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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 53049 Will Clarken Calls On Sa Government To Increase Prizemoney

Will Clarken Calls on SA Government to Increase Prizemoney

Will Clarken Calls on SA Government to Increase Prizemoney

Adelaide’s Racing Carnival is not short on brilliant Group 1 action, but it’s the prizemoney on offer which needs to be seriously looked at, says trainer Will Clarken.

From April 30 to May 21, Morphettville Parks hosted four top-class afternoons of racing – Oaks Day, Sangster Day, Derby Day and Goodwood Day.

But not so brilliant in Clarken’s opinion are the stakes on offer – the elite feature on each day offered just $502,250 for participants and connections.

Compare that to the $1.5 million Northerly Stakes which Ironclad participated in on December 3, his runner-up placing netting the stable and connections $270,000.

The same amount of money was on offer in the Gold Rush which Beau Rossa ran in last Saturday – and that was a Group 3 event.

This is why Clarken is frustrated at the moment.

“You can say it’s (prizemoney in Australia) all over the shop a little bit – you’ve got Group 1s worth half a million and Group 3s worth a million and a half,” he told HorseBetting.com.au.

Most hard-working Australians would certainly not sneeze at half a million dollars, particularly with cost-of-living pressures soaring under the current federal government’s watch.

But the problem is Clarken runs a small business where horses and feeds, equipment, staff, transportation and accommodation – among other expenses – are not cheap.

And he will not be silent while the likes of Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria leave his home state for dead regarding the stakes those jurisdictions offer their participants.

“It’s certainly hard, and running any small business is hard,” he said.

“The other states are sailing away from you, and we want to compete with them and buy yearlings at the same price.

“Feeding costs and general costs in South Australia are the same as they are in any other state, so it is very hard.

“But we remain optimistic and hopefully there is a change in sight.”

Clarken believes the needs of many in the South Australian racing industry are not being listened to by their state’s lawmakers.

“We just need more money in South Australia, unfortunately,” he said.

“If the state government would listen to its participants and the racing authorities so we could get our fair share of the pot cash like the other Australian jurisdictions, then everything would be rosy.

“But instead, they continue to bend us over a barrel and treat us like we’re not them.”

The hard-working conditioner said policy-setters in the SA Government could learn a great deal from their WA counterparts.

“One thing I’d say about Perth racing is they’ve been brilliantly organised, so accommodating and so good looking after us,” Clarken said.

“It’s been quite amazing. It’s been the best jurisdiction to accommodate us coming here.

“I think it’s just a matter of state government support. But also, I think WA needs to have a good level of that because it’s so far away.

“They have to cater for you, but they’ve done it beautifully.”

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