Kerr responds to track criticism

POSTED ON  |  04-01-2019

Turf track
Debate has raged over the past couple of weeks surrounding whether Victorian tracks are being prepared too firmly, leading to a horse welfare concern. Racing Victoria has confirmed it is reviewing its current track guidance policy. Racing.com's Kate Watts spoke to one of the main people at the coalface of this discussion Jason Kerr, who is one of Australia’s leading track curators and is the Melbourne Racing Club's General Manger of Racecourses.

KW: Jason, there’s been a lot of talk about the firmness of the tracks in Melbourne and also wider out across Victoria, with RV’s current review potentially leading to a change in policy. What’s your opinion regarding the discussion surround the firmness of Victoria’s racetracks?

JK: It’s certainly been an issue that’s been bubbling away for a few years now. I think it’s time, it’s come to that point where I think they’re going to look at some change.

We’re sort of stuck in the middle the track managers, we get given a policy to prepare that, and then obviously there’s half the industry happy with it and the other half would like some change. We can prepare tracks to whatever, but I certainly think we need some clarity about what the majority of the industry wants and what’s best for the industry more importantly. So I think if we can get that we can get on with it. If it means more give in the tracks that’s certainly doable, but we just need some clarity around what the industry wants and what’s best.

Do you think many track managers would be supportive of a policy change?

I think so, I think for a lot of the country guys there’s a lot of uncertainty around, because you prepare the track as to the policy and you think you’ve done exactly as required and you obviously get some sorts of criticism around that, and you know I can understand that with the horse welfare issues obviously being number one, but it certainly makes it frustrating. I think a lot of the country guys probably haven’t got as much experience and it can be a bit baffling to them sometimes, so I think as soon as they can get some clarity and everyone can know what’s coming and then we get on with it.

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