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Will Racing Die


Hesi
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Acknowledgement to Happy Sunrise on the other channel, great post.

Happy Sunrise

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Will Covid 19 be the tipping point that shatters the illusion of solvency of horse racing in NZ?

When I read or recall about the following in harness racing ( and a bit of gallops) I wonder how on earth things will ever get better.  It is pretty depressing but can someone tell me how racing will ever get to a sustainable position again?

  • Mick Guerin's article on the state of racing
  • Lincoln Farms articles on the state of racing
  • RITA carrying $45 million worth of loans
  • The enormous annual cost of the TAB website  to the tune of $17 million
  • The decline of Northern harness racing where they can't even get full fields or 10 races per meeting
  • Breeding numbers declining to record lows
  • The loss of industry supporters eg PGG
  • The debacle of the Alexandra Park apartment complex and debt associated with it
  • The decline of grass track meetings around the North Island over summer
  • The negative perception of the RIU
  • INCA and shroud of doubt it casts over the whole industry
  • The unease over horse and dog welfare by the public with several public flashpoints
  • The continual back biting and lack of genuine consultaton between sectors of the industry
  • The rising trend of sports betting and expectations of those sports
  • The impending closing of tracks around NZ and the implications of those
  • The black hole of costs associated with owning and training horses compared to stakes level
  • The unknown nature of stake levels in the future
  • Winter postponements of meetings (mainly gallops) due to poor track conditions
  • The continual export of horses overseas which affect quality and quantity of races in NZ
  • The thriving Australian galloping scence with its high stakes
  • The disassociation to racing by the younger generation
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Anyone see any solutions or light at the end of the tunnel......very depressing, and I'm just an avid follower and punter of NZ Racing.

When new stake levels are published to go with the revised calendar, all hell will break loose, unless someone has a magic wand and stakes can be maintained close to the existing, which probably ain't going to happen

 

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18 minutes ago, ngakonui grass said:

Fact is that racing has been in trouble for a long time and it irks me now to see the trainers association,Te Akau  and lincoln Farms coming out now and raising issues.

Not enough stake money and too much racing imo the 2 of the biggest problems.

It has been in trouble for a long time I agree. Your point 2 contributes to point 1. I'd temper that by saying there has been a stake money or else attitude for a long time. That has also been a big issue for NZ racing. It has meant that racing has been deprived of proper support in the other areas that are needed.

For me the biggest issue is believing that the ideas over the past 20 years were going to improve things - they were endorsed by NZTR (and by many, many participants I believe).

But the model falls down when you are making decisions and seeking support - where the participants are asked to support something they don't understand. The trainers association have had opportunity to stand up against various decision made that were to the detriment of NZ racing. What did they do - nothing. Because those decisions affected many of them less, they couldn't give a stuff.

So stupid people, made stupid decisions. Those decision were endorsed (because they wouldn't be expected to know better than to listen to the hype in many cases), and we have reached where we are.

A very sad situation for NZ, and one that has been heading the same way well before Covid. And about the only option to continue the façade - a bail out from the government again to make people think that all of the last twenty years+ hasn't been done poorly - we've just had things like Covid to battle against. And soon things will be rosy again, because of new legislation blah blah blah.

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30 minutes ago, curious said:

I'm wondering if NZ Racing shouldn't consider completely shutting down for the 20/21 season while it reorganises, restructures and re-emerges in some sort of sustainable viable form?

It's a valid idea. An given where things would appear to be at - something the industry should be almost prepared to accept in the current climate as well. Rather than persisting with the same downward spiral that is going to ultimately bring about their downfall anyway. 

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1 hour ago, curious said:

I'm wondering if NZ Racing shouldn't consider completely shutting down for the 20/21 season while it reorganises, restructures and re-emerges in some sort of sustainable viable form?

losing all momentum is not the answer, imo ...takes too long to get up and running again and you'd lose thousands of owners/investors in the short-term who'd never come back ...but a severely reduced racing calendar for 20/21 season makes sense to me ....I'm talking mebbe 1 meeting per week in the Deep South, 1 in Canterbury, 1 in Lower North Island and perhaps 2 in upper North Island; travel rebates (?) and free noms/acceptances, smaller stakes, fewer Group and Listed races. Stakes boosted by direct commercial sponsorship where appropriate (eg Pearl Series). A cleanout of the top-heavy costs of running the industry (TAB, Trackside, RIU JCA etc).

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Surely that would be the death knell of the industry, too much infrastructure would be lost

Too many trainers would relocate to Aus or shut up shop for good

Jockeys also or retire, no apprentices coming through

Loss of many other specialists to the industry like farriers, horse transporters

Horse numbers would plummet

Many courses would fall into disrepair

Remaining TAB outlets would probably shut down

The breeding industry would survive, albeit smaller

 

 

 

 

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1 minute ago, Hesi said:

Surely that would be the death knell of the industry, too much infrastructure would be lost

Too many trainers would relocate to Aus or shut up shop for good

Jockeys also or retire, no apprentices coming through

Loss of many other specialists to the industry like farriers, horse transporters

Horse numbers would plummet

Many courses would fall into disrepair

Remaining TAB outlets would probably shut down

The breeding industry would survive, albeit smaller

 

 

 

 

That's what s happening and will happen anyway. Think that is a given.

 

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3 minutes ago, barryb said:

I own 3 horses and if maiden/65 stakes drop from $10k then I am out.

They should rise to $15k and no race in NZ should be above $100k.

Out of interest Barry, why would you not look to race a few in Aus

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1 minute ago, Hesi said:

Out of interest Barry, why would you not look to race a few in Aus

It’s to expensive and it’s going to mega to get there now, in all honesty this crap surrounding NZ Racing has dulled my interest in the whole sport.

Pitman made a fool of himself and like many  in the industry are just full of self interest and talk from a very low knowledge base. The total lack of cohesion in the industry is a joke, and is the biggest reason it’s self destructing.

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Refresh my memory, but when some of these Health Boards have been living beyond their means, the Govt has stepped in and put its own management team in place.

In view of the excesses and poor decisions made, surely that is what needs to happen here, they have 3 months to get it all together

Set a realistic budget for 20/21, net betting revenue that can be expected(including sports and overseas for now), slashed costs, factor in debt repayment, leaving a figure for racing to allocate to stake money and other costs, then set a calendar, meetings, numbers and types of races etc etc

The figures etc may be a bitter pill to swallow for many racing people, but it would be out on the table, done by people who are independant, so probably accepted as grim, but what other option is there.  If racing people don't like it, tough, then that is the best that we can offer.

I think people are just sick of the bullshit, that has been seen over the years, from the people running the industry, and the total lack of accountability

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1 hour ago, barryb said:

It’s to expensive and it’s going to mega to get there now, in all honesty this crap surrounding NZ Racing has dulled my interest in the whole sport.

Pitman made a fool of himself and like many  in the industry are just full of self interest and talk from a very low knowledge base. The total lack of cohesion in the industry is a joke, and is the biggest reason it’s self destructing.

You don't need to have your horses with Waller etc Barry! Plenty of good  trainers for all budgets. Come join us 🏇,couple of trips a year to Aus for the jolly up 🥳

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8 hours ago, Hesi said:

 

The disassociation to racing by the younger generation

Unfortunately this generation are the future and they have little interest 

You just need to look at this site and other racing sites they are littered with the Baby Boomers then Generation X

Very few Xennials and Millenials

BTW the next generation coming through will be known as the Caronials

When we were growing up as kids after sport on a Saturday morning it would be a visit to the TAB, ...not these days, kids teenagers don’t even know what a TAB is they only know a couple of things  online games and social media, Fortnite Mario Kart and watching their favourite You Tuber they are so engrossed in their I Pad Phone they lose contact with their own family members.

Once upon a time we could  rely on producing appreciate jockeys, we would have people coming through the ranks, there is no interest out there now, weights have been raised so there is no excuse, it shocked me to see some of the surnames of the jockeys in the Sth Island, did we have to advertise overseas to fill our Jockey ranks???

These people just aren’t coming through, anyone who does get introduced is soon turned away there is no bang for your buck as far as a punter is concerned , there wouldn’t be a single administrator that wouldn’t view punters as anything more than an inconvenience to supply funding no one gives a shit about punters deductions upon deductions restrictions upon restrictions there is no protection for the punter at all who would want to get involved it’s disgraceful shame on all those who have let this dictatorship evolve

Just to finish we had Shaun Ritchie on radio the other Day he was asked about stake reduction he said no doubt there needs to be stake reductions at the top end, but there is no way that any stakes should be less than 10k

As for Jennifer Eccles she is going to be aimed at the 1500 mtrs Golden Eagle

 

 

 

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8 hours ago, barryb said:

It’s to expensive and it’s going to mega to get there now, in all honesty this crap surrounding NZ Racing has dulled my interest in the whole sport.

Pitman made a fool of himself and like many  in the industry are just full of self interest and talk from a very low knowledge base. The total lack of cohesion in the industry is a joke, and is the biggest reason it’s self destructing.

Yeah...the 2 I.C of the CJC informed me recently that ' the govt wants racing back  they need the taxes we pay ' ....when this level of misunderstanding is inherent at even this level, it's not surprising that the lack of knowledge is so widespread.

The ignorance inherent is astounding,  and as for Pike and co -  only get off their backsides when their own interests are threatened. 

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8 hours ago, Midnight Caller said:

You don't need to have your horses with Waller etc Barry! Plenty of good  trainers for all budgets. Come join us 🏇,couple of trips a year to Aus for the jolly up 🥳

It’s $10k to get a horse there, so has to be good in the first place. Most Aussies are cheats and liars, very hard to judge that from another country.  Horses have so much shit go wrong with them that it’s very difficult to organise distance travel to get to see them race. 
Many of the industry’s participants in both Countries I wouldn’t trust $5 with as they are that bloody slippery. Hence why I have had and still have horses with Freda, honest and genuine as they come & cares for the animal.

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9 hours ago, VC! said:

Unfortunately this generation are the future and they have little interest 

You just need to look at this site and other racing sites they are littered with the Baby Boomers then Generation X

Very few Xennials and Millenials

BTW the next generation coming through will be known as the Caronials

When we were growing up as kids after sport on a Saturday morning it would be a visit to the TAB, ...not these days, kids teenagers don’t even know what a TAB is they only know a couple of things  online games and social media, Fortnite Mario Kart and watching their favourite You Tuber they are so engrossed in their I Pad Phone they lose contact with their own family members.

Once upon a time we could  rely on producing appreciate jockeys, we would have people coming through the ranks, there is no interest out there now, weights have been raised so there is no excuse, it shocked me to see some of the surnames of the jockeys in the Sth Island, did we have to advertise overseas to fill our Jockey ranks???

These people just aren’t coming through, anyone who does get introduced is soon turned away there is no bang for your buck as far as a punter is concerned , there wouldn’t be a single administrator that wouldn’t view punters as anything more than an inconvenience to supply funding no one gives a shit about punters deductions upon deductions restrictions upon restrictions there is no protection for the punter at all who would want to get involved it’s disgraceful shame on all those who have let this dictatorship evolve

Just to finish we had Shaun Ritchie on radio the other Day he was asked about stake reduction he said no doubt there needs to be stake reductions at the top end, but there is no way that any stakes should be less than 10k

As for Jennifer Eccles she is going to be aimed at the 1500 mtrs Golden Eagle

 

 

 

I've always put this down as the absolute number one reason why racing has declined over the last 30 years, the lack of interest from each successive new generation, not just the millenials.

And why?, because racing has never done 2 things

1.  Upgraded the format and presentation of it's product

2.  Cohesively, as an industry, marketed and promoted itself.  Thoroughbred racing, has no provision for a marketing budget even, it would be seen by those in the industry as wasted money that should be going to stakes.

And why has this happened, because the industry is run by mainly stale, male baby boomers, who know best

You simply can't expect to grow or maintain your share of the wagering and entertainment market, unless you keep your product relevant and tell each new generation about it.

Mardi has often talked about increasing net betting revenue, as the only way this industry can survive

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2 hours ago, Freda said:

Yeah...the 2 I.C of the CJC informed me recently that ' the govt wants racing back  they need the taxes we pay ' ....when this level of misunderstanding is inherent at even this level, it's not surprising that the lack of knowledge is so widespread.

The ignorance inherent is astounding,  and as for Pike and co -  only get off their backsides when their own interests are threatened. 

It's not rocket science, the industry will simply not accept a bitter pill from the current administration, because they do not trust them, they see them as the people who caused all this in the first place, and they don't see them doing the hard yards like the rest of the industry

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10 hours ago, Hesi said:

Surely that would be the death knell of the industry, too much infrastructure would be lost

Too many trainers would relocate to Aus or shut up shop for good

Jockeys also or retire, no apprentices coming through

Loss of many other specialists to the industry like farriers, horse transporters

Horse numbers would plummet

Many courses would fall into disrepair

Remaining TAB outlets would probably shut down

The breeding industry would survive, albeit smaller

Many of those things could be overcome. International tourism, a far bigger sector than NZ racing will be shutting down for a year or so. It will resume.

It can be done, but you need aspirational people to forget what they have been doing in the past, and do something that revolves around how they want things to be in the future. There is no point starting up and repeating the same mistakes - and as they say, expecting the results to be different. 

 

 

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