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WATCH | Racing icon brands Victoria Racing Club ‘precious’ over increasing prize money

Victoria Racing Club chair Amanda Elliot has ignited a fresh stoush between the rival states after calling Racing New South Wales boss Peter V’Landys “a silly little man making silly decisions”.

A battle over prize money has been simmering for some time and bubbled over this week when Racing New South Wales announced it was increasing their spring carnival’s purse by $45 million in a bid to keep the best horses in Sydney, not Melbourne.

A hostile Ms Elliot then resorted to delivering personal attacks on her rival, claiming the turf war wasn’t in the national interest of the sport.

However, racing icon Richard Freedman, part of the Freedman Family dynasty, says the Victoria Racing club is taking a “precious view” over rapidly increasing prize money.

“They call it ‘our spring’ – spring is spring, it’s not their spring, it’s everybody’s spring, and people want to race in spring,” Freedman told David Morrow and Mat Thompson on Macquarie Sports Radio.

“Spring is the natural season for horse racing because it’s after the footy, it’s before the cricket gets going, and there seems to be a bit of a lull in there that we can fill in, people want to go racing in spring – and they want to do it in Sydney just as much as they want to do it in Melbourne,

Freedman argues that Sydney’s increased presence across the spring racing calendar does not turn the sport into a “zero-sum game,”

“I don’t think it’s New South Wales rising at the expense of Victoria, I think both can rise and as the tide goes up, everyone goes up with it,

“I think you’ll see the turnover on those race days where they do clash with big races goes up in both states,”

Freedman holds the belief that Victoria will soon cease throwing their toys out of the cot and learn how to share.

“This will all settle down, they’ll get used to New South Wales having big races in the spring, they’ll stop calling them pop-up races and being insulting about it,” he said.

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MORROW & THOMPSON
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