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Riccarton AWT


Hesi
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1 hour ago, Hesi said:

Anyone got an update on where this is at

I had heard a bit of consternation as training gallops had to be finished by 8.45 am because of it, which suggests something is happening

Last I heard you couldn't gallop there till 8.30 because they don't have any lights? Most of us are eating brekkie by then..

Edited by curious
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Will be a problem in the winter, for sure.

Preparatory work starts today.

Tracks open 4.30 a.m. and horses must be off the tracks at 8.45.

Not too big a hurdle for smaller teams at the moment, as it is light enough by 5 a.m.

But, as mentioned above, lighting is poor/average at best, especially for riders with any sight issues, I.e  colour blindness,  so working when days close in, will be difficult indeed.

The plough, big sand, and trial gallop grasses are now taken out of use, leaving just small sand/ cinders for use, and the inside gallop grasses no 6,7,and 8.

Sounds reasonable,  but anyone who knows the layout will appreciate how limited the options now are.

Both small sand and cinders are only able to manage two horses upsides, and that only if those animals are reasonably tractable.  Passing isn't possible and when a pair is working slow, will hold up everything else behind them.

At least Cambridge had its good outside track which would have helped a lot.

The chute/ pony club area, which used to get a great deal of use, and could have virtually been the pacework alternative,  is not now there, due to the housing development. 

We are able to use the outside course proper on occasions,  apparently,  but in a dry year the likelihood of that area being very hard is pretty high.

New track to be finished and usable by August 1st.

I can foresee some testing months. 

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  • 2 months later...

I do find it amusing reading how so many are against the AWT due to reasons such as there being no sighted business case etc, yet the same people suggest they would have been happy to have them build a Strathayr - equally without a sighted business case.

The liar/hypocrite on the other site being a prime example of this.

And the often referred to Toowoomba AWT - yet no mention of the Randwick Kensington or Moe Strathayr tracks. 

I'm against NZ having an AWT or a Strathayr - and it isn't because there has been no sighted business case. It is because we are not in a position to have one when the money (imo) would have been better spent on the existing infrastructure. Having one or two expensive new tracks alongside the remaining pieces of shit isn't going to help.

Edited by mardigras
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7 minutes ago, Hesi said:

Any more detail on what the problem was with the Strathayr track there

Loose clods of grass. Launceston has also come under criticism recently. And that is a track that doesn't even race over winter.

Track troubles ahead of Tassie carnival | RACING.COM

My point is, people seem keen to go down a Strathayr path without a business case, yet complain about AWT due to no business case.

And as an aside, the average field size at Toowoomba with the Strathayr is lower than it was for the AWT. Not saying that is a big deal, but clearly trainers were still taking their horses there.

I guess Strathayr don't count Elwick as an abandoned meeting either.

Edited by mardigras
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We are no wiser as to what went wrong with the maintenance at Elwick.  I presume Strathayr contract out a lot of the work to a local contractor, which would be the same as what would happen at Ellerslie

For example, the turf would have to be grown in or around Auckland, you can't be shipping turf from Aus

In Auckland's case, it is fortunate they have a well established supplier in Turfgrass Specialists who trade under the Ready Lawn brand

 

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13 minutes ago, Hesi said:

We are no wiser as to what went wrong with the maintenance at Elwick.  I presume Strathayr contract out a lot of the work to a local contractor, which would be the same as what would happen at Ellerslie

For example, the turf would have to be grown in or around Auckland, you can't be shipping turf from Aus

In Auckland's case, it is fortunate they have a well established supplier in Turfgrass Specialists who trade under the Ready Lawn brand

 

I'm not sure what your point is. Strathayr specifically grew the turf for Elwick according to the development information.

My point is, things do go wrong with Strathayr - they are not immune. Things go wrong with AWTs - they are not immune either. It likely comes down to how they are maintained.

The view that Strathayr would be some form of solution that would not have problems - is pretty much like suggesting when Ellerslie do maintenance, there won't be problems. Yet people have been quick to suggest that is what we should have - and yet, still no justification for doing so - just like no justification for putting in AWTs.

I'd expect they will just be a more expensive option than standard turf (which they are). And no benefits derived.

Ask yourself, why do they race on Strathayr so rarely in winter?

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35 minutes ago, mardigras said:

I'm not sure what your point is. Strathayr specifically grew the turf for Elwick according to the development information.

My point is, things do go wrong with Strathayr - they are not immune. Things go wrong with AWTs - they are not immune either. It likely comes down to how they are maintained.

The view that Strathayr would be some form of solution that would not have problems - is pretty much like suggesting when Ellerslie do maintenance, there won't be problems. Yet people have been quick to suggest that is what we should have - and yet, still no justification for doing so - just like no justification for putting in AWTs.

I'd expect they will just be a more expensive option than standard turf (which they are). And no benefits derived.

Ask yourself, why do they race on Strathayr so rarely in winter?

Some queries.

I wasn't aware that Strathayr was used rarely in winter.   Does that apply to Moonee Valley too?  [ I should know, but...]

The Strathayr option has been mentioned in context of the Riccarton turf track.  With the problems inherent with that circuit, certainly a nice forgiving surface would be fantastic.  But, the AWT is supposed to be for training, trialling and racing as well.  It is not intended to be a replacement for the turf circuit, but an additional option.  No way is a Strathayr designed- or meant - to cope with heavy use for 6-7 days a week, all year round.  So, not apples with apples.

Also, the grass used at many tracks locally is specified by Turftech.   The problems seen at many 'reconstructed' tracks can involve the cultivars in use, which aren't always [ despite 'expertise' ] suitable for some areas .

As well - while Mardi is in answering mode - the tax-free status [ income tax anyway ] enjoyed by aspects of NZ racing was pointed out to me recently as being no different to that enjoyed by a local charity or sports club.  Maybe.  I couldn't dispute that because - as always - I'm tongue tied if I don't have the facts at hand.

So, does the NZ Rugby Union have a tax-free status,  are the Warriors a charity [ some would say a very deserving one ] , what about golf clubs?  at which point do they stop being sports clubs and start becoming multi-million dollar businesses?

 

 

Edited by Freda
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42 minutes ago, mardigras said:

I'm not sure what your point is. Strathayr specifically grew the turf for Elwick according to the development information.

My point is, things do go wrong with Strathayr - they are not immune. Things go wrong with AWTs - they are not immune either. It likely comes down to how they are maintained.

The view that Strathayr would be some form of solution that would not have problems - is pretty much like suggesting when Ellerslie do maintenance, there won't be problems. Yet people have been quick to suggest that is what we should have - and yet, still no justification for doing so - just like no justification for putting in AWTs.

I'd expect they will just be a more expensive option than standard turf (which they are). And no benefits derived.

Ask yourself, why do they race on Strathayr so rarely in winter?

Was just probing to what extent Strathayr did the work, and to what extent it was done under licence by a local contractor.

 

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IMO the advantage of Strathayrs is not the turf or surface mix so much as the underlying draininge structure. All grass tracks should have been or be being reinstalled with such a structure. Exactly what turf/soil mix goes on top of that is not really the issue for mine. They should also all have contemporary irrigation systems that distribute evenly at low pressure.

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Strathayr have the 100mm square plastic mesh pieces that are incorporated into the top turf layer before it is seeded, so I presume it is locked in by the turf grass roots.  It is claimed, that this is what holds the top turf layer together, and also acts like a spring cushion.  But agree, any turf track should have the correct sub structure and irrigation

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39 minutes ago, Freda said:

Some queries.

I wasn't aware that Strathayr was used rarely in winter.   Does that apply to Moonee Valley too?  [ I should know, but...]

The Strathayr option has been mentioned in context of the Riccarton turf track.  With the problems inherent with that circuit, certainly a nice forgiving surface would be fantastic.  But, the AWT is supposed to be for training, trialling and racing as well.  It is not intended to be a replacement for the turf circuit, but an additional option.  No way is a Strathayr designed- or meant - to cope with heavy use for 6-7 days a week, all year round.  So, not apples with apples.

Also, the grass used at many tracks locally is specified by Turftech.   The problems seen at many 'reconstructed' tracks can involve the cultivars in use, which aren't always [ despite 'expertise' ] suitable for some areas .

As well - while Mardi is in answering mode - the tax-free status [ income tax anyway ] enjoyed by aspects of NZ racing was pointed out to me recently as being no different to that enjoyed by a local charity or sports club.  Maybe.  I couldn't dispute that because - as always - I'm tongue tied if I don't have the facts at hand.

So, does the NZ Rugby Union have a tax-free status,  are the Warriors a charity [ some would say a very deserving one ] , what about golf clubs?  at which point do they stop being sports clubs and start becoming multi-million dollar businesses?

 

 

Moonee Valley race over winter - but quite sparingly.

Over the last 18 -19 years, this is the number of meetings they have had by month

image.png.0ac1ddeec39d655bed5938b1f08e5b48.png

April through August (late Autumn and Winter), they had 119 meetings - say 6 per year over the 23 weeks. For comparison over the same period, Caulfield had 149 meetings, Flemington had 150 meetings and Sandown had 303 meetings (they have two portions of track (Lakeside and Hillside).

Per month across those years, Moonee Valley has averaged around 24 times per month (119/5). Outside of those months, they have averaged 53 times per month.

Launceston during the same months have raced 122 times (average 24 per month) - the other seven months of the year, they have raced 285 times (average 40 per month), across those years.

On the topic of tax-free. Yes clubs can operate under a tax free regime - but they must operate in what is considered an amateur way without profits being for the direct benefit of shareholders etc. So I don't think the Warriors or NZ Rugby meet the criteria. Here's a snippet from the IRD. So suggesting that NZ Racing doesn't pay any tax because it is in the same boat just doesn't wash. They fail to fulfil the last sentence I have copied below.

Amateur sports promoters

Amateur sports promoters are any clubs, societies, trusts or associations set up to promote an amateur game or sport. A common example is a cricket or rugby club.

The game or sport must be for the recreation or entertainment of the general public without significant barriers to participation or watching.

Income tax

Amateur sports promoters are exempt from income tax unless their funds are used for the private benefit of owners, shareholders, members, beneficiaries or associates.

 

Edited by mardigras
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