RV CEO: No rush for Bailey successor

Racing Victoria chief executive Giles Thompson said they are in no hurry to replace outgoing chief steward Terry Bailey, and even suggested there is no guarantee of a permanent successor before the 2018 Victorian Spring Carnival.

Bailey's resignation was confirmed on Monday after months of speculation, with the chief steward of 10 years in Victoria bound for the top job at the Singapore Turf Club after finishing up at RV in July.

"Jamie Stier, who is the head of integrity services, is tasked with finding a replacement for Terry," Thompson said on RSN927's Racing Pulse on Wednesday.

"The key is here - we don't need to rush this. We've got a very strong team of stewards. They will be able to hold the fort for as long as we need to hold the fort.

"The key is we get the right person.

"That search has now kicked off, and will take as long as it needs to take."

He added: "I think we'll look both overseas, around the country and internally at the same time.

"It's important in a business like ours to give those people internally a chance to stick their hand up - I was an internal promotion myself, it's important in any business to do that.

"But at the same time, we need to line them up with what's available out there.

"Victorian racing is one of the leading jurisdictions in the world, and it's one of those jurisdictions that people aspire to come to so I'm expecting a strong field."

Thompson said he feels Stier will be inundated by interested applicants rather than having to source them out.

"Jamie is well-known around the world ... a decade in Hong Kong, a decade in the UK, originally from New South Wales ... someone of his experience would have a good idea of what's out there," he added.

"I wouldn't be surprised if he had some initial thoughts, I don't think he'll share them with us at this point.

"Also I would be surprised if those people who admire Victorian racing aren't already reaching out to Jamie.

"It's one of those great positions for aspiring chief stewards."

Thompson reiterated his view the incumbent stewarding team in Victoria can hold the fort for the time being.

"The ideal situation is to get the right person," he said.

"I don't think we need to rush to get in by the new season, and I don't necessarily think we have to get them in place by the spring either.

"That right person might be under contract, we might have to wait anyway.

"There's plenty of people within the team that are more than capable of ensuring the level of stewarding in Victoria is maintained at the level it is today.
"We just have to make sure we get the right person, rather than getting the position filled as quick as possible."

Thompson also responded to comments published in the Herald Sun attributed record Melbourne Cup-winning owner Lloyd Williams, who claimed: "I have been disappointed in the fact that the chief steward has had very, very little support from the powers that be."

In response, Thompson refuted Williams' claim.

"I read those [comments] yesterday," Thompson said.

"Lloyd's achieved a lot outside racing and in racing. Naturally people, and I, want to hear what he's got to say.

"In this case, I disagree with him.

"I think that those who have been following what's been happening at Racing Victoria in the past 12-18 months will see on TV, radio, in the press, in direct communication to participants/owners, a strong, continual support for Terry, the team and the integrity function at Racing Victoria.

"Some would say I've been relentless in that support - it's not what Lloyd's observed - but I think if you go back and have a look, you'll see it has been consistent and persistent support."

Terry Bailey, Singapore bound, picture