2018 TAB Inter Dominion
From my conversations with many participants, breeders, owners, club officials and HRV employees I know that there’s a strong sense of pride associated with the 2018 TAB Inter Dominion (ID18). And so there should be.
It proved to be an amazing series with widespread media coverage and interest from people who had long ago drifted away from the trots. The traditional three heats and a final format and reintroduction of the trotters Inter Dominion proved important ingredients in ID18’s success.
There were many highlights, including the Tuesday night heats that featured the introduction of Mediatec’s tracking camera on the inside track, which enhanced the dedicated Sky2 coverage to give unprecedented trots vision.
Events associated with ID18, such as the barrier draw at Federation Square, were well attended and — with assistance from media partners Sky and RSN — contributed to strong promotion of the series. We enjoyed daily coverage in the Herald Sun, with rich behind-the-scenes stories being shared with the public.
We were somewhat fortunate with the weather come the finals, which created a beautiful night at the trots. The big crowd enjoyed some fantastic races and, for those that couldn’t make it on the night, the Crocmedia production and 7TWO coverage with Hamish McLachlan, Adam Hamilton, Michael Guerin, Jason Bonnington, Brittany Graham and Josh Jenkins showcased our sport. I managed to set aside some time to watch it over the Christmas break and would encourage you to do the same if you haven’t already.
There are far too many of you to list here, but I want to sincerely thank everyone who contributed to making ID18 a success. All the hard work paid off and we now look forward to sharing our experience to assist the Auckland Trotting Club with hosting the pinnacle of our sport, the Inter Dominion, in 2019.
Mobiles and timing truck
As mentioned in the last edition, with support from the State Government, HRV is building a new timing truck. Unfortunately, our two existing timing trucks have recently been inoperable due to a major mechanical fault with one, while the other suffered significant damage in a traffic accident while stationary at an intersection.
National Handicapping System
Consultation forums will shortly be held to explain the proposed National Handicapping System, which is intended to provide a more even playing field for participants.
Summer of Glory and Country Cups
The return of warm summer nights means that it is time once again for the TAB Summer of Glory, with some exciting racing including the Woodlands Victoria Derby and Great Southern Star, followed by the Del-Re National A. G. Hunter Cup.
The Country Cup racing continues with more prizemoney at stake for every pacing and trotting cup.
Good luck to everyone with a horse involved.
It was pleasing to see recognition for Victorian media representatives who recently received Harness Racing Australia media awards.
Congratulations to our Trots Media team members photographer Stuart McCormick for his amazing 'How much it means' photo (below) of Kima Frenning depicting the passion associated with winning a major race in Victoria, Michael Howard for his TC and Emilia HRV HERO video, which beautifully told the story of a young girl and her love for a retired standardbred, and Luke Humphreys for his coverage of the 2018 Elitloppet on thetrots.com.au.
The other Joseph Coulter Media Award was a joint award between radio station RSN and HRV for the outside broadcast coverage from last year’s Summer of Glory Breakfast of Champions event at Tabcorp Park Melton.
Prizemoney increase on Jan 1 2019
Last, but certainly not least, on January 1 2019 prizemoney increased as a result of a State Government funding injection of $3 million per annum for two years.
All Restricted class races increased to $4500, the minimum Career penalty race lifted to $7000 (thereby eliminating a major participant gripe associated with losing a penalty for a $5000 race), Metropolitan races were increased to $20,000, the Victoria Cup raised to $250,000 and total prizemoney for Country Cups lifted by $222,500.
These increases have been warmly welcomed by participants, who have stuck with the industry through some tough times over the last few years.