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Despite recent criticism from several industry participants, Racing Victoria insists racing in the state is in good shape.
RV has released figures for the 2017-18 season that show its KPIs were strong in many areas.
Wagering turnover grew to $6.42 billion, an increase of 2.7 per cent despite a decline of 50 per cent from one key corporate bookmaker amid an evolving wagering market.
Excluding that corporate bookmaker, turnover would have been up closer to 7.5 per cent.
However, while there was growth in total turnover, parimutuel wagering was down from $2.03 billion to $1.90 billion.
But punters embraced RV's initiative of three months of race-free Mondays and double header Wednesday meetings, resulting in a 14.1 per cent increase in turnover.
A record $635.18 million was wagered on 53 night meetings, recording an average 8 per cent increase across all timeslots
While the numbers read well, RV chief executive Giles Thompson says there are challenges.
He said the introduction of a point of consumption tax and the continuing challenge from NSW who are enjoying the fruits of major government concessions were two examples.
SIR RUPERT CLARKE STAKES
1400m, $500,000, handicap at Caulfield
* First run in 1951 when won by Jovial Lad
* Run as an invitational race from 1951 to 1974 for invited jockeys
* Group One from 1979
* Cap d'Antibes (1975); Torbek (1980); Magari (1982); Canny Lass (1986); Mannerism (1992); Poetic King (1994); Encosta De Lago (1996); Testa Rossa (1999-2000); Exceed And Excel (2003)
* The race has an international visitor with the Charlie Appleby-trained last-start Dubai Group One winner Jungle Cat the top weight and will be ridden by James Doyle
* Jockey Craig Williams could equal Damien Oliver's record of six wins in the race when he rides one of the leading contenders Osborne Bulls
* The now Singapore-based Lee Freedman holds the trainers' record with four wins. His brother Anthony is aiming for his second-straight win this year with Mr Sneaky after Santa Ana Lane's 2017 victory
* Trainer Darren Weir won the race is consecutive years in 2014 (Trust In a Gust) and 2015 (Stratum Star) and has Land Of Plenty, Peaceful State and second emergency Ozi Choice
* Jockey Dean Yendall won on Santa Ana Lane last year and rides Peaceful State this year
WHAT THE KEY PLAYERS ARE SAYING:
"We've had this race in mind for him for some time, and he's well-prepared for it" - Jungle Cat's trainer Charlie Appleby
"He took a few big scalps in the Theo Marks, so he deserves the chance to perform at Group One level" - Home Of The Brave's trainer James Cummings
"She's flying. I've never had her better" - Oregon's Day's trainer Mick Price