STEWARDS' reports for Saturday's meetings at ROSEHILL GARDENS, MOONEE VALLEY and DOOMBEN read:

 

RACING Victoria (RV) has today announced a major enhancement to the structure of its integrity services model to ensure that it remains at the forefront of integrity management in Australian sport.

With the support of the Victorian Premier and Minister for Racing, Denis Napthine, RV is introducing an independent panel to provide integrity advice to the RV Board and Integrity Services Department.

To be known as the Racing Victoria Integrity Council (RVIC), the panel will provide expert advice on integrity policies, procedures and compliance.

 

STEWARDS REPORTS from SATURDAY'S race meetings at ROSEHILL GARDENS, SANDOWN LAKESIDE and EAGLE FARM:

THE feeding frenzy by corporate betting houses on the punting pie should be stimulated by Saturday's menu at Rosehill Gardens.

MAX PRESNELL reports in the SYDNEY MORNING HERALD that perhaps the Ranvet, featuring Melbourne Cup winner Fiorente, doesn't get a current ''Championship'' rating but it lives up to a great standard established over more than a century.

In fact, the clash between Fiorente and the New Zealander It's A Dundeel promises to be a preview of the much-touted $4 million Queen Elizabeth Stakes at Royal Randwick on April 19.

Not that the Ranvet is a two-horse match, either, but just one facet of an outstanding Sydney program that should stimulate what is regarded as a $26 billion wagering market.

Reports indicate James Packer's Crown Resorts is going to move on Betfair. It already holds 50 per cent.

Horse players regard Betfair, where punters are matched to win or lay with the company taking a percentage, as the most reliable market.

However, it would seem that the Betfair overlords in Britain aren't satisfied with the profit generated by the colonial operation.

Apparently Crown is keen to get into online fixed odds, a popular flavour with the corporates, through the Betfair licence at a time when the once-major local operators Mark Read and Matthew Tripp are returning after an absence.

Advertising ploys to lure clients have never been more prevalent but punters are hopeful the return of the Aussies will allow them to get set for reasonable amounts and not cut back to the Sunday school donation category, a corporate innovation.

Maybe the Coolmore for fillies and mares on Saturday lacks the class of Appearance and Red Tracer but being a handicap has considerable betting appeal.

First markets released have Catkins early favourite with $5 the best price offered.

Wise guys figure the first prices are only berley so bookmakers can get a strong indication of educated money for petty cash.

Catkins has drawn 14 and the navigation for the right position by Hugh Bowman should prove decisive, but she does have tactical speed, an advantage over rival Sharnee Rose.

With scope for improvement, Sharnee Rose was beaten two lengths by Catkins in the Wiggle Stakes over 1400 metres at Warwick Farm on March 8, and meets her on better terms.

Some figure clever manipulation by Chris Waller, trainer of Catkins, has swung the balance in her favour.

''Every man and his dog knew Chris Waller wasn't going to run Red Tracer, yet the nomination achieved its objective of compressing the weights. The people making the rules need to be smarter than to let this happen,'' ''Mr Chan'' opined on Racenet.

Rival trainers reckon Catkins got in a kilo light and when a mare is on 58kg it could prove significant. Anyway, that's how I'm going to bet.

Gai Waterhouse is tipping improvement from her three-year-old Sweet Idea.

''The filly didn't like Warwick Farm,'' she said of the last-start failure. ''Does anybody?''

Another highlight will be the two-year-old events, particularly the Reisling, with the clash of Earthquake and Mossfun, promising to produce the winner of the upcoming $3.5 million Golden Slipper.

Of course Unencumbered, which opened at $3.50 in the Todman, will be out to make up for his drab effort recently. He meets the talented Melbourne pair Jabali and Cornrow, from the Mick Price stable.

Many two-year-olds from down south have found Sydney difficult at their first attempt but Price gave them both barrier trials at Randwick on Monday.

Jabali in particular was impressive winning over 727m, obviously not a demanding assignment but The Midweeker, a specialist barrier trial publication, reported: ''Best away, steadied to share lead wide. Scored without being allowed full rein.''

Still the Ranvet is the main event with the dash of It's A Dundeel against the strength and staying power of Fiorente.

Ironically Melbourne Cup winners such as Fiorente have a reasonable record in the 2000m weight-for-age event, in which sprinters are suited, with seven winning both.

In Damien Oliver, Fiorente has the services of a champion, while James McDonald on It's A Dundeel is at the budding stage but has the rare gift - horses run for him.

Vital tempo should be applied by Carlton House, which like Fiorente is another import rejuvenated by Waterhouse.

Still the Waller contingent - Foreteller, winner of the corresponding race last year, Hawkspur and Moriarty - cannot be overlooked.

McDonald wasn't outgunned by opposition pressure in the Chipping Norton at Warwick Farm last start when It's A Dundeel went down to Waller's Boban. It's A Dundeel lacked a fitness edge.

Sure, the New Zealander has more acceleration than Fiorente, which never wins easy but enjoys the fray. I'd rather be with him than against him.

RACING Victoria (RV) has today released its 2014-15 racing calendar which will feature 555 race meetings across the state from 1 August to 31 July.

The announcement comes as RV takes the first steps to review and restructure its racing calendar as earmarked in the industry’s recently released strategic plan, Racing For The Future.

TOUGH economic times have been blamed for the collapse of the Living The Dream racing club, which was linked to star trainer Gai Waterhouse.

MATT STEWART reports in the HERALD SUN that Chairman Martin O’Connor confirmed yesterday that the club, which had hoped to attract 5000 members, had folded.

The club attracted just 1000 members, who paid $3750 for a four-year membership.

THE Caulfield Cup prize money purse will be raised to $3 million and a second $1 million three-year-old race installed within October’s Caulfield Cup Carnival as part of a raft of developments announced by the Melbourne Racing Club today.

The enhancements form a key plank of a broader strategy by the club, incorporating investments in its core product of racing and returns to participants, as well as capital projects to benefit its members.

The purse increase is one of several modifications to the Caulfield Cup, which includes an extension of prize money payment from eighth to tenth position, an increased, independent focus on recruitment, and a change to balloting conditions, designed to further elevate the status of the race considered one of Australia’s four “grand slam” contests.

 

AN ILLEGAL offshore betting agency last year linked to the Melbourne underworld is being closely monitored by Racing NSW and the federal government, through the Treasury.

CHRISTIAN NICOLUSSI reports that the Daily Telegraph has learned BetJack, a Vanuatu-based bookmaking business, has come under the spotlight along with two other operators in the tiny Pacific nation.

Several high-profile punters in Australia remain out of pocket, including one who deposited $50,000, got his account up to $200,000, only to be handed back his original $50,000 outlay and told "we're all square''. It is illegal for offshore bookmakers to operate on Australian races because they do not pay any turnover tax.

RACING Victoria chief steward Terry Bailey will next month urge integrity officers from around Australia to amend the controversial disqualification rule after a jockey weighs in light.

PATRICK BARTLEY reports in THE AGE that last Thursday, Daniel Moor weighed in half-a-kilogram light after winning on Zuhayr in the opening race at Seymour.

Zuhayr, the $4.80 third favourite, was disqualified and Moor was fined $2500. He is yet to decide whether to appeal.

But Bailey believes that the rule should be amended to exclude winners. He also maintains that a horse who wins a race but whose jockey weighs in light should be deemed a non-starter.

A new definition of track ratings has been released today by the Australian Racing Board (ARB) for input and comment by punters and stakeholders.

In releasing the draft track ratings, ARB CEO Peter McGauran said that an ARB Working Party of officials from Racing NSW, Racing Victoria and Racing Queensland aimed to update and modernize track ratings to meet the expectations of punters and industry participants. 

“The object of the exercise was to modernise the terms applying to track ratings for the benefit of punters and the next generation of punters and racegoers whilst describing in detail the footing of the track.” Mr McGauran said.

 

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