The field was packed with people who wouldn’t normally hang out on the track. Like a triumphant jockey hugh goalkeeper entered the winner’s enclosure, raising his cap in the air, the grown men openly weeping.
Many patrons woke up with a nuclear-sized hangover the next day, but Sydney Racing endured one for the next year or so because Winx weren’t on the show.
But the Berocca has sprung into action: the Sydney races are rolling again. Sure, jockeys, trainers, shooters, vets, and breeders have all played a small role. Oh, and the horses.
But the depth of equine talent goes back largely to V’landys dogged pursuit of racing course legislation, which forced corporate bookmakers to pay racing and sporting bodies for the use of their ” product”.
It was an ugly three-year battle, first in the Federal Court, then the Court of Appeal, then the Superior Court.
“In High Court, he had the vibe,” says V’landys, channeling attorney dennis denuto from the castle. “And we won. The irony is that she went head to head with mate tripp [the brains behind Sportsbet and now chairman of the Melbourne Storm]. It wasn’t personal. He was doing what was best for the bookies, I was doing what was best for the racing industry.”
The change in legislation now translates to a whopping $1.5 billion per year for racing and sports, according to V’landys, with much of that money being reinvested in the industry.
With the battle won, V’landys set about ‘disrupting’ the spring races in Melbourne, where snobbish committee members in fedora hats at gleeful angles peer over their shoulders through expensive Prada frames in the NSW pounding To do the things.
V’landys created The Everest ($15 million value), Golden Eagle ($8 million), and other races. This November, he will perform The Big Dance ($2m) on the same evening as the Melbourne Cup.
Racing purists in the south scoff at these so-called “pop-up races” but the sheer scale of the prize money is attracting quality entrants and thus more bettors and therefore more revenue for the NSW racing.
“The punter stays with us for 12 months, instead of leaving us every spring and going to Melbourne, so our revenue has increased by 50 to 60 per cent,” says V’landys. “Which basically means we can put it in awards. The more prize money you have, the better fields you will have.”
I could take an opinion poll in Randwick on Saturday about The Great V’landys and get a variety of reactions.
So let’s ask the owner brae sokolski, the energetic financier from Melbourne but now based in Sydney, for his point of view. He has won every major race in Australia in the last two and a half years except the Golden Slipper and the Bowraville Cup.
“He’s a brilliant manager,” Sokolski offers. “If he doesn’t like the way the table is set, he turns the table. Courage is a rare commodity in any industry, but especially in racing and sports, and Peter is brave. Most people want to cover their asses. He will do something different if he sees an opportunity.”
The day the Winx last raced, a three-year-old filly named Verry Elleegant won the Australian Oaks. Since then, she has won a stack of Group 1s, including a Caulfield Cup and a Melbourne Cup, and has collected $14 million in prize money.
His appearance on Saturday at the Queen Elizabeth will likely be his last on these shores before he attempts to become the first Australian horse in history to win the famous Arc de Triomphe in Paris in October.
The crowds may not return after lockdown, but the real stars of the shows, the thoroughbred champions, can drag them back, just like the Winx, Black Caviar, and Makybe Diva did.
About the only thing V’landys can’t control is the miserable weather that kept the masses away this fall.
However, if I know the man, he’ll be working on it.
fight me this
In other V’landys news, he had the President’s Club hysterical at the Parramatta-Dragons game at CommBank Stadium on Sunday night.
Asked by the compère Adam Hawse what to do with storm prop Nelson Asofa-Solomona Getting away with a $1000 fine for a swing arm against the Eels two weeks ago, V’landys floated the idea of putting a fan on the Match Review Committee.
We’re sure the suggestion was tongue-in-cheek, but given how much V’landys will change rules and interpretations at the whim of fan feedback, it wouldn’t be a surprise.
V’landys told News Corp this week that he doesn’t listen to the “Twitter brigade.” He prefers the deluxe version, the email, and said an outpouring of them from fans had led him to put coaches and players “on notice” for bringing wrestling back into the game.
Two senior NRL officials I spoke to said they had no idea wrestling was a problem again and were shocked by the president’s public outburst, particularly when football has been so visible this year.
We wonder if V’landys felt wrestling was infecting the game as the Eels racked up 48 points against the Dragons. Or the Storm put 44 on the Bulldogs. EITHER tom trbojevic he ran almost 300 meters against the Raiders. EITHER james german ran for 217 against the Cowboys…
Strike the first blow in the contract debacle
SEEN: captain of the Newcastle Knights kalyn put golfing alone at Newcastle Golf Course on Monday, behind a group that included a retired Channel Nine commentator peter sterling.
Perhaps Ponga was reflecting on the contract storm he was in after being seen meeting with the Dolphins coach. Wayne Bennett last Saturday in Sydney.
legend of the knights Andrew Johns criticized Bennett for reuniting with Ponga during the season, although the real blame lies with the NRL for its out-of-control transfer system.
The NRL has been talking about fixing this mess ever since Jesus controversially signed with Nazareth mid-season while under contract to Bethlehem. Hurry up and do it.
With Ponga likely to stay in Newcastle, the Dolphins are concentrating on Storm five-eighths cameron münsteryou’re starting to feel a distinctive chill from the club.
have re-signed harry grant Y Jahrome Hughes and now they expect the number 6 from Australia and Queensland to take a significant pay cut to stay.
He has one more year to go on his contract, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he ends up at Redcliffe next year.
“I’m not going to step on your shoes” — Broncos playmaker albert kelly teammate Payne-Haas, who took offense when Kelly stepped on his new shoes, as evidenced by video footage of Haas hitting Kelly in the head. Who is to blame here depends on the shoes. Step on my all-white adidas Ultraboosts, for example, and you’d better get them.
alyssa healy he scored a whopping 170 from 138 balls in Australia’s 71-run victory over England in the World Cup final in Christchurch on Sunday, adding to the 20-plus title and the Ashes already in the trophy case. This team hasn’t lost a series since 2017. World champions? Taste the world-owners.
it was hard to read Caroline Wilsoninterview with hawthorn legend cyril rioli and your partner Shannyn Ah Sam-Rioli while both exposed the terrible racism that expelled them from the club. They point the finger at the president jeff kennetwho made appalling comments to Rioli’s partner but refuses to resign.
It’s a big weekend for… the Dragons and the Roosters who meet in the NRLW grand final at Redcliffe on Sunday. all eyes on jessica sergiowho left the Dragons to play for the Roosters this season, and the Roosters Sara Togatukiwho was lowered a high tackle position in the judiciary.
It’s an even bigger weekend for… Queensland golfer cameron smith as he carries the hopes and dreams of the nation at the US Masters at Augusta National this weekend. Hopefully she can take some of the spotlight off. tiger forest, who has recovered from a near amputation of his shattered leg to take his place on the field. Amazing scenes.