TAB Spring Racing Carnival wagering turnover up 5.9%

Australia’s wagering market leader, Tabcorp Holdings Limited, today released 2012 Spring Racing Carnival turnover figures.

Racing Victoria’s official Spring Racing Carnival period commenced with the Underwood Stakes meeting at Caulfield on Saturday 22 September and concluded with the Ballarat Cup meeting on Sunday 25 November.

Total NSW and Victorian TAB totalisator and fixed odds turnover on all thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing across the 65 day period was $2.103 billion, up 5.9% on the prior corresponding period. The figure does not include turnover from Tabcorp’s Luxbet, fixed odds sport and Trackside products. Spring Racing Carnival wagering in 2012 was supported by favourable scheduling, with Flemington’s Turnbull Stakes meeting run on the traditional Saturday (it was held on a Sunday in 2011) and the introduction of a Cox Plate eve meeting at Moonee Valley.

“Tabcorp’s positive Spring Racing Carnival commercial and operational performance shows that our investments in products, customer service and technology are being well received. The racing industry staged quality racing and our customers responded,” said Tabcorp Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, David Attenborough.

“As well as growth on each of the feature Spring Racing Carnival days, we experienced very good turnover growth across the standard weekday racing product, which was up 7.5% on the prior corresponding period.

“Tabcorp offers customers access to a full range of fixed odds and totalisator products across retail, online, telephone and mobile channels. This multi-channel, multi-product strategy plays to our strengths.

“Tabcorp’s successful delivery of Spring Racing Carnival wagering also reflects well on our partnerships with the racing industry and our venue and business partners.”

The 2012 Spring Racing Carnival was the first operated under the new Victorian Wagering and Betting Licence and Tabcorp’s new Joint Venture with the Victorian Racing Industry.

“The 2012 Spring Racing Carnival delivered exceptional racing with many highlights and standout performances across both our iconic metropolitan meetings and popular country cup programs,” Racing Victoria CEO, Rob Hines, said.

“It is pleasing to see that TAB punters embraced the high quality racing on offer, with the buoyant turnover matched by strong attendance figures across the 65 days of the Carnival.

“The upcoming Christmas period provides a great selection of racing events for the punting public to enjoy, particularly throughout country Victoria, and we look forward to welcoming the sport’s biggest names back to the track early in the new year for the Melbourne Festival of Racing.”

As always, Emirates Melbourne Cup day was the premier day of the Spring Racing Carnival for Tabcorp. In 2012, it was highlighted by the following metrics:

· Total day NSW and Victorian TAB turnover was $183.38 million.
· More than 207,000 customers placed a bet through a NSW/Victorian TAB account on Melbourne Cup day.
· The shift to mobile wagering continued, with 38% of Tabcorp’s digital sales on Melbourne Cup day conducted via a mobile device.
· Tabcorp’s racing broadcaster, Sky Racing, reached 773,337 home viewers during Melbourne Cup week, according to the OzTam PayTV ratings.

The 2012 Spring Racing Carnival was also the first following the launch of the new TAB brand. TAB is Australia’s most recognised and trusted wagering brand. TAB was the major partner of the Spring Racing Carnival and the TAB International Horse Centre, as well as the Victoria Racing Club’s wagering partner.

Mr Attenborough said Tabcorp has a clear strategy to maintain wagering leadership in its chosen markets, across both digital and retail channels.

“We are focused on maintaining these positive turnover trends as we head into another busy schedule of major racing events,” Mr Attenborough said.

“These include next month’s Victoria Cup, the Inter Dominion Championship, the Australian Cup for the greyhounds and the 2013 Sydney Carnival featuring racing at the redeveloped Royal Randwick.”

Tabcorp improved its share of the Australian wagering market in FY12 to an estimated 43.9%, growing turnover in the racing and sports markets, despite the highly competitive environment.

Mr Moet Salutes For Masterful Durrant

An incredible training performance from Adam Durrant saw the supposed Perth Cup-bound Mr Moet take out the Group I Carlton Draught Railway Stakes at Ascot on Saturday.

First-up since winning over 2000m at Belmont Park on July 7, Durrant was one of few confident about the five-year-old’s chances with betting agencies marking him a $101 shot following Tuesday’s barrier draw.

Durrant talked-up Mr Moet’s claims after stable-mate Chester Road’s win in race four and punters reacted, sending his price spiralling right into $21 by jump time.

The astute trainer’s statement that Mr Moet was travelling far better than Chester Road, who triumphed in race 4, was enough to make punters take notice.

Jockey Daniel Staeck settled the Mosayter gelding midfield in running before gaining a saloon run into the straight behind Playing God.

The dogged galloper kicked-in for the fight and held off favourite and top-weight Luckygray, who rattled home from last in what was another exceptional performance.

Stable foreman and close-friend Jason Miller celebrated with Durrant and connections post-race, turning the mounting yard into a scene of jubilation.

“I said to Adam before, ‘I don’t think there is much between Chester Road and Mr Moet’, and Adam replied with,’ yes there is,’ and he was right,” Miller said.

“The horse has been really, really well, his work and everything has just been spot on.”

Miller was also full of praise for Staeck, who had replaced Peter Hall on Mr Moet after Hall was unable to make the weight.

“Dan’s in the top few riders in WA, that’s for sure,” he said.

Staeck was full of praise for the horse post-race.

“It was pretty easy without being too cocky, all I had to do what put him in the right position and he did the rest,” Staeck said.

Mr Moet, who had competed in two barrier trials prior to resuming today, took his earnings to $935,000 with what was the 11th win of his career.

Under 58kgs Luckygray was massive in defeat, coming from last at the home turn and fleetingly looking set for victory as he roared home.

Rosie Rocket was also impressive, running into third after racing three-wide throughout.

Playing God and God Has Spoken both finished close-up, while longshot Zester flew home for sixth.

The Gai Waterhouse-trained Fat Al weakened after leading to finish 12th.


Academus Clings On In Thrilling Guineas

The worldwide Darley Empire rocked Ascot racecourse on Super Saturday when the well-travelled Academus hung on to score the narrowest of victories in the WA Guineas (1600m).

Ridden expertly by champion Sydney jockey Kerrin McEvoy, Academus sat third in the clear as outsiders El Rijes and Hussy By Choice set at cutthroat speed up-front.

The leaders weakened turning for home and McEvoy shot Academus clear, seemingly to an almost unassailable lead at the 150m.

However the well-travelled Academus began to paddle over the final 100m as Bippo No Bungus and Darlington Abbey began eating up the ground down the centre of the track.

In what was a desperately tight finish, Academus prevailed by a short half head to Bippo No Bungus with Darlington Abbey a close-up third.

The Lonhro gelding, who has raced previously in Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria, took his earnings to $379,000 from nine career starts.

Peter’s son and stable foreman Paul Snowden admitted to being very relieved post-race.

“He did a great job to hold after being left as a bit of a sitting duck so to speak” Snowden said.

“We were waiting for something to come and get us, but he was too good.

“We were confident pre-race, but not so much over the final stages.”

Snowden stated the stable expected a strong showing today after an ideal preparation.

“He was a picture of health and had travelled over great,” Snowden said.

The win came as a welcome change of luck for the Snowden’s after they were forced to send brilliant sprinter Mental to Darley’s overseas deportment earlier this month.

Bippo No Bungus, second to Fuddle Dee Duddle in last Saturday’s Champion Fillies Stakes, has now been runner-up at massive odds in consecutive weeks and looks due a black-type success.

Darlington Abbey, last at the home turn, ran a race-fastest final 600m in what was a sensational performance.

Champion Fillies’ victor Fuddle Dee Duddle and Karrakatta Plate winner Luke’s Luck both ran on well to finish just behind the placings, while Antique Belle had no luck once again.


Barakey books Melbourne trip

Unbeaten Western Australian sprinter Barakey took his perfect record to eleven wins from eleven starts winning the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m) at Ascot booking a trip to Melbourne for the feature autumn sprints in the process.

Speaking after the victory trainer Jim Taylor said Barakey would likely now be set for races like the Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap in the autumn.

“In the autumn we’ll probably now go to Melbourne,” Taylor said.

“He’ll come into races like the Oakleigh Plate and Newmarket Handicap near the minimum so you’d think he’d be a good competitive chance.

Asked if he went into the race with the weight of the world on his shoulders to keep the horse’s unbeaten record intact, Taylor said he now understands how Peter Moody feels.

“I understand how Peter Moody feels now with Black Caviar going for 22, I might have to take up smoking!”

Sent out the $2.70 favourite, Barakey began well from the outside barrier for jockey Jason Brown and after initially racing outside of the leader Travinator, Brown settled the son of Key Business in the leaders slipstream.

Despite Brown having to shake up Barakey on the turn to keep up with the leader, as soon as they entered the home straight it was clear he had the better of Travinator with Queenslander Spirit Of Boom angling into the clear off his heels.

Though he tired late, Barakey had just enough in the tank to hold a half length margin from both the fast finishing local mare Power Princess who just grabbed second position in a photo finish from Spirit of Boom.

In the other feature on the Super Saturday Ascot card the Group 1 Railway Stakes (1600m), the Adam Durrant-trained Mr Moet ($21) caused a massive boilover scoring a first up victory over the gallant top-weight Luckygray ($3.80F) with Rosie Rocket ($20) in third.

Though the effort to win the Railway first up from a spell shouldn’t be undersold, the clear run of the race came from the runner-up who lost his position mid-race and had to circle the field from a clear last giving the winner 5 kilos.

Wall Street fared the best of the Victorian trained gallopers finishing in a photo for seventh position while triple Group 1 winning mare Yosei was never in the hunt after missing the start running a well-beaten twelfth.

Story by Ben Asgari


Oliver’s Words After Suspension for 10 Months

The Victoria Jockeys Association has distributed the following words from Damien Oliver after he was today suspended for a total of 10 months by RVL Stewards.

“Today, I appeared before a Racing Victoria stewards’ hearing into two serious charges of betting on a horse and making a phone call from the jockeys’ room.

I have made a full statement to the stewards.

It was a spur of the moment decision that I will regret for the rest of my career and beyond. There were many personal issues going on in my life at that time.

However, there are no excuses for the fact that I breached the trust of many people in the industry and I broke a fundamental rule of racing.

I started riding horses in 1988 when I was 15 years old. This industry, while tough and hard, has been extremely good to me.

People must not assume that my misdeed and lack of judgement on that day in 2010 reflects on jockeys or the industry broadly. I ask my fellow jockeys, for whom I have the greatest respect, to forgive my actions.

As for the last few weeks, I have participated honestly and with respect to the processes of Racing Victoria. I have been afforded due process and have put my position and explanations to the stewards.

I want people to know that, while I have admitted to this serious breach and can offer no excuses, I have never ever, in my 24 years of racing, not tried my hardest to win when I am on the back of a horse.

I look forward to continuing my career in racing in the future. I know that I will need to work hard to restore people’s trust in me, but if given the opportunity I believe I have a lot to offer and to give back to the industry.

I will not be making any other statement regarding this issue.”