Though unsure whether he actually thinks big or uses quotable big sound bytes, what makes Peter V’Landys come across as a combination of Thor, Darth Vader and Charlton Heston is his unwavering confidence in everything he says. Sure, often, if one really listens to his Teachings, and sermons, they have more holes than the black one in Calcutta, but he has the knack and incredible ability to impress so many in the land down under.
When interviewed recently by Michael Felgate on the dead people’s sports and racing radio station- so, racing isn’t a sport?- and mentioned he had just returned following a “trade mission” to New York, he positioned himself as being bigger than Ben Hur and Moses combined.
Felgate giggled like a schoolboy and was suitably impressed. And when mentioning a new broadcasting deal with Fox Sports that would be able to reach 100 million viewers, it was another extraordinary sound byte as was proclaiming that with wagering partner TVG, America could well become one of the most important markets for Australian horse racing. Michael Felgate seemed to get weak in the knees. All those NUMBERS!!!
Compared to those leading horse racing in Victoria, Lord PVL is constantly on the front foot. While those South of the border seem to suffer from shrinkage and speak in whispers while on the back foot, The Man From The North pummels the senses and marches all over them. It’s a bit like Gulliver in Lilliput. It’s another chapter of Mice And Men. It’s one man seemingly having all the answers even if these might be “work in progress” whereas the other side are still searching for words.
With nothing in his way and no one to challenge him, it’s not difficult to see why so many look at Lord PVL as the past, present and future of horse racing in all of Australia- a visionary, a saviour and a giant amongst men.
Lexus being the new sponsor of the Melbourne Cup following Emirates using its marketing dollars to back a different horse was reduced to insignificant stuff. This was when PVL talked knowingly about having to focus on the under 35 market by communicating with them through different types of social media giving the impression, whether true or not, that he understood this customer demographic. He pointed out the importance of doing this as opposed to catering to the same old same olds and how the current main customer group of those over 50 won’t be around for too much longer.
Everything was then tied together with a bow by turning to his favourite subject and “innovation” that is The Everest.
Yes, Kunta Kinte, there are plans to make it bigger, bolder and better with even the possibility of prize money rising to $20 million in 2020 and exciting new announcements to be made in the next six months. Michael Felgate was putty in his hands. The groundwork had been done to repel any hard questions sent his way.
Will The Everest take place on the same day as the Caulfield Cup? No. Of course not. Don’t be silly. But, then again, who knows? Will The Everest be held at night? No. Why mess with complete success and absolute perfection? And to make those South of the border look stodgy, irrelevant, ancient and petty, he made the magnanimous gesture that he was more than happy to provide Racing.com with all content of trials etc from New South Wales so punters can have everything on one delivery platform.
Then came the knockout punch. With New South Wales having 200 more races, horse racing in Victoria was receiving a birthday present.
One doesn’t have to like Peter V’landys, but it’s tough to ignore his chutzpah, his ability to disarm the racing and non racing media in Australia, and the ability to make even bollocks come out smelling sweet and much more than what it really is.
Has there been any response from those innovators and fearless and peerless leaders from South of the border to at least show they had a pulse and were able to match fire with fire? Of course not. They were either licking their wounds or were out for the count.
It’s all becoming even more entertaining than the racing. It’s putting on the Ritz with showbiz covering up all the pockmarks. Brilliant stuff.
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