OUTSPOKEN horseman Shane Loone is calling on his fellow trainers to put the local industry first.
Citing a noticeable increase in stables making the trek to Mildura, Loone believes there has never been a more crucial time for South Australians to support South Australia.
With participants screaming for increased prizemoney, Loone highlighted the correlation between field size and wagering as a way to provide the desired stakes hike.
Simply put, Loone is working on the theory bigger fields create better turnover, which equates to a larger income for the industry.
With “an average of 20 horses” heading across the border to compete in Mildura, local races are suffering, including programmed events being scrapped.
“So many horses are going to Mildura, there were 26 last week,” Loone said. “There is an average of 20 horses heading over for each meeting lately.
“That’s doing nothing for South Australia and our races.
“If you want to have an industry here you’ve got to support here, otherwise we all may as well pack up and move to Mildura and close Globe Derby.”
In a case of backing up his words, Loone has five of the six most races horses in the state – including Buriton Bailey.
Set to contest the last event at Globe Derby today, Buriton Bailey has had 70 starts this season.
Despite his busy schedule, the gelding is a last start winner and is the $3.90 second favourite with TAB Fixed Odds for his pending assignment.
Making his debut in Addington on April 23, 2010, Buriton Bailey had 50 starts last term, meaning 120 of his 260 outings have been as an 11 and 12-year-old!
“It doesn’t hurt them racing so often, it is about managing them properly,” Loone said. “Buriton Bailey’s last three starts are two seconds and a win.”
Loone’s other runners this afternoon include Celestial Daybreak, which has had 61 of his 125 starts this season as a seven-year-old.
Successful at Globe Derby last Saturday night, Artegra will back-up in the third event on the card.
The lightly-raced member of the team, Artegra is a $1.75 TAB Fixed Odds favourite in what will be his 31st outing of the term.
Then there is Bien Hoa which is poised to have his 54th start as an 11-year-old and Millwood Chloe, which will make her 40th appearance.
“As long as they are healthy and happy I will keep running them,” Loone said. “They can’t earn money sitting at home and the fields need horses to keep harness racing going.
“I just hope more trainers start realising South Australia needs to be put first.”