The appointment of Tim Eddy as permanent chairman of Racing Victoria has only strengthened Jonathan Munz’s resolve to seek further change at board level, with the Thoroughbred Racehorse Owners Association (TROA) Chairman refuting a claim that Eddy has widespread support in the industry.

Jonathan Munz
TROA Chairman Jonathan Munz. (Photo:

Munz had already signalled his displeasure at the prospect of Eddy, who has served on the board since 2019, being promoted to chairman after the failed bid of Racing Minister Anthony Carbines to convince Gillon McLachlan to join the Racing Victoria board.

Last Friday, nearly 12 months after the previous permanent chairman, Brian Kruger, left the board, it was confirmed at an RV board meeting that a 12-month search had unearthed someone who was on the board all along.

Racing Victoria emphasised the broad industry support for the decision, utilising quotes form a host of stakeholders.

However, in the latest of a series of broadsides delivered at the board, which he tried to upend with a no confidence motion in February, Munz accused Racing Victoria of utilising spin to manufacturer support for Eddy as chairman.

“Who are they trying to kid - everyone knows that RVL does not have widespread support for its failure to refresh the majority of the board and refusal to appoint a new outside chairman,” he said.

“I really hope that they do a better job, but the reality is that if RVL’s performance does not improve quickly and previous poor policies and decisions are not reversed, the industry will take action to remove further directors. In that case, all the spin and pretend unity in the world will not help them. Ideally, they immediately pivot and get it right, but time is ticking.”

‘Action’ would hint at another try by Munz to change the board. He led a motion in February which led to an extraordinary general meeting where a vote on the futures of five members of the board, including Eddy, was held.

However, the support Munz expected from the metropolitan clubs and participants representatives failed to materialise and his move garnered just the three votes from TROA, short of 24 he needed to get the change he desired. However, a total of 15 voters abstained.

Tim Eddy to lead Racing Victoria as new chair, McCrohan to serve as deputy
Victorian Racing Minister Anthony Carbines has appointed Tim Eddy as chair of Racing Victoria with Sharon McCrohan announced as deputy.

The prominent businessman, owner and breeder has continued his campaign for change, and pushed heavily for new director Tim Rourke to be elected as chairman.

“Like me, most credible people believe that selecting a chairman from the incumbent directors was a mistake and that Tim Rourke, the new director and CEO of Powercor has much better qualifications and was the only appropriate choice,” he said in his latest statement.

“I believe Sharon McCrohan has made a positive contribution as a director and is an appropriate Vice Chair, but she would be the first to acknowledge her lack of detailed racing knowledge and is able to understand the need for additional better board members with appropriate commercial and racing expertise and experience.”

“I have nothing personal against Tim Eddy, but he was not considered good enough to replace Brian Kruger as chairman 12 months ago and was passed over as acting chairman for Mike Hirst. How is he suddenly the correct choice now?”

“Unfortunately, we are now stuck “back to the future”, with the original incumbents we were complaining about remaining, being the very directors that the Minister promised to help refresh and remove."

‘A huge mistake’ - Munz warns against appointing Tim Eddy as Racing Victoria Chairman
Reports that existing board director Tim Eddy could be appointed as the new chairman of Racing Victoria has prompted a warning from TROA chairman Jonathan Munz.

Munz said had the current board admitted that it made several mistakes, including the appointment of former CEO Andrew Jones, then there would be hope for a repair of the relationship with participants. He accused Racing Victoria’s board of having arrogant disregard for that relationship.

“Tim Eddy, to his credit, has contacted me following his appointment and I emphasised what was expected,” Munz said.

 “The things that need urgent fixing include reversing incorrect race programming, eradicating the failed tenth metro race, cutting bloated RVL overheads, ending misallocations of prize money for foolish pop up races like the All Star Mile, reforming poor regulatory vet performance and getting rid of non-performing staff.”

“Hopefully, the two new directors, Tim Rourke and Mark Player have an outsize influence. As I stated, if RVL’s performance does not improve quickly, the industry will take action to force further changes. Hopefully there is no need.“