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Observations on Aus Racing


Hesi
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....from a novice

1.  Very much a flat stakes structure

2.  A clear delineation stakes wise between, country racing(20k), provincial(30K), city mid week(50K), city weekend(100K)and feature racing(megabucks)

3.  Lots of horses in Aus, and some very well bred ones, many you have never heard of

4.  Lots of trainers and jockeys.....good luck to those moving over, you have to be good to rise above the crowd

5.  Very good racing analysis/tips, from a number of sites

6.  Very good fields, even at country level

Question, how did we get it so wrong in NZ?  Perhaps time to handle the whole funding thing over to Aus and let them run us as a 7th state.  No need for RITA/NZRB, keep NZTR to administer racing here

Wasn't that were Messara was heading

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1 & 2. Yep a stakes structure based on tier. In NZ they try a stake structure based on a façade of a tier, and then alter that for supposed class.

We simply do not have the tier here that Australia does. It is a geographical tier. If we had done that, it probably wouldn't work since the geography/costs/racing model simply don't align with such a model.

Question you ask - Answer - the betting provider/the codes stopped focusing on NZ racing. They decided the money was there to be made from those things outside of NZ racing. Coupled with the decisions focused around that new 'source', that is how we got it so wrong. That is it in a nutshell.

Everything went wrong when they changed from being NZ racing focused to focused elsewhere. Their decisions embraced what would make 'elsewhere' more attractive. Nearly 20 years down the track (certainly the last 13), and people are still struggling to see this.

I could write a book about how this relates to my bakery business - but it simply won't help where we are.

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I have been following the Aus racing since NZ bailed, and everyday of the week, they have between 4-8 race meetings, spread across mainly 5 states, the stakes min is around 20,000, but usually racing for 30-50K mid week.

Now, a while back Mardi explained how they fund all that, which I can't remember the detail of, but why would you not just replicate that in NZ, and we become an equivalent of a South Australia or a Queensland, that looks about our level.  

What's the alternative.

We don't then, actually need a Racing Board, other than what Messara recommended they morph into, AFTER the outsourcing of the commercial arm of the TAB.  This was the whole idea in getting things sustainable

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And you watch what happens with Peters, he will push the whole lot onto the racing industry not helping themselves, when at the end of the day, the buck stops with him, in terms of making sure something is put in place that works

He will claim that he got Messara for free to do a report, that he got the various legislation underway for the 'land grab, and various other things(I can't recall them all), that he arranged a bailout.  But those stubborn racing people never helped themselves

Hasn't it also become very clear the extent of the culture that exists at the RB, in that it took a major catastrophe to get things moving and still the self protectionism remains

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8 minutes ago, Hesi said:

Now, a while back Mardi explained how they fund all that, which I can't remember the detail of, but why would you not just replicate that in NZ, and we become an equivalent of a South Australia or a Queensland, that looks about our level.  

It's funded by the betting. And the betting closely mirrors the tiers. So a $20k country tier compared to a $30k provincial tier up to a $80-$100k metropolitan tier (say for the likes of NSW/Vic) results in 50% more betting done on a provincial meeting than a country meeting, and around 3 times as much as a provincial meeting on a metropolitan meeting. So the betting reflects the stake which relates to the punting interest.

In NZ, a premier meeting does not do betting relative to an industry meeting that mirrors the stakes. And a Group 1 does not do a lot more than a R65 . That's a big issue.

And the overall betting on NZ races is below that of Australian country meetings. So we have our bar set too high relative to the interest in it. We want to have the high stakes, but there simply isn't the interest that is commensurate with the stake levels. Hence the need to rely heavily on revenue streams that are external to NZ racing.

So on the basis that an operator off-shore ran our racing and we got funding like the Australian states get from that, then we would be likely to have stake levels well below what they were prior to Covid-19. Because the interest is not there. Yes, they could likely do a better job, but without the other revenue streams NZ racing currently gets, it would be well below the funding levels NZ racing is used to.

Australians also bet (lose) a lot more per capita on racing than NZers do. If we can't get the Australians interested in NZ racing, then we don't gain from that propensity to spend. 

Which is why to me, the whole process forward should be about making the racing more appealing - attract NZ punters back to it, and also attract off-shore punters to bet through their available channels on NZ racing, and clip the ticket. If we don't have interest in NZ racing, we don't generate much money from NZ Racing - and we need it from elsewhere. And hence we become dependent on revenues such as sports betting and pokies to prop the racing industry up.

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Which is why to me, the whole process forward should be about making the racing more appealing - attract NZ punters back to it,

 

I agree Mardi with what your saying but easier said than done.

I've been to numerous Carnivals over the years and most when I was younger.

I was that rare male that was there for the races!!!

Do you talk mainly of the elite punter?

I unfortunately do not see any light at the end of the tunnel....................I sincerely wish I did.

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I think the other message in Mardi's post is that if you want to follow the Oz model to some extent at least, you can't run a 200k group race and a 30k R65 on the same day that are producing almost the same revenue. Similarly, you can't run a 10k R 65 on Wednesday doing almost the same turnover as a 25k R65 on Saturday. The stakes need to be in direct proportion to the betting revenue. That's what tiers, if any must be related to.

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49 minutes ago, mardigras said:

It's funded by the betting. And the betting closely mirrors the tiers. So a $20k country tier compared to a $30k provincial tier up to a $80-$100k metropolitan tier (say for the likes of NSW/Vic) results in 50% more betting done on a provincial meeting than a country meeting, and around 3 times as much as a provincial meeting on a metropolitan meeting. So the betting reflects the stake which relates to the punting interest.

In NZ, a premier meeting does not do betting relative to an industry meeting that mirrors the stakes. And a Group 1 does not do a lot more than a R65 . That's a big issue.

And the overall betting on NZ races is below that of Australian country meetings. So we have our bar set too high relative to the interest in it. We want to have the high stakes, but there simply isn't the interest that is commensurate with the stake levels. Hence the need to rely heavily on revenue streams that are external to NZ racing.

So on the basis that an operator off-shore ran our racing and we got funding like the Australian states get from that, then we would be likely to have stake levels well below what they were prior to Covid-19. Because the interest is not there. Yes, they could likely do a better job, but without the other revenue streams NZ racing currently gets, it would be well below the funding levels NZ racing is used to.

Australians also bet (lose) a lot more per capita on racing than NZers do. If we can't get the Australians interested in NZ racing, then we don't gain from that propensity to spend. 

Which is why to me, the whole process forward should be about making the racing more appealing - attract NZ punters back to it, and also attract off-shore punters to bet through their available channels on NZ racing, and clip the ticket. If we don't have interest in NZ racing, we don't generate much money from NZ Racing - and we need it from elsewhere. And hence we become dependent on revenues such as sports betting and pokies to prop the racing industry up.

Surely that has become mission impossible now.  With the concern about just what stakemoney will be  in 20/21, good horses are being relocated by connections to Aus, likewise trainers and jockeys, so racing here is becoming less appealing

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5 minutes ago, craigos1 said:

Which is why to me, the whole process forward should be about making the racing more appealing - attract NZ punters back to it,

 

I agree Mardi with what your saying but easier said than done.

I've been to numerous Carnivals over the years and most when I was younger.

I was that rare male that was there for the races!!!

Do you talk mainly of the elite punter?

I unfortunately do not see any light at the end of the tunnel....................I sincerely wish I did.

I guess there are many aspects to making the racing more attractive. And it doesn't have to be in relation to people attending, but if that happens, then that can have some positive spinoffs for the clubs.

The things I mainly see as problems are around track surfaces/presentation/confidence in integrity. So it's a package. Racing that is run on tracks where punters have confidence in what they see, the racing is presented in a quality way (to assist with visual appeal/information), and the rules/implementation/overseeing is done in a way that again instils confidence in the punter. (and the participants).

You can then add on numerous points of difference around making NZ racing something different to the alternatives. I'm not a marketer/creative type of person, but things that have been discussed on here are things like time between races etc Also, things like pricing - there is a lot of scope in how racing in NZ is priced (to the punter). We don't have to follow the herd. Do something different to set a different scene. See if that can grab the attention of punters purely on a price point basis.

I don't see a lot of light at the end of the tunnel - because they have done so much to drive punters away from NZ racing, it is going to be incredibly difficult to turn that around. Maybe impossible.

From the pure betting side of things, NZ doesn't currently have the means to be all things to all punters. The TAB cannot ever do that. So having different types of operators allowing different types of punters to choose the operator that best suits their need, is something we should have been doing. Even retaining the TAB isn't a huge issue - if they removed the risk elements and let them be taken up by other organisations. But alas, the time may be too late. An aside from that, I don't think the administrators in NZ racing think along these lines.

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2 minutes ago, Hesi said:

Surely that has become mission impossible now.  With the concern about just what stakemoney will be  in 20/21, good horses are being relocated by connections to Aus, likewise trainers and jockeys, so racing here is becoming less appealing

You don't need good horses to have attractive racing (imo). You need good racing, run on trustworthy surfaces, with trustworthy rules and rule keepers. And if the best horses have gone, the need to continue with the façade of high stakes is perhaps lessened.

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38 minutes ago, mardigras said:

The things I mainly see as problems are around track surfaces/presentation/confidence in integrity. So it's a package. Racing that is run on tracks where punters have confidence in what they see, the racing is presented in a quality way (to assist with visual appeal/information), and the rules/implementation/overseeing is done in a way that again instils confidence in the punter. (and the participants).

This is one of the most serious issues in my mind. It seems strange to me that although there seems to be some enthusiasm and action on the AWTs there seems to have been no sign of movement re Messara's recommendations on track renovations and rebuilds, e.g.that Awapuni and Ellerslie tracks be completely rebuilt. I may have missed something on this but isn't this part of RITA's task in operationalising the Messara report? I haven't heard a word about it 18 months later.

Edited by curious
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1 hour ago, curious said:

This is one of the most serious issues in my mind. It seems strange to me that although there seems to be some enthusiasm and action on the AWTs there seems to have been no sign of movement re Messara's recommendations on track renovations and rebuilds, e.g.that Awapuni and Ellerslie tracks be completely rebuilt. I may have missed something on this but isn't this part of RITA's task in operationalising the Messara report? I haven't heard a word about it 18 months later.

Tongue in cheek Curious?

They have to transfer assets of the 20 courses that are closing to NZTR to be able to pay for all this, 190 mil was the figure.

Also remembering Messara's comment, that unless the outsourcing of the TAB was achieved then all the other 16 recommendations were futile.

The Cabinet accepted the proposals in the Messara Report, plus taking into account Peters letter of expectation, RITA have failed to deliver.

Dean McKenzie seems like a nice industry based person, perhaps the job was just too big for him

PS: Did you get some of the Poolstar

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7 hours ago, VC! said:

Catalyst will come back into work in a day or two, have a trial or two in NZ possibly one start in NZ then head to Australia with his main goal the Golden Eagle

that would've happened with or without the mess we're i and woth or without Covid. I agree that NZ Racing structure should be simplified into rural/country/provincial and metro tiers, with race days and stakes allotted accordingly. Only the best race in the big city for the 'bigger' money and you dont get a free pass into Metro meets based on anything but ratings (unless a Pearl Series or similar incentivised scheme for breeders). I also wonder if NZTR have thought of introducing 'claiming' races, as is commonplace overseas.

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4 hours ago, Hesi said:

Tongue in cheek Curious?

They have to transfer assets of the 20 courses that are closing to NZTR to be able to pay for all this, 190 mil was the figure.

Also remembering Messara's comment, that unless the outsourcing of the TAB was achieved then all the other 16 recommendations were futile.

The Cabinet accepted the proposals in the Messara Report, plus taking into account Peters letter of expectation, RITA have failed to deliver.

Dean McKenzie seems like a nice industry based person, perhaps the job was just too big for him

PS: Did you get some of the Poolstar

Quite serious. Surely they at least have a work plan and funding plan for this by now.

No on the Poolstar yet. Still have a stock of W&F on hand.

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9 hours ago, Hesi said:

They have to transfer assets of the 20 courses that are closing to NZTR to be able to pay for all this, 190 mil was the figure.

They need to be able to put the appropriate work into the tracks in a sustainable way. Getting a bunch of money to fix tracks won't change anything if they don't incorporate this aspect into the model. Take 10-12% of your tracks out of availability for 6 - 9 months+ each year. On a rotation, doing that every 8 - 10 years, that covers every track. So that every track has the ability to be ready for racing. 

But to do that, the distribution requires that not all available funds goes to stakes.  Otherwise after the $x mil (if they got it), we'd quickly be back to where we are now.

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9 hours ago, Maximus said:

I agree that NZ Racing structure should be simplified into rural/country/provincial and metro tiers, with race days and stakes allotted accordingly. Only the best race in the big city for the 'bigger' money and you dont get a free pass into Metro meets based on anything but ratings (unless a Pearl Series or similar incentivised scheme for breeders). I also wonder if NZTR have thought of introducing 'claiming' races, as is commonplace overseas.

I don't agree that NZ needs or should have tiered racing. We don't have a distribution of trainers/jockeys/horses that creates the relationship. There is no real difference between a horse racing at Woodville to a horse racing at Trentham. It would takes years to manifest such a variance. Our training areas aren't reflective of those areas.

Things like that allows the tiers to operate effectively in Australia. And costs of a trainer in a metro area are significantly higher than they are for a country trainer.

Can you expand on which areas/tracks would be candidates for Metro status?

And can you give us some ideas on stakes levels?

Country $6k, Provincial $9k, Metro $25k - or something different to that?

And can you give us an idea of a schedule. We will need one metro meeting at least every week. So the metro tracks chosen are going to need to sustain more than 52 race dates (since they will have some midweek dates for carnivals etc). And how will we maintain those metro tracks so that they don't become stuffed?

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1 hour ago, mardigras said:

They need to be able to put the appropriate work into the tracks in a sustainable way. Getting a bunch of money to fix tracks won't change anything if they don't incorporate this aspect into the model. Take 10-12% of your tracks out of availability for 6 - 9 months+ each year. On a rotation, doing that every 8 - 10 years, that covers every track. So that every track has the ability to be ready for racing. 

But to do that, the distribution requires that not all available funds goes to stakes.  Otherwise after the $x mil (if they got it), we'd quickly be back to where we are now.

Yes agree, but imagine if Saundry put together a budget and arrangement like that for the thoroughbred industry, the knives would be out for him, especially that lot at Ellerslie

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8 minutes ago, Hesi said:

Yes agree, but imagine if Saundry put together a budget and arrangement like that for the thoroughbred industry, the knives would be out for him, especially that lot at Ellerslie

But that's been the thinking for the last twenty years. At which point does the thinking change?

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