News Article

Numbers the key to bright future

24 / 05 / 2010 Article by: Editor
Radha Rani wins the Elwick Stakes - she is one of the star two-year-olds produced this season
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THE health of the thoroughbred racing industry is often measured by the number of two-year-olds presented during a season so if that is the yardstick for Tasmanian racing then the future looks bright.

Last Thursday night’s meeting in Launceston produced a good guide to the strength of juvenile racing and investment in the premier code.

The $50,000 Sires Produce Stakes was the main feature on the nine-event card and it not only boasted a full field of 12 but also catered for one emergency, something missing from previous editions of the race.

Of the 12 final acceptors, half graduated from the Tasmanian Magic Millions Yearling Sale and one other was bred in the state but not offered at the sale.

Also on the program was a $13,500 two-year-old maiden that boasted nine first starters in a field of 10 with five emergencies listed.

Of the 15 acceptors 60% were home grown and all but three were reared in the state.

Admittedly there has been the odd two-year-old race this season that has proceeded with as little as five starters but the overall average field size is more than encouraging compared to most recent years.

Last season 123 two-year-olds graced Tasmanian tracks and this group raced 317 times at an average of 2.577 starts per runner, which is up significantly on the 2007-08 season.

So far this season Tasmania has produced 113 two-year-olds for 239 starts, including this week’s contingent, so it stands to reason that more individuals will make it to the racetrack this season given the program of juvenile races remaining over the next 10 weeks.

Tasbreeders marketing officer Brett Williams is adamant the state’s breeding industry is heading in the right direction.

Williams said this year’s sale produced significantly higher figures than the previous year and sales procured after the event also increased dramatically.

“Tasmanian breeders have realised that they had to improve their bloodlines and make a serious attempt at improving the presentation of their stock at the sales in order to meet the demands of the market,” Williams said.

“I’m confident those aspects of our breeding industry are being addressed and provided we continue to work on improving those and other areas we will take steps forward,” he said.

Some owners who had been great supporters of Tasmanian bloodstock in the past have turned their attention interstate in recent years but most of the fillies purchased by them at major sales in Victoria and South Australia are extremely well bred and will serve to eventually bolster Tasmania’s broodmare stocks.

Ace and Judy Shaw of Aceland Stud have invested heavily in well-bred fillies that have been purpose bought for the future development of the stud and Tasmanian racing.