Former BHB chief executive Greg Nichols new chairman of Racing Australia
Greg Nichols has been elected the new chairman of Racing Australia following the resignation from the post of Thoroughbred Racing SA chief Frances Nelson QC.
Nichols is a current Racing Victoria board member, a director of Racing Australia and the chairman of Racing.com.
He is the former chief executive of the BHB - now BHA - and was the general manager of racing at Racing Victoria.
“I feel honoured to be elected as chair and I’m committed to making Racing Australia the ‘can do’ and proactive organisation needed to ensure the continued growth and success of Australian thoroughbred racing,’’ said Nichols.
“As chairman, my focus will be on the sustainability of thoroughbred racing nationally, the critical importance of the welfare of participants and, given the global footprint of racing, using Australian racing’s scale and success to responsibly contribute and influence international racing.’’
Russell Balding was re-elected as deputy chair during Monday’s board meeting in Sydney.
Nichols, who has been a Racing Victoria director since 2012, brings to the role extensive experience of Australian racing.
Nichols’ career in racing began as secretary of the Murrumbidgee Turf Club and he went on to senior roles at the South Australian Jockey Club, Thoroughbred Racing SA, Racing Victoria and as chief executive of the BHB, based in London. He was also managing director of sport at London-based Betfair.
Nichols thanked the departing chair on behalf of Racing Australia for her tremendous contribution, dedication and leadership during her term in office.
“Frances presided over an overhaul of Racing Australia’s governance, strengthened links with international racing bodies and maintained a strong focus on the needs of industry participants, especially the welfare of thoroughbreds,’’ he said.
Nelson said she had resigned from the role to concentrate on the problems South Australian racing is experiencing with lack of returns to the industry from the Point Of Consumption tax.
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my time and it has been a great privilege to have been able to champion the interests of South Australian racing in this position,’’ said Nelson.
“However, the enormous harm being caused by the state government’s unfair tax has reached a critical point.
“It’s a situation that has already had a crushing effect on revenues which, in turn, has flowed on to reduced prize-money levels – and prize-money pays the wages of everyone in our industry."
Nelson will continue as a director of Racing Australia.
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