Results affirm the strength of Victorian racing
Victorian racing has continued to strengthen its position according to key racing and wagering results released today by Racing Victoria (RV) for the recently concluded 2016-17 racing season.
The results for the 12-month period from 1 August 2016 to 31 July 2017 show that customer engagement grew and that participation in Victorian racing continued to provide greater rewards for owners, breeders, trainers and jockeys.
Analysis of the key racing and wagering data also indicated that it was a year of two distinct halves with an abnormally wet first half and a drier than expected second half ultimately providing a balanced set of metrics for the season.
Chief Executive, Giles Thompson, said RV is committed to sharing key racing, wagering and participation statistics to provide greater clarity around the performance of Victorian racing.
“All within Victorian racing are striving to deliver a strong and successful sport so it is important that we continue to share in the success of those efforts and ensure the wider industry understands the impact their efforts are having to achieve some great results,” Thompson said.
“I want to thank the Clubs, trainers, owners and jockeys, together with the media and wagering partners, for their collaboration in supporting strategies that have worked to strengthen Victorian racing and drive greater engagement, attendance and wagering results for our sport.
“The numbers show that Victorian racing is financially healthy and that customer engagement is strong with wagering surpassing $6 billion for the first time, nation-high attendances maintained and nearly 70,000 owners participating in Victorian racing.
“These results are the work of many stakeholders across the industry with their efforts supported by our wagering partnerships, key programming enhancements, media strategy and continued investments in infrastructure, tracks, integrity and welfare.
“We were particularly pleased with the results from our peak periods of the Spring Racing Carnival and the rebranded Festival of Racing which both enjoyed growth in attendance and turnover, while showcasing elite racing to the wider community within Victoria and abroad.”
The key results for the 2016-17 Victorian racing season were as follows:
• Wagering turnover grew by 8.4% with the total surpassing $6 billion for the first time to ultimately reach $6.24 billion;
• Turnover during the rebranded Festival of Racing, which encapsulated nine Group 1 races and 13 country cups in February/March, grew by 22% with attendances up 1.8%;
• The consolidation of Thursday night as a peak timeslot with 25.8% growth in average turnover per meeting and a rise in average field size from 9.1 to 9.5 starters per race;
• The continued emergence of the four Standalone Saturday meetings in country Victoria with attendances up 18.1% and turnover up 9.4% across the quartet of meetings;
• Statewide attendances remained consistent at a nation-high 1.34 million with country racing delivering 1.5% growth to offset a second half decline in metropolitan attendances due to the Flemington grandstand redevelopment;
• The Warrnambool May Racing Carnival attracted an attendance of more than 30,000 people, making it one of the highest attended Australian racing events outside of the Spring Racing Carnival;
• The number of owners participating in Victorian racing topped 68,000 with a 16.5% increase in the amount of VOBIS bonuses claimed;
• The average prizemoney and bonuses claimed at each TAB meeting was $369,902 with the average earnings per horse growing by 3.1%;
• 543 trainers and 280 jockeys won races during the season with the number winning Saturday metropolitan races increasing by 5.5% and 17.9% respectively;
• 8,668 individual horses – down 0.5% on 2015-16 – competed across 4187 TAB races with the average number of starts per horse remaining at 4.83;
• A 200% increase in the number of heavy tracks in the first half saw the average field size reduce to 9.9 starters per race during the period before averaging 10.1 starters per race in the drier second half; and
• Victoria welcomed its 200th international horse during the 2016 Spring Racing Carnival with 24 prepared from the Werribee Quarantine Centre during the season.
While the results focus on key metrics in the 2016-17 racing season, Thompson said that there would be positive news for the industry when the official reporting is completed in the coming months for the 2016-17 financial year (FY17).
“Racing Victoria will post a healthy surplus for FY17 in part due to wagering revenue increases of 3.5%. This is a strong result with turnover increases offsetting reduced returns to the three codes from the Tabcorp Joint Venture,” Thompson said.
“Over the past few years, Racing Victoria has delivered a string of healthy surpluses for Victorian racing and ensured that we can continue to make strategic investments in the industry, such as the $16.3 million in prizemoney increases already announced for the 2017-18 racing season and the ongoing investment in improvements to racecourses across the state.”