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Emailed this to a friend earlier today. Guess it's time to get out and a they lose a couple of horses.

"I’m not sure I’m going to like what I hear today. On the other hand at least we finally have some action. But if I can’t get away for a few days to Marlborough, the Coast or Wairoa or the like, I’m not sure I want to bother. "

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20 minutes ago, mardigras said:

I think the likes of East Cape/Poverty Bay will be pretty annoyed. My understanding was the carnival generated a bit of income for the local communities.

Whilst I smypathise and understand there situation, the harsh reality is they are miles away from horse populations and cost owners a fortune to get there. We cant keep sooking about costs and then try and save tracks that are boardering on uneconomic for owners to fright horses too.

We have been moaning about costs for ages and this was inevitable I'm afraid.

PS: I loved going to Te Teko in late Jan every year, been going for 20yrs, but I am a realist as well.

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43 minutes ago, Freda said:

Got cross eyed looking at the screen...but from my point of view, not bad at all.  Lost interest past February.

And the Coast still operating at this stage anyway.

We now need to know if we are racing for ribbons or $7000 or what?.

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1 hour ago, barryb said:

Whilst I smypathise and understand there situation, the harsh reality is they are miles away from horse populations and cost owners a fortune to get there. We cant keep sooking about costs and then try and save tracks that are boardering on uneconomic for owners to fright horses too.

We have been moaning about costs for ages and this was inevitable I'm afraid.

PS: I loved going to Te Teko in late Jan every year, been going for 20yrs, but I am a realist as well.

For sure - some of the hard decisions need to be made.

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51 minutes ago, mardigras said:

If it's ribbons - any preference for colour - or would the standard blue be OK? 

Navy Blue please, do I still get a wine bottle (prefer full of wine) & do I still get to eat cheese and crackers after the race?.

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4 minutes ago, barryb said:

Navy Blue please, do I still get a wine bottle (prefer full of wine) & do I still get to eat cheese and crackers after the race?.

I think the wine is replaced with a flagon of McWilliams sherry (ideally shared around as much as possible). They suggest you bring your own cheese and crackers (but they allow swaps - so you can bring some of curious's cheese scones and raspberry jam).

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All joking aside, for RITA to present their Draft Calendar in that disgustingly difficult-to-read format says a great deal about their capabilities and attitude to the stakeholders they are paid to serve. The most important information they have released in months and they don't care whether or not we can read, absorb, digest and assess its merits. And it's supposed to be a consultation document

Edited by Maximus
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12 minutes ago, Maximus said:

All joking aside, for RITA to present their Draft Calendar in that disgustingly difficult-to-read format says a great deal about their capabilities and attitude to the stakeholders they are paid to serve. The most important information they have released in months and they don't care whether or not we can read, absorb, digest and assess its merits. And it's supposed to be a consultation document

It's poor on the eyes for many with the lines. But worse than that, putting something in calendar format is crazy when it covers many months. It would have been so easy to put dates/days of week down the left, and then to put the meetings across a series of columns by code and within that by 'region'. Easy to see the progression of dates within a region etc. And the calendar could have been put out in multiple formats to allow easy assessment. But no, we'll make it as difficult as possible to keep up the smoke and mirrors.

 

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From the Messara Report.

Worth noting

1.  Te Teko, Blenheim, Waipa and Waikouaiti were on the list of 28 to be retained

2.  If the rationale put forward for racecourse rationalisation is to be effective, then there would have to be be a lot more closures

 

Arguments in Favour of Racecourse Consolidation

Arguments used in the past in favour of racecourse consolidation in New Zealand still generally apply today. It has long been argued that racecourse consolidation would:

• Improve the capital structure of the industry by avoiding the wasteful duplication of facilities on little used or unpopular courses • Save on total racecourse annual operating costs

• Facilitate the focus for industry funding on the best racecourses in the best locations

• Provide additional industry funding by the sale of closed racecourses on freehold land, particularly if it could be made compulsory under the law for the proceeds to go to the industry and not to the Club/s or to other parties (see later in this Part).

However, in 2018 the main drivers for racecourse consolidation are assessed to be somewhat different from those in the past. Historically, the main drivers seem to have been cost savings from closing racecourses and revenue generation by the sale of racecourse land. This is still the case as using industry funding to maintain some 50 venues, most of which now have outdated racing and facilities infrastructure, as reviewed later in this Part, would be a flawed use of limited industry resources, and especially when potentially significant proceeds might be generated by the sale of racecourse land. But today the other main driver must be revenue growth. By closing venues and by maintaining those that remain to the highest possible standard that the industry can afford, in terms of racing infrastructure and other facilities, should result in better racing, possibly better attendances, a better experience for owners, trainers and other patrons and opportunities to improve non-racing income. But much more importantly, it should lead to better betting turnover off course, both domestically and internationally, due to better tracks, better racing, more consistent form lines and a better TV vision presentation of the product which will be further enhanced with the introduction of HD coverage.

In this connection, we were advised that one international computer betting organisation had researched some 10 years of New Zealand thoroughbred racing form and results and concluded that their system could not be assured of making a profit, which it did in other countries in which they operated, even after allowing for potential rebates on significant betting turnover. Their conclusion was that the randomness and variance of form and results in New Zealand was probably unique with the main reasons being the generally poor state of tracks, the amount of wet track racing and wide deviations in track conditions as between tracks at the same time of year. These views are important as a robust and appealing betting product is critical to the future of the New Zealand thoroughbred racing industry. Indeed, the unsatisfactory state of many New Zealand tracks and facilities, and the “shabby” look of much of New Zealand racing as a TV product, is a significant impediment to the industry achieving success. New Zealand thoroughbred racing needs to be showcased to New Zealanders and to the world.

The key is a significant increase in the number of meetings at venues 46 47 with better tracks and facilities. New Zealand needs to move towards exceptional racing on quality tracks. Put simply, a large number of meetings will have to be pushed up the line from lesser venues to the better venues, which venues in turn need to be upgraded to an acceptably good standard. Given that the foal crop and the racehorse population has been in slow decline in New Zealand this means the total number of meetings and races cannot be increased in the foreseeable future. So, it follows, ipso facto, that a significant number of racecourses must be closed. For the New Zealand thoroughbred racing industry, it is not only the downside of maintaining too many racecourses that needs to be considered but, more significantly, the upside foregone by doing so.

Arguments Against Racecourse Consolidation

Arguments against racecourse consolidation in New Zealand have included:

• The racing industry benefits from racecourses in many locations as this helps introduce people to racing and increases interest.

• The New Zealand topography means that New Zealand needs more racecourses than some other countries. • There is a special place in New Zealand racing for racecourses that hold only 1 or 2 meetings away from the major cities as these are popular and are often special social events.

• There is much community support for racing across the country and closing tracks would have an adverse impact on community life and on employment in some locations.

• The rights of clubs and their members should be respected and they should not be required to close their racecourse unless they agree.

• Clubs will lose their identity if required to move to other racecourses.

It is our view that most of these arguments relate, as PricewaterhouseCoopers put it so well, to “the dynamics of an earlier era”. Racing is increasingly becoming an away from the racecourse betting and entertainment product. For those people that wish to attend meetings, commuting is easier than ever before. Yes, there are the iconic I or 2 race meeting venues, and these should be retained if at all possible. But there are other 1 or 2 meeting venues where public support is minimal and it seems that, other than for the major venues, all other venues in New Zealand get little support for more than a few meetings per year. Indeed, it seems that community support for “bread and butter” racing is often exaggerated. We note that while a community might have a healthy interest in racing and betting, in many cases this interest does not extend to supporting the local venue. This is common place now in most racing jurisdictions around the world. With respect to Clubs that move losing their identity, when Clubs have moved in the past it has often worked out reasonably well for all parties.

One exception to low levels of community interest is Ireland which has about the same population as New Zealand, ran 357 thoroughbred race meetings in 2017 compared to New Zealand’s 2017/18 schedule of 321, and still had an average attendance across all meetings in 2017 of 3,589 compared to New Zealand’s in 2016/2017 of 1,174. It is noted that the Irish thoroughbred industry is also about three times the size of New Zealand’s and receives much Irish Government support. According to a Deloitte report of 2017 the Irish thoroughbred industry’s Direct and Stimulated Expenditure contribution to the Irish economy in 2016 was Euro 1.84 billion or $3.13 billion (New Zealand $1.10 billion in 2016/17) and it employed directly or indirectly, on a FTE basis, a total of 29,800 people (New Zealand 9,621). The Irish thoroughbred foal crop is also about three times that of New Zealand at 9,689 foals in 2017 (New Zealand 3,448 in 2016/17).

The case is also often put that if a racecourse is not costing the industry money, or much money, why should it be closed. Unfortunately, this is a fallacious argument. No racecourse in New Zealand pays its way. Racecourses and Race Clubs exist today only because of the income generated by the betting public, the significant losses that owners are prepared to sustain and the government taxation arrangements that apply. Others argue that Race Clubs should better understand that licences to run race meetings are a privilege and not a right.

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13 minutes ago, Hesi said:

The case is also often put that if a racecourse is not costing the industry money, or much money, why should it be closed. Unfortunately, this is a fallacious argument. No racecourse in New Zealand pays its way. Racecourses and Race Clubs exist today only because of the income generated by the betting public, the significant losses that owners are prepared to sustain and the government taxation arrangements that apply. Others argue that Race Clubs should better understand that licences to run race meetings are a privilege and not a right.

One of the areas where NZ has performed poorly - is around the class/stakes/tier model. They've gone down the path of pretending there are tiers in NZ - and on that basis, deemed tiers would be rewarded with different stake levels.

That was a horrendous decision. If they had simply done the exercise of what each level of race achieves from a gross revenue perspective (as a measure of public interest), they could have then rewarded on that basis. Yes, all meetings would still be losers (since most of the stake is coming form non NZ racing), but the payout would have been commensurate with the attraction.

It's one area I am sure they don't comprehend when they look at the tiers that operate in Australia. But the reality of Australia is the relative betting on the country to the provincial to the metro - overall - mirrors the relative stake on the country to the provincial to the metro. That means owners are rewarded in relation to the interest shown in the races their horses are in.

We don't do that, which affects the rewards to owners (as far as spread goes) as more money is unfairly distributed to less races - which have no greater punter attraction. 

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5 hours ago, barryb said:

Whilst I smypathise and understand there situation, the harsh reality is they are miles away from horse populations and cost owners a fortune to get there. We cant keep sooking about costs and then try and save tracks that are boardering on uneconomic for owners to fright horses too.

We have been moaning about costs for ages and this was inevitable I'm afraid.

PS: I loved going to Te Teko in late Jan every year, been going for 20yrs, but I am a realist as well.

I concur with your reasoning Barry but for me, with the club funded travel subsidies, it's less expensive to take one to Wairoa than it is to Trentham. So, I'm missing their logic here.

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Has anyone asked Bernard if he and the other overpaid turkeys in senior management are taking a 20-30% pay cut? If it's good enough for the wallies in parliament it should be compulsory for an organisation that has failed to do its job thus far.

Edited by Maximus
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2 hours ago, mardigras said:

It's poor on the eyes for many with the lines. But worse than that, putting something in calendar format is crazy when it covers many months. It would have been so easy to put dates/days of week down the left, and then to put the meetings across a series of columns by code and within that by 'region'. Easy to see the progression of dates within a region etc. And the calendar could have been put out in multiple formats to allow easy assessment. But no, we'll make it as difficult as possible to keep up the smoke and mirrors.

 

They have issued (on the official NEWS page of the loveracing website the Media Release announcing 'Venues Reduced' etc but NO CALENDAR viewable or Downloadable on that page, and
not even a link to the Draft Calendar within an 840-word short flocking novel justifying their proposed actions. 

This incompetent outfit should be replaced by a Statutory Manager or Commissioner(s).

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