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White knight of NSW Racing Peter V’landys ready to take on CrownBet

Peter V’landys spoke to Ray HadleyThe white knight of NSW racing fiefdom, Peter V’landys, bearded for action, is sharpening his broadsword to repel the invader, CrownBet, looking for new territory after a setback in China.

CrownBet, to the chagrin of V’landys, is attempting to make a $300 million digital gambling deal with ClubsNSW, involving members signing up for a CrownBet app in return for loyalty rewards and cash-out facilities on the premises.

Racing gets more out of a TAB bet than one with CrownBet, and V’landys figures it will affect TAB turnover, vital to appease the prizemoney god that is producing an upsurge to the industry in this state. Wise guys reckon punters in clubs are now using mobile telephones to get the best betting value anyway and bookmakers have already made inroads into the zone.

However it is difficult to comprehend that CrownBet is making a  very large investment without some chance of financial conquest. Of course the white knight succeeded in taking on the corporate bookmakers for the industry to get its fair whack from their turf proceeds when other states flew the white flag.

Despite prizemoney that has industry insiders drooling, and yearling sales booming, it hasn’t helped Sydney Saturday field sizes with at least three events at Rosehill Gardens today having fewer than eight starters, surely a turnover drain on the biggest betting day of the week. Goulburn, with most races at $30,000, has more starters.

Still,  the $250,000 Silver Slipper Stakes in which only seven two-year- olds are accepted, is a sprint of intrigue due to odds-on favourite She  Will Reign, a filly the great Tommy Smith would have described as a “penny dreadful”.

She Will Reign cost only $20,000 as a yearling and opposes Khan ( $260,000) and Showtime ($1.1 million). Sure they are colts but Mystic Empire, another filly, bought $140,000.

Khan is a James Harron acquisition, as is the highly talented Pariah ($700,000), one of the top fancies in next Saturday’s Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield.

Harron, successful in  the Golden Slipper with Capitalist last year, described himself on ABC News Radio as a “real estate agent” getting the best property for clients. Generally he is dealing with harbour frontage whereas She Will Reign is more of a fibro at Mt Druitt. Alas there have been yearling sale toppers that have ended up the worth of a Gulargambone gunya.

So far Harron, bred in North Ireland, has a golden touch, and like Pariah, Khan is highly promising youngster adding spice to the Silver Slipper.

Both Harron and co-trainer Peter Snowden reckon Khan will be better suited over a journey longer than today’s 1100 metres. Khan has been tuned by two barriers trials and the way he responded when sent to the line in a recent Gosford heat indicates he is ready for a bold performance.

But the speed of She Will Reign is awesome, emphasised by a nine-length bolt in a Warwick Farm trial, over 808 metres, on February 6. Can she sustain it beyond 1000? Also,  this season 13 two-year-olds who started in the red have been beaten.

Yes, by all means venture to Rosehill because She Will Reign could be special but it’s a good race  to watch. I’ll place them She Will Reign 1, Khan 2, Veranillo 3, Showtime, without blinkers, 4.

Showtime is conditioned by the Hawkes family partnership who prepares Star Turn, one of the top hopes in the Black Caviar Lightning  at Flemington.

Obviously there isn’t much between Star Turn and the other three-year-old Flying Artie, who beat him in the Coolmore, down the straight 1200 metres last October. Star Turn had previously easily accounted for  Malaguerra at Caulfield, and was exposed earlier than Flying Artie in the Coolmore. Over the 1000 metres  Star Turn is a good gamble.

Meanwhile,  the white knight  is ready for battle  and has decreed he won’t have a shave until he gets a Saturday program without a field of less than eight starters.

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