing as part of our process, but I can't say they will be any big increases for Warrnambool.
"There's no disputing the carnival is a magnificent event on the racing calendar, not only for racing in this state but for racing across Australia. I think one of the main strengths is how the people of Warrnambool and the south-west embrace the carnival."
The 2020 Warrnambool May Carnival will be run on May 5, 6 and 7.
NEW Zealand trainer John Wheeler, the forgotten man of jumps racing, is preparing to burst back onto the circuit next year as powerbrokers look at stabilising their grip on jumping carnivals like Warrnambool.
Ciaron Maher, who trains in partnership with David Eustace, and Patrick Payne have trained eight of the last 10 Warrnambool Grand Annual Steeplechase winners between them, and they will source the best jumping talent from Australia, New Zealand and abroad in a bid to win more Grand Annuals.
Wheeler said he has a new group of horses in his stable and was looking forward to the next jumping season with confidence.
"I've been quiet for the last few years," he said.
"I've missed having runners at the jumps carnivals like Warrnambool, but I've got some young horses in the stable.
"I'm looking forward to them, with a bit of luck, having success over here."
Banna Strand was Wheeler's fifth winner in the Grand Annual in 2013. His other winners are Foxboy, The Sundance Kid, Frankoo Verymuch and Real Tonic.
Payne joined Maher-Eustace on four winners with the win of Zed Em in the famous jumping race last week.
Maher's last winner of the race was Regina Coeli in 2017. "The Grand Annual is such a special race," he said. "We'll be trying to set a few horses for next year's race."
RACING returns to Mount Gambier this Friday after a $3.3 million redevelopment of the track.
The upgrade provides a new racing surface incorporating improved drainage and irrigation, which will enable the club to race across a larger part of the year.
Friday's feature race is the Mount Gambier Gold Cup, while a hurdle and steeplechase race are also on the nine-race program.
TOP mares Srikandi and Aloisia, formerly trained by Ciaron Maher, were sold at the Chairman's Sale in Sydney on Friday.
Coolmore parted with $2 million for Srikandi, while Aloisia was sold to Nick Wakim for $1.2 million.
A tried and true formula for punters looking to find an upcoming winner is to follow the form from the Warrnambool Carnival.
For years, the form line from Warrnambool has proven a great guide for future winners, and going by the performances of many horses last week, that will be the same this year.
ONE of the eye-catching runs at last week's Warrnambool Carnival was put in by the Quinton Scott-trained Nicajon.
Having only his second start, Nicajon finished strongly in a maiden over 1200 metres to run second to Make It Count.
Scott predicted a bright future for Nicajon, but added the four-year-old has a lot of maturing to do before punters get carried away with the son of Clangalang.
JOCKEYS Jordan Childs and Harry Coffey were outed by stewards on careless riding charges at Warrnambool last Thursday.
Childs was suspended after his ride on Whosyourhousemate. His suspension started at midnight on May 4 and ends midnight May 10.
Coffey was outed for the same period after his ride on Little Hot Missile.
LOOKING back at last week's Warrnambool Carnival, one has to admire the feats of Irish-born jockey John Allen in feature races over the three days.
The popular jockey, who mixes flat riding with over the jumps, has ridden the last two Warrnambool Cups.
His winners are Gallic Chieftain and Furrion.
The Ballarat-based hoop has also ridden two Grand Annual winners in the last five years. When you add his Galleywood Hurdle on Big Blue last week, his record is very impressive.
Allen has joined top jockeys Craig Durden and Brad McLean on four winners in the Galleywood.
Durden was successful on Moon Chase, Kymoray, Tahbob and Bello Signor, while McLean's winners are Virvacity, Some Are Bent (2007), Black And Bent (2010) and Zendi (2011).