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17 July 2020



New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR) announced today that stakes levels for the 2020/21 racing season will return to those in the 2019/20 season pre-COVID.


“The NZTR Board met yesterday and I am pleased to advise the wider industry that our stake levels were determined for the coming season,” NZTR CEO Bernard Saundry said.  “It is our intention that stakes levels will remain consistent with the pre-COVID levels, however we need to be aware that we continue to operate in an uncertain environment.”


“As an industry we need to be cognisant of the continuing uncertainties that COVID-19 has brought about and be nimble enough to make adjustments if required,” Saundry said.


“As a code we will work closely with the TAB to address any variations that may occur during the upcoming season,” he said.  “At the same time though, we need to provide encouragement for our owners, and we will be continuing with two initiatives introduced during our return to racing period in the new season.”


NZTR introduced payment back to 14th place and no nomination or acceptance fees for those horses which started at the return to racing meetings, as an acknowledgement of the difficult times experienced by owners during the lockdown period.  Both will continue from 1 August.


On the programming front, August and September will see the return of Maiden, 3YO and R65 races.  Programmes will still include Open Entry races to maximise opportunities for horses, however this will be reviewed throughout that period.


“NZTR acknowledges the support of the government and the Racing Industry Transition Agency (RITA) during these difficult times as we navigated the lockdown and post-COVID environment while also negotiating the passage of the Racing Industry Bill,” Saundry said.

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Things have been poor the last few years - net profit stagnant or going down, and distributions going up. It's a wonderful model. The current year report is going to be an interesting read. 

If you look at things back in 2006/2007 and adjust for the levy rate changes, the TAB was delivering more money from sports/racing (let alone adjusting for the value of that money) then than now. All before commingling, 100,000 imported races, very little sports betting and tiny amount of fixed odds.on racing What a cock-up.

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“It is our intention that stakes levels will remain consistent with the pre-COVID levels, however we need to be aware that we continue to operate in an uncertain environment.”

Of course they had to announce reversion to pre-Covid levels for Stakes in order to avoid a mass exodus of people (esp owners, trainers) and horses (the best ones). But if they do not sort out the partnnering/outsourcing issue and the ridiculous overpayments to execs, wastefulness and poor marketing/comms strategy ...it will not be long before Stakes start declining (with a perfect excuse, 'the uncertain environment').


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As Mardi has said, they have an obligation to publish 20/21 forecasts, so people in the industry, can scrutinise where the income is coming from and what the costs are.

Unless income has increased and costs have decreased, then if they are planning on maintaining current payouts to codes to maintain the same stakes, then they are running at a loss.

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13 hours ago, curious said:

The announced distribution across codes is down $30m from the current season so about $15m down for TR. So, they are going to offer the same stakes for FY21 as FY20 plus free racing? Magic.

They prob think its 'paid for' by the savings accruing from axing Radio Trackside!!

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