Irish Racing Prospects: Racing Associations in Ireland Handicapped by Taxation, Daily Racing Form, 1924-03-20


view raw text

IRISH RACING PROSPECTS Racing Associations in Ireland Handicapped by Taxation. Stable Boys Strike at The Cnrragh Remains Unsettled Outlook for 1924 Season Is Far from FaTorable. DUBLIN, Ireland, March 1. Racing season commenced this afternoon at Leopards-town, where interesting sport was witnessed, but at the moment the outlook is not as bright as could be desired. Race executives and c facials have been complaining since the close of last seasons campaign of the unfair burden which is placed on meetings by the entertainment tax, for the abolition of- which a strong plea is made. During 1923 the attendances at meetings showed a steady decline and that decline did not come about because of any lessening of interest in racing, but because the money accumulated during the war years had been spent, while the charges to the public remained at the level they reached during tho boom years. The names of meetings which have suffered most from the incidence of the entertainment tax cannot be mentioned, but without breaking confidence, some details can be set forth which will serve to indicate the serious handicap under which the majority of meetings have been conducting their racing. SECOND CLASS MEETINGS. The race companies to which reference is made arc of second-class standing; the first of them has been running for four years as a limited liability company concern, previously it was privately owned. What profit was made while it was a one-man concern is not known, Out since it was floated it has paid dividend of four per cent., less tax, for three years working and for the other year it made no profit. One of its directors gave his views at length about the outlook of racing and, condensed, these were: That so long as the entertainment tax remains the charges to the public must remain high, with the result that attendances will be small and owners receive less than their fair share of stakes. The second meeting whose case is ifndpr examination has lost something over 0,000 in the last few seasons. That sum would not be a matter of great concern to a wealthy company with a substantial reserve fund, but a five-figure debit balance against a country fixture is unquestionably of grave import. Another meeting that is not of first-class standing, but is certainly of better than second class, paid a dividend of about S per cent for its last financial year, but one of its directors declares that tho amount of profit which permitted of that distribution among the shareholders was earned from the working of the farm and not from racing. AGITATION FOR ABOLITION OF TAX. The proposed lifting of the entertainment tax in England from tickets costing 50 cents or less has given a lever to those interested in Ireland to agitate for cither a complete abolition of the tax from race meetings or a substantial lowering of it on tickets, no matter what their cost. The minister of agriculture. Mr. Hogan, is said to agree that in Ireland racing is a branch of agriculture and should not be considered as sport and if that statement be correct then it seems to mo that the stewards of the turf club should join Continued on eleventh pace. IRISH RACING PROSPECTS Continued from second page. in a deputation with owners, trainers and directors of race meetings to place their case before both Mr. Hogan and Mr. Blythe, who is the minister of finance. There is a big public for racing in Ireland, but the public will not patronize racing at high charges and race executives who were misled to think that they would do so even after the boom had passed are now finding out their error. Another factor which at the moment is militating against the success of racing is the Curragh strike. It was confidently expected indeed, both sides to the dispute so expressed themselves that it would not last more than a week, but here it is in the fourth week now, and there is rio sign of a settlement being arrived at. A section of the stable employees made unofficial overtures to the thainers that they would compromise by accepting a reduction of .25 a week, but the trainers, no doubt for good reason, took the view that the suggestion was merely thrown out as a feeler, and that they could not rely upon a majority of the strikers supporting it. Consequently, nothing came of the offer. TItAIXEKS CONTENTIONS. Trainers maintain and fairly enough that they ought not to be asked to pay higher wages than those current at Newmarket, and in racing establishments outside the Curragh the wages are less by ?1.S8 to .50 a week than thoss at headquarters. In the interests of racing it is highly desirable that peace should come without delay, for while trainers have been carrying on the work of their stables they have been doing so under difficulties, though, admittedly, these difficulties are not so pronounced now as they were during the first week of the strike when stable management was disorganized. It was never true, however, to say that stables were deserted, and that trainers found it impossible to train their horses. I The strike will, of course, in no way affect! the carrying on of racing, but with the trainers head men out naturally the trainers will have increased responsibilities with ! more demand upon their time, and as, by! all accounts, there is a record number ofj two-year-olds in training this season, it does not need a penetrating mind to arrive at the conclusion that it would be in the interests of trainers to have their regular employes back at work. Naturally the new labor army that has been recruited must take a good deal of breaking-in, and one experienced workman is worth many inex- perienced men, no matter how willing to learn the latter may be.

Persistent Link:
Local Identifier: drf1924032001_2_4
Library of Congress Record: