More prizemoney at showcase a win for trainers
RACING: With a minimum of $30,000 prize money up for grabs in every race at today's Country Showcase, Clarence River Jockey Club president Michael Beattie said he was pleased to see the event well supported by trainers and owners.
"It's a very good meeting, there's no doubt about that, and it's been well supported with big fields," Mr Beattie said.
"From a club perspective, this meeting is two months away from the July racing carnival, and it starts to attract the interest of owners and trainers into Grafton, which is what we like to see."
Mr Beattie said he was happy to see a number of trainers make the trip from Queensland and surrounding areas to Grafton.
"I think that's exactly what the idea of the promotion of the showcase meeting is, to attract as many outside horses as possible," he said.
"Just the fact that there is increased prize money across every race in the program makes such a difference for trainers to compete for additional prize money. The showcase meeting in the country takes the prize money up to provincial level, and it's obvious by the large number of trainers supporting the meeting that it's a great benefit to them."
However, not everyone is happy with the increased minimum prize purse, with Grafton trainer Gordon Yorke expressing concern the greater prize money didn't help local trainers.
"The leading country trainers are actually provincial trainers, so all they've done is increase the horse trainers from closer to Sydney to come further away from Sydney and steal the extra chips from the seagulls," he said.
"They wouldn't come up for normal prize money, and five years ago they wouldn't have come up at all."