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04/07/02 Book Dilemma Delays Bridge Races
The Adelaide Advertiser reports that the second race at Murray Bridge yesterday was delayed by more than five minutes after the Club decided to charge trainers and jockeys for racebooks for the first time.

Any jockeys or trainers which have runners or rides at any meeting in South Australia usually received the book free of charge, but yesterday the Murray Bridge club decided to begin charging.

The move angered representatives who held a meeting with stewards before the second race and the issue was resolved when the club caved into pressure.

Murray Bridge Racing Club chief executive told Dennis Markham his committee reserved the right to examine the matter again before its next meeting.

"The cost of racebooks has always been a loss problem for all clubs," Wellington said.

"In our case, it amounts to $19,000 a year and that includes an average 140 free books dispensed to trainers and jockeys at every meeting.

"Had trainers and jockeys accepted our move the overall saving to the club would have been around $5000 a year, a significant saving in our opinion. The cutbacks were made in other areas as well, so it's not as if we asked just those two groups to pay in future."

Trainers had refused to saddle runners for the second race after being told earlier they would have to pay $4, the same as other patrons for their guides.

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