The Race documentary: Meeting date clash over The Everest

Victorian racing officials’ fury at the ongoing success of the spring racing carnival in NSW has resulted in a fresh attempt to undermine The TAB Everest.

It comes after Racing NSW launched legal proceedings against Racing Victoria over a plot to form a breakaway national racing body that excluded NSW.

A meeting of state and territory racing ministers has been convened with the Victorians suggesting they all meet in Melbourne on the day the richest race on turf runs in Sydney.

“We told them to get f**ked,” an outraged NSW government source told The Daily Telegraph. “Who do they think they are?”

The Victorian suggestion would have taken the nation’s political racing chiefs to Melbourne on Caulfield Guineas Day while the $20 million TAB Everest runs in front of 50,000 people at Royal Randwick.

“They also wanted us to be there the night before, which is when the greyhound Racing NSW’s Million Dollar Chase runs at Wentworth Park,” the source said.

“We have two of the richest races in the world running in NSW, who on earth would anyone want to be in Melbourne?”

A spokesman for NSW Racing Minister David Harris declined to comment beyond confirming that the racing minister’s meeting is now scheduled to be held remotely on Friday, October 13.

A Victorian government spokeswoman said the meeting was being held “to discuss a range of issues affecting the racing industry” but ducked answering questions on the attempt to undercut The Everest.

“The meeting has been scheduled to accommodate the diaries of racing ministers across Australia and New Zealand, many of whom have extensive commitments outside of their racing portfolios,” she said.

The latest snub comes after Racing NSW won preliminary discovery of documents in its anti-competitive behaviour case against Racing Victoria.

Racing NSW chairman Russell Balding said the legal action was launched after leaked emails revealed a team of spin doctors had been hired to help form the breakaway racing body and recruit its CEO.

“It‘s necessary to expose the covert actions by the other principal racing authorities to actually establish a breakaway national racing entity and to exclude Racing NSW from that entity, which I just find quite appalling,” he said.

Mr Balding said the anti-competitive behaviour began when Racing Victoria used its power of veto to stop The TAB Everest from receiving top rank Group One status.

“It’s embarrassing to Australia that it’s not being afforded group one status,” he said. “It attracts the highest rating horses in the world.”

Mr Balding said The Everest had increased betting turnover right across Australia and raised the profile of racing internationally.

“I don’t know why (Racing Victoria) is nervous about it,” Mr Balding said.

“But I think it‘s appalling that you can take such action to exclude racing NSW from a national entity.”

Racing Victoria chief executive Andrew Jones has “politely declined” to talk to The Daily Telegraph during the making of The Race, a six part documentary on The TAB Everest.

Originally published as Victoria’s bitter move against NSW exposed

Read related topics:Melbourne

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