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  1. 32 points
    Chris Wood

    Thomas Wood gone

    Thanks Trump, kind words. Very proud of Tom, as his mother Colleen is to, and he has worked hard to get where he is, like most people in NZ Racing. He has had his critics, and he has coped well with all of this, especially the anonymous ones who feel they know more about the caper than he does. He is only going to get better as time goes on, and I know that he leaves these shores on good terms with his former employer. There are plenty of people to thank, and I would like to single out Reon Murtha, who took a personal interest in Tom a few years ago, and has had quite a hand in Tom's career up to this stage.
  2. 31 points
    Midget

    Purcell WTF

    I learned today that our CEO is off on 3 weeks leave as of tomorrow back on the 9th January. Well Greg it is past the time of being nice to you,in my opinion you are without QUESTION the worse CEO our industry has the pain to endure. There is a funeral on Friday at Gore TO FAREWELL Rebecca Black. I will be completely gutted if you cannot fly down to Gore and represent NZTR at the funeral.You can fly Internationally to Paris,Australia,Mongolia and Hong Kong AT OUR COST and yet i am advised that you will be on 3 weeks holiday from tomorrow,so I believe that this is bullshit,you said on National Television about safety vest helmets etc,you had NOTHING to do with the introductions of these measures and yet your holiday takes precedence over your presences at this ladies farewell,you are an embarrassment as our CEO. You told ME at my hearing that there never has been an issue at Awapuni,even after it was pointing out that a steward would not operate with the rail out more than 8m and yet another horse almost did the same last week.I was going to ask what was your limp wristed reply was,but i know as an nonperforming CEO just do another report and it will disappear,just like the last 20 reports you have has done to cover your arse. and makes you look like you are in control. You are a plastic cutout of a CEO,YOU HAVE WASTED INDUSTRY MONEY ON JUNKETS,and yet i have never read a report from you to say what was achieved on these junkets. Sorry you came back with the catch cry Best Practice that sounds impressive,but the Industry knows like you should,this another wasted cliche that you use to make you look like you know what you are doing,which we all know this is more crap that you believe will appease us. You know if you lose your position at NZTR,you would be unemployable in Australia,hence why you came here,even after falsifying your CV saying you raced 90 horses and was the leading Country bookmaker for 12 years, I am over you and do the honorable thing and resign before you are pushed and you may even leave NZ with a small amount of creditably,as of today in my view you have NONE AND SURELY IS TIME FOR THAT SONG HOMEWARD BOUND.
  3. 25 points
    poundforpound

    Lest We Forget

    Good day to reflect on what’s actually important in life, and bow our heads to those who offered their lives so we can enjoy this right to freedom of mind and body.
  4. 24 points
    Tim Carter

    Livingston yet again.

    Firstly can I say we are gutted by what has happened to Rogan. As Trainers you feel like it is your fault when this happens. Like everyone else our first reaction was to blame the horse . Having now contacted Rogan and some of barrier attendants it appears it was a freak accident. Rogan's stirrup iron got stuck on a part of the starting gates as she was loading. The weight of the horse going forward caused the injuries. Rogan and the barrier attendants said it could have happened with any horse. The person that started this tread has had a crack about the horse previously so I want to set the record straight. Before the Taupo incident where she slipped onto her haunches as the gates were about to open, she had trialed 5 times and raced 6 times without incident. Why her back legs went under her we don't know. She did not throw herself over backwards as someone on here commented. At her next start she refused to load and this was probably a carry over from her Taupo experience. The Stipes requested she undergo an official barrier jump out. The barrier boys worked out how best to load her and she trialed at Cambridge without incident.( ridden by Margaret). Livingston then ran 4th with Kinjite on. At her following start Kinjite was dislodged NOT BY LIVINGSTON, but by the horse in the next barrier ridden by G Cooksley. That horse had played up in the birdcage and also at the barriers. It came out of the gates sideways and heavily bumped into Livingston causing Kinjite to fall off. This was not reported to the Stipes, much easier to blame Livingston as she had the reputation by now. Back to yesterday,because of the serious injuries suffered by Rogan the Stipes will carry out a thorough investigation into the incident and in particular how the stirrup iron became stuck in the starting gates .Perhaps there needs to be a modification done so it never happens again? Some of the comments on here (always under an alias) put an indirect slur on the Stipes and also on us as Trainers. In closing, yes Livingston can be difficult to load but there are plenty of other horses that need patience and extra care when loading. The barrier boys were getting her confidence back and this terrible accident had to happen with Livingston immediately getting the blame. It does nobody any good making uninformed and inflammatory remarks on a public forum. If any one wants to discuss this further with me then please do. My phone number is 021354588.. Tim Carter
  5. 23 points
    JTeaz

    Hilton Donaldson incoming

    I have no problem with racecafe as everyone is entitled to their own opinion.however,it needs to be known that i pay for my own flights up and down the country to cover the meets im rostered for. Attack me all you like but i pay my own way.you are quite welcome to check my bank account as it will prove it.
  6. 22 points
    Jape

    John Parsons injured

    I had heard earlier in the week that John had been knocked over by a horse and that was confirmed today. Quite severe rib damage, I gather, but it could so easily have been worse. I am sure all Cafers would like to wish him well and trust that he has a speedy recovery.
  7. 22 points
    Trump

    Just typical of todays world

    I was in a Supermarket queue one day and an 80yo (approx) lady in front of me had a discount loaf of bread and a couple of other items and I could hear her saying to the checkout how life was tough and that she hadn't eaten fish or meat for months etc. I felt guilty so followed her out and offered to help her to her $1 Taxi ride. Started chatting and ended up giving her a lift home (not far). Got her to her house and noticed her little bungalow had leaking (read holes in gutters etc) spouting and I asked her if she had any family. To cut a long story short, she lived alone and had no family close. She was living on a pension, had no savings so couldn't afford repairs etc. After an hour chatting she revealed shed lost all her $ on the pokies and had borrowed $10,000 from a 4th tier lender (you know, the ones that have a real interest rate of 500%) and much of her pension was going to pay "interest only" on the loan. I got her to sign a letter appointing me her Spokesman and went to the Loan Shark, who at first told me to "Fornicate off". Keeping my cool, I quietly told the shark that my next visit was to the local newspaper, TV3, local radio station and anyone else I could expose this shark to. He agreed to disolve the loan and apply all her interest payments to principal and we did a deal whereby I closed out the loan. This all started from her addiction to Pokies. Don't talk to me about pokies please. They are the scourge of every small town community and create misery for all those who can least afford to play them. That's what I call "problem" gambling at its worst (or should that be best?).
  8. 22 points
    Midget

    Addictive Habit

    It's a bit of a perfect storm that's causing this disappearance of males. They've been harshly treated with this ludicrous and irrational pro female policy NZTR introduced, that's certainly true, but the real hidden killer for males is the diminished return to owners ( in other words cost of racing a horse ) combined with the inexplicable reluctance to shift male horses down in the handicap. That means horses like Swiper The Fox have to be retired because whilst they are still well and truly capable of winning one and maybe two races per season, they'd be the $25,000 races so the owners bank about $13k per win, then they get a monthly bill of $3000-$3,500 for training plus expenses. Spin Doctor is in exactly the same category, it'll come as no surprise that he's been retired now. That horse of Richardsons, Dubai Shuffle is a good example. That's had 6 starts this campaign, it's won $7,000, say $5,000 net, ran one placing, cost the owners about $20,000 in training fees and expenses, and it's gone up one point net since the beginning of this campaign !! Any owner with even half a brain quickly works out that a male horse winning two open handicaps per year, banking $26000 net, but who costs $35,000 to have in work for that year is a very bad proposition, and so they dispose of them, retire them. That same male horse who's been forced into retirement would of course be earning the industry $14,000 in revenue, $2,500 net profit, every time it ran if it had a reason to stay in work of course. We've had the guts ripped out of our industry this last five years, lives have been torn apart, good people forced out of the game, there's a slew of tracks contemplating closure, chaos has become the norm in this industry, there's no accountability from officials, every week we see infrastructural failure, but the salary earners who don't ever have to take a risk, never spill their blood, or use any energy to put on the show, they've just orchestrated policies and strategies that are killing our game, in between trips abroad and commissioning yet another report into the previous report. There we go, that's a good rant, so what's the solution. 1. Get rid of the stupid 2kg female allowance 2. Drop male horses ratings a lot quicker to keep them competitive 3. Pay connections to present their horses to race 4. Get over this artificial attempt to increase stakes because it's the RTO that matters not the gross stake advertised. 5. Change the 65 grade into two grades not one and make one of the new 65 grades benchmark rated. 6. Apply a maximum rating of 2 points to mid week grade races, even for horses racing out of the handicap. 7. Stop treating the select few trainers who're on first name terms with those at head office preferentially 8. Any horse coming back from a spell of more than 6 months should be dropped 5 points to allow them to win a race. 9. Introduce a set weight grade for horses that haven't won for the previous year, and if that works consider a grade for non winners in the previous two years. 10. And lastly, get rid of the totally ineffective and dysfunctional Trainers Assn and replace that entity with a body that will actually do something to effect change, because the trainers and jockeys actually have the power to restore this great industry to its rightful place, but they don't have the vision or the courage to make those who're doing the current damage accountable.
  9. 21 points
    scooby3051

    Maija Vance

    Thanks for the update, wish yourself, Maija and all your family well during this tough period from everyone here at Racecafe....hope she makes a full and speedy recovery...everyone here at Racecafe would love nothing better.
  10. 21 points
    Chris Wood

    Last day tomorrow!

    Thomas Wood fronts up tomorrow for his last days calling at Awapuni. It has been a pleasure to see you ply your trade, the steps you have made and the way you have handled yourself is enough for any parent to be very proud. Thanks to the people who have helped you along the way, especially Graeme Hansen who saw the potential in you and Reon Murtha who took a personal interest in your chosen career. Good luck tomorrow chap, you have one proud family behind you!
  11. 21 points
    mmmyb

    Putting an end to rumours

    Actually Greg, I was informed yesterday afternoon from the Riu that the kibble had returned positive to morphine and that they where scratching my dogs from today. I don't see why our dogs should be scratched when we are not the only ones that feed this kibble. The positives date back over 2 months now, all the trainers involved with the positives have been swabbed since with no more positive results. I can not see the justification in penalising us again. I have been using the product for at least a couple of years. I feel your inference of some other contamination in light of this result is quite unjustified. The kibble has been brought over different periods of time through two seperate retailers. Have you thought that maybe the manafacturers may have received a contaminated product ie wheat that inadvertently may have wild poppy seeds, maybe it is just the one batch, which would seem the most likely. If every dog that has raced recently was swabbed maybe some other kennels may have been in this boat also. As I said not all of my swabs have been positive so may be some dogs have different excretion times than others. I thought this was the best result having the biscuits proven to contain morphine. At least I could save mine, Tracy's, Alysha and Arch's reputation as being honest as it is all you have in this game sometimes. Its obvious though that this is going to be just as stressfull and ongoing for a while yet. At this stage we may not even be allowed to race this week either. At least I can now see who my real friends are. Wayne Steele
  12. 20 points
    Boss Hogg

    The good old days

    Remember the good old days about six months ago when on a Saturday morning you sprung out of bed and skipped down the hall to the kitchen giving the missus a cuddle and a kiss .Sitting down at the table opening your laptop and spending a couple of hours going thru all the fields . You get your bacon and eggs while you put your bets together ew bets done multis done doubles done pick6 done ahh life was easy.Outside the kitchen window the birds are cherping in your favorite bottle brush tree boy they sound great .Giving the missus a little kiss goodbye you wonder down to the pub to compare and discuss your bets with your mates .Happy hour is on so a nice jug of Speights and a few bets life it doesnt get much better for an old digger. Fast forward six months Saturday morning you wake up knowing you have a mission you look down the hall it seems longer and narrower you finally reach the kitchen giving the missus a knowing nod. You circle the table and open laptop to tab,yeap click on buffering click buffering scratching click scroll,scroll on to feilds ,network down please click to restart.Click buffering scroll on and on . Breakfast arrives, it is muesli, seems that recently my blood pressure has risen sharply and wife says its good for me I can hear those f##*en birds squawking in the bottle brush tree must get the chainsaw out and chop that tree down.Not sure what bets I"ve on decide to watch an episode of Chernobyl to put me into a happier frame of mind to go to pub. Walking into pub which has changed hands two nice young chaps who have turned it into a craft beer bar,the tab is gone as takings were down and a Kiosk was put in which doesnt work because of technical problems, Im no technician but I think the axe sticking out of the screen after Bluey couldnt get his money out might be the problem.I walk over to the boys table with my handle that looks like horse piss and whiskey chaser.No one is saying much just mumbling about dont think their bets are on ,network down click on and try again .Its not good seeing grown men crying so decide to go home to watch big races from Wellington..Wife is watching boxset of Married and the First one in the sack on the big tv so watch on small tv in kitchen the big race was so close but no photo finish what were the numbers ?Waiting for judges call ,noooo Sweeeeenys burbling on no call Ahhhhh were did it all go wrong I sit with my head in my hands. Thats all I've got to say about that.
  13. 20 points
    TurnipOrange

    Maija Vance

    Surgery to stabilize her spine went very well so the surgeon said. He has protected the spinal cord form any more damage. Bit early for a result, but we are hoping for some more improvements in her movement
  14. 20 points
    I have never met one of those Commentators who is not a great bloke. From Jack O'Donnell to Reon to Tom Wood and T Lee, Jason Teaz and now the new crop Mark McNamara and Matthew Cross. every single one a personable easy going good fella. A couple of incidences involving my kids in the last ten days illustrated this so well. At Greymouth last week a mutual friend took the two of them (21 and 16) along with two or three others to meet Matt who was doing TV work that day. He spent at least 15 minutes with them discussing all manner of topics including TV, little Irish jockeys, the way their father reacts when one of his bets looks likely to win and whatever else. Then yesterday I offer to take the younger one and a friend to the commentary box so they could watch Mark strut his stuff. Twenty minutes later I find them still there having this time dissected the intricacies of the Molloy family and notable members thereof, again little irish jockeys, silly songs from years ago, what big races he commentates and God knows what else. To be fair the 16 year old has a fair bit of Molloy yap so Mark would not have needed to lead the conversation and appeared to be enjoying it but things like that live with kids and they will remember an encounter with the faces (and voices) of NZ Racing. When I pointed out exactly how big those races are Mark calls 16 year old said ' he wasn't very skitey about it' My kids have little real interest in racing other than that created by their father's obsession and the time these guys took when they could have said 'look i'm a bit busy' was really appreciated. I know those guys read racecafe even if they cannot participate so a shout out to them in thanks for giving a bit of time to a group of kids. My kids are lucky I guess to get access to those people but NZ Racing might have grabbed a couple more devotees through the good sociable attitude of two of its stars.
  15. 20 points
    Midget

    Cheltenham is in full swing

    If you've never had the pleasure this is what it's all about. His name will be something like Montgomery Forbes-Hamilton ( just call me Monty ) and she'll be his secretary and part time shag, Penelope Cavendish. They'll have arrived in a Range Rover Sport, from his place in the Cotswolds. He went to Oxford, drank claret, rowed a bit, drove an E type, studied 17th century art, with a double major in Geography, all paid for by Daddy, who made his money in India, importing spices, while shagging 12 year olds, and he knows David Cameron from the Bullingdon Club. Penelope went to Knightsbridge, she did a double major in shopping and Shoes. His outfit is by "Country Club" ( it's actually a disguise so he can blend in when grouse hunting with his bestie Rupert, who has a small place in Norfolk, about 852 acres ), Penelope is dressed by Burberry, with accessories by a variety of dead animals, that rug around her neck could provide warm shelter to a homeless Pakistani bus driver in Birmingham ( whose son will become Mayor of London in 2052 ) That neck piece was once a living breathing cuddly animal from the steppes of Northern Europe, and the apparatus on her head includes the south end of a cock pheasant ( hand reared ) and shot by Monty last weekend in a driven hunt in Wiltshire. These two are 27 years apart, and they're related ( well she's his niece when introduced ). They've paid 180 pounds a head for their tickets today, Monty will drink at least two bottles of port, with a half round of Stilton, he'll say "super" at least 47 times during the day, and Penny will start with a couple of Pimms, but end up on the grapefruit infused long gin with a cucumber twist, and salmon gravlax nibbles, with a dill and mustard dip. They'll bet on three of the six races, twenty pounds each way, on their friend Sebastian's ( do call me Sebby ) runners, trained by Sebby of course, on the family estate, near Daddy's village, a little place called Sherborne St-John, and ridden by an Irish jockey named Seamus or Paddy, who'll give Penny one against the fence later, once Monty falls asleep after his second bottle of Port. Anyway that's Cheltenham, and if you haven't actually been there you can now read this epistle, close your eyes, put on a bit of Emerson, Lake and Palmer, sip on a square gin, sniff a bit of tweed, an old leather riding boot, or the crotch of a friends unwashed jodhpurs from last weeks polo tournie, and you'll know what it's all about. Berri Fruit will be there, in Henrietta's private box
  16. 20 points
    A family had three little boys, not just boys, but triplets. Having a sense of humour the old man called his boys Rugby, Racing & Beer. The boys grew up to be strong, with big muscles, and they ruled the town, every party involved them, and no social event passed by without one or more of the boys being involved. All the boys were good at school until they finished secondary. At 16 years of age Beer said I'm going international, I want more from life, I know that what I've always done isn't my best so I'm going to head offshore, find a friend, educate myself, develop some partnerships, explore new opportunities, open new horizons, maybe enter into a relationship, bring fresh ideas and new blood into my life, and I'll get strong, powerful, rich, innovative, and I'll lead the world, not just NZ, I'll lead the world. So Beer married a girl called Global Brewer, a very rich girl, but they settled in NZ, they had two kids, DB and Lion, and just grew, and grew, and grew........and now they're a cornerstone of NZ society. Rugby decided to go on to higher learning. He was involved in setting up academies, arranging sabbaticals, and generally surrounding himself with good people who'd been what he was going through, he formed a panel to run his life, with young people, females, advisers, he appointed a very good coaching team, developed a woman's division, and he set attainable goals, locally and international, then he invested in R&D, in youth, in bottom level players, regional camps. Rugby also used his finest points to create a culture of excellence and aspiration so that every youngster wanted to be a part of his life. It wasn't always easy for Rugby, he had a couple of setbacks, earthquakes, a smart arse from down the street called League tried to steal from him, but Rugby had built a solid base using advisers who had done what he wanted to do, people with experience, always NZers, and eventually Rugby got strong, and stronger, and then he became champion of the whole world in 2011, the whole damn world, but he'd invested so well, and he rewarded his loyal team so well, that they stayed together and got even stronger, and in 2016 Rugby was again champion of the world....along with all his good people like Richie, Dan & Shag. Meantime Racing got into a bit of a rut, he didn't bother with education, money was never a problem so he just spent it, well wasted it actually, he didn't develop a family because life was just a plaything for big men in suits who liked to "fiddle" with him, in the Rolf Harris style. Racing never saved a cent, he didn't even bother looking after his home, and he never cared about education, research or development because he lived for today, he wanted everything now, and never planned or saved for the future. In the end Racing had a great big heavy head that needed feeding, the head just kept getting bigger and bigger, and his body began to wither, so he lay down, stopped working, and you know how "if you don't use it you lose it" well Racing started to lose it, all his peripheries started to malfunction and fail, but Racing just said "she'll be right" I'll send my fat head off overseas, feed it some more, give it a break, and the rest of my body can just learn to adjust or die off, it doesn't matter, it's all too hard to fix, and if I have to I'll just get replacements from the second hand shop or from overseas. In 2016 Racing got really sick, and the family gathered at his bedside to pray. Beer arrived with his big strong family in a jet and travelled by convoy to be at Rugby's side. Rugby assembled bus loads of supporters and the towns and cities cheered as the buses passed through on their way to be with the brother everyone forgot, the loser who'd faded into oblivion. Meantime Racing lay in critical care, his vital signs fading away, and no one cared, other than his vital organs, the trainers, jockeys and owners. They were dying with him. Racing had no money for palliative care, he'd wasted it all on a cheap and nasty drug called stakes, and so the brothers stood and watched their loser brother, the low achiever, the one who didn't plan for his life, he who didn't invest and didn't educate himself, the one who took advice from losers and low achievers....,they just watched him die.....and no one really cared, life went on, and then he drew his last breath. At the funeral the Priest lamented the waste that lay dead before him, such a waste of a great talent, a youngster who had everything, but in truth he had nothing because he had no education and he never invested in his future. Beer gave a short speech and said he wished Racing had listened to good advisers and reached out to others from offshore. Rugby's speech was about adapting, learning to evaluate and criticise yourself, morphing with the times and becoming inclusive of women and children if you wanted real strength. Racing's leaders stood up and sobbed, they said we didn't know how to fix him so we didn't try, we just thought that somehow he'd work through his sickness. Then the father of the boys stood up. He said Beer I'm proud of you because you had vision and you craved learning. Rugby you're amazing and a wonderful son because you had to do it all in NZ without a global partner, and now you're so healthy, and sociably responsible. Then he looked down at the casket, and a tear rolled down his eye as he whispered to Racing. Son you had everything, but you had nothing. You abused your faithful, you listened to other low achievers, you wasted every talent you had and every cent you were given, you had no heart and no soul, and in the end my dear son Racing you were so poor that all you had was money. Rest easy Racing, you don't be missed because you wasted every opportunity you had. And so they buried Racing in a pauper's grave.
  17. 19 points
  18. 19 points
    rdytdy

    Blood on the floor at Trackside

    If this is the best Dean McKenzie can come up with then he clearly is the wrong man for the job. The Trackside coalface people at Radio and TV are knowledgeable with a genuine passion for the industry doing their best to promote and attract people to racing and create turnover. Barry Lichter makes mention of Mark Claydon losing his job. There would be very few with more knowledge and passion for than industry than Mark. It is people such as Mark that are asset to racing yet now surplus to requirements according to Rita. The elephant in the room is the wasteful extravagance and f*#kups at the top over the last decade from those on huge salaries and with very little knowledge of racing and wagering. Multi millions of racing funds sent down the toilet on the Typhoon Betting System that never got off the ground including the other useless overpriced betting system put in place under John Allen which continues at an annual cost of $17 million per year are just a couple of examples of very poor management decisions. There are plenty of others. These are the people that are causing good people on the front line to lose their jobs at Trackside. People without any knowledge and departing leaving a ton of horse manure behind, they should be hanging their heads in shame. They won't be though as they will be at another trough without a single thought of their previous incompetent actions. If you want to prune Dean, start with the rotten fruit close in instead of stretching the shears at arms length and leaning out to lop the best fruit at the edges of the tree.
  19. 19 points
    Dear Racecafe Community, I want to say thank you to everyone who is participating here in the forums and the competitions. We have had over 100 new members sign up in the past two months and some are already posting and contributing to the discussion in the forums, and enjoying the competitions. I really want this to continue to be a place for everyone to enjoy. I have been told that some of the moderation by me in the past has upset a few, and may have been a bit tough. I never meant to offend anyone. I believe there has to be some moderation but to offend has never been my intent. I want everyone to feel comfortable to contribute here and my motto has always been, and will always be, "If you cant prove it, then don't say it". I hope everyone continues to enjoy all the features of the site and we will be adding more things in the coming months. We will also be having another Fiji comp later in the year, with mrzim and his wife getting ready to pack their bags after their daughter won the first trip and donated it to them to enjoy. It is our intention to try to run comps most weeks and a big competition is being planned, to be held over the Autumn carnivals in Sydney and Melbourne. Thanks so much for the good spirited and honest debates in all the forums on the site and please don't forget to check out all the features we have available to all our members. All the best Leigh
  20. 19 points
    puha

    Well done Puha

    Cheers mate was extra special with the loss of a good friend on Sunday due to the effects of depression . Racing has a way of dealing cards your way when you need them .
  21. 19 points
    Peter Jenkins

    bedgerebong picnics races

    The anger and frustration of people with a lifetime of background in or around the racing industry is what shows through most in this thread. As someone who grew up and spent the first half of my adult life in provincial NZ I understand and share the memories that some have evoked on here. For the past decade I have had the privilege of working alongside one of the true geniuses of global racing in John Messara who has driven a wind of change through the Australian industry in the past 8 years that has made it arguably the best in the world with the exception of HK and JP. The most important net outcome was the lifting of stakes. This has enabled most of the other changes that have taken place. The bulk of this was achieved by winning the corporate betting court case. This has lifted stakemoney massively with country stakes almost doubling. While the NZ Racing Board continues to allow corporate bookies to plunder our product and pay nothing for the privilege, the NZ industry will suffer. NZ needs to have it's mindset about racing altered. It still retains genetic memory of children being hustled past the darkened alley where the TAB lay - that den of iniquity. The key difference between NZ and Australia with regard to racing is Aussies for the most part accepting racing as part of their culture unlike in NZ. This has to change and some very smart people need to be put to work on it. It would probably take a decade or more but it could be done. Regarding raceday in NZ. I think the Board should break the racing on offer into 3 separate categories- a) Feature racedays highlighted by top Group races and horses and a multi-layered entertainment package to suit all social stratas and pockets. b ) Saturday provincial racing - Big city clubs should only race on Saturdays when they have a type "a" meeting (see above). Otherwise Saturdays should be the domain of provincial clubs who engage the local community in every way possible. Not just sponsorship. Some clubs do this well already. Make it part of the local event scene, a date to remember. The Scone Horse week held here each May is a massive event with the centrepiece being the two local racedays. c) Industry racedays - city midweeks, provincial midweeks, etc. Just don't expect anyone to attend. These should be promoted as televised racing with an emphasis on unearthing up-and-coming stars. Punters and owners the only focus. Personally I have felt that the contracting of food and alcohol at clubs has led to gouging on an inferior product and does racing no favours. I believe clubs should offer better quality food at more or less foodcourt prices and pay the caterers a top -up out of their own pockets. This will help make it a destination for the day for families rather than something dad slopes off to while mum is at the mall or markets. Have the foodcourt and markets there at the races. Lastly for anything other than an "industry day", charge $10 at the gate per person or $30 a family but in return give them (in the case of $10) a $5 betting voucher and a $5 food voucher. Market it with the angle that it's a big benefit to help them start the day off. Make it $20 per person on premier days. people don't mind paying any amount if they can see a benefit. Last week our company sponsored at Muswellbrook. It is a small country meeting but every race was worth $20k or more. The crowd was small but enthusiastic with 5 oncourse bookies doing a solid turnover. It was a Friday but the club had engaged the local community, in this case the RSL (RSA) with an Anzac theme. They even had Light Horse Brigade demonstrations between races. Small can be successful but it's about understanding your participants, your sponsors and your public and giving everyone what they want. Lastly a word about product. As part of my job I watch every race broadcast from NZ (every race run in fact). Sometimes as a Kiwi I just cringe. There is a pervading lack of professionalism about much of this "product". Take your pick, the crap Trackside teams comments and banter, the state of disrepair evident at some courses or worst of all the inevitable tardiness in starting races on time. Usually less than half the field are loaded when start time clicks over. Traditionally races are 2-3 minutes late. The Oz punter watching will simply turn over to the next race about to jump or as a few have told me not even bet because they know the races will not start on time. Just lift your game is the message for some Kiwi clubs. I'm sure I'll get slaughtered for some of the things I have suggested here but Sobeit (nice Sobig horse from the 70s!). I hope it will be food for thought for others. For those that don't know me I am or have been an owner, breeder, agent, stud manager, syndicator, groom, trainer (briefly), on the NZTBA council and a club committee. Cheers
  22. 19 points
    Midget

    Baker & Forsman

    Be remiss not to give these two a nod today, what a year, and every year for that matter, always with different horses. They've carried the Kiwi flag single handedly and that deserves a hearty well done.
  23. 19 points
    Berri

    Shocking Coverage

    Andy Kydd would seem to be the GENERAL MANAGER of BROADCASTING. This is a call out to you. So yesterday I was watching Sam Weatherley ride his first winner. This is a big deal.....or it should be produced to be a big deal. He wins this race - his first ever winner - and instantly the bloody Trackside editor cuts to dogs. Not a dog race but of a dog having a shit on the track. Then it cuts to the owner who is so emotional he's chocking up because his horse has won (not common occurrence for him) but also because he's just given the kid his first winning ride. But before you can really get involved (what a plot line), the editor cuts away to the dogs again, but this time another bloody dog is having a piss in the middle of the track. Then the picture cuts half way through the first interview of the kid having just won his first race. The buggar of it all is that the whole sequence of drama, achievement, passion and success was completely destroyed but an absolutely useless editor who must be a deviant because he must have seen on the screens that the pictures he was choosing were the dogs at various stages of relieving themselves when the real catch the client story was being bastardised through inept and amateurish editing. For heavens sake. That was appalling. Who was in charge? He/ she needs naming and shaming.
  24. 18 points
    Rusty

    Hard Luck Stories

    My mate (mafia lad) in Melbourne lost a betting voucher worth $4700 at Crown one night, at one one of those self serve machines. He stormed after this fella that he reckons took his ticket from the machine. Beat him to a pulp, but couldn't find the ticket on him. He got 3 years in the big house for his efforts. To this day, big Mario is still hell bent on finding the missing ticket and the guy that took it.
  25. 18 points
    tim vince

    A legend retiring.

    I hear Richard brosnan last runners Friday. A man of high integrity who never took a backward step.on a personal note a man who stood by me in tough times and I have never forgotten.who could forget no response and bonnies chance. I hope all in the industry recognize hs achievements.I know he don't want a fuss but I hope the atc has plans to recognize his career.
  26. 18 points
    scooby3051

    Merry Christmas

    Merry Christmas to everyone from us all here at Racecafe, hope you all have a great Christmas and a very happy and prosperous 2017.
  27. 18 points
    THE TORCH

    Dave McDonald White Robe Call

    A huge thumbs up to Dave McDonald yesterday. His call on the White Robe was nothing short of outstanding and his comments through the day regarding this tragic week were perfectly put. That WAS the highlight of this years racing people. You cant beat theatre like that - ever! Awesome ride, dominant display by The Diamond One, and a call that hours of rehearsals could not match. Well done Dave and a great result for the Anderton family.
  28. 17 points
    scooby3051

    Merry Christmas To All

    To all our loyal members and guests wishing you and your loved ones a safe and Merry Christmas and a very prosperous New Year for 2020... Thanks for everyones support this past year as we have continued to grow and be recognised as the voice of the industry... we will continue to strive to keep updating the site and the features of it for everyones enjoyment and participation... be safe and be happy...Leigh
  29. 17 points
    Tim Carter

    Weigh In - Shaune Ritchie

    I never caught the Weigh In programme and I probably should not comment as no doubt I am going to piss a few people off. However I think there are a few things that are never mentioned regarding the state of the industry. All I hear is that the stakes are too low and it is driving owners out of the game. That is true but not the entire story . Owners are getting stuffed up the chutney left right and centre ( to quote my good mate Leo!) Not all of it from the powers that be. Some of these so called" top trainers" are charging anywhere from 85/day to 100/day, clipping their tickets on chiropractor charges, jump out fees, administration charges, vitamin charges, gear charges, and whatever they can think of. They cry poverty but still manage to take a holiday to Hawaii, Fiji , world cruise or whatever once a year. They drive an Audi or other luxury car a, have a big TAB punting account etc. As they read this they know who they are. They get away with it by forming syndicates . Some of the Cambridge Trainers have between 55 and and 140 horses in their stables so don't let me hear them crying poverty at the rates they are charging! Throw in some of the vets, and farriers that charge like wounded bulls and you have an industry that is in shit street not all of it at the feet our administrators. In saying that NZTR still have a lot to answer for. Like them or loathe them, Race Course Inspectors, J McKenzie, B McKenzie and the the like seemed to police the industry without all the cost that is now happening. NZTR have around 30 personal policing the industry (and a policy of dob your mates in) . NZTR programme trials at Ruakaka or Avondale so an owner with a horse in Cambridge is up for between 350 and 500 in transport costs alone. The big stables don't care as they have a syndicate horse or big money owner. It appears that people are employed at NZTR in vital positions but have no real empathy at what it is really like out here. They have no idea of the costs involved when they do the programmes. Meanwhile there are a lot of trainers trying to keep owners in the game by charging affordable training fees and no hidden charges so big ups to them!
  30. 17 points
    poundforpound

    Vale Trevor McKee.....

    Trev was a humble and modest man, without peer as a horseman and human being. Despite his enormous success he never lost his sense of decency and kindness. He had time for everyone, and he listened more than he spoke, but when he spoke we all listened. Throughout his long illness Trev showed remarkable bravery, he suffered without complaint and worked until his frail body finally cried enough and refused to function. In the tapestry of NZ Racing Trev was a golden thread, and whilst he may be gone his light will shine forever through his enormous achievements, not the least of which was the mighty Sunline. Last week we got lucky at The Valley with our McKee trained horse in the Sunline Stakes. I couldn’t help but think afterwards that Trev helped us get her there, and steer her around. To Noelene, Stephen an the girls, we offer our sincere condolences. You must be so proud of what your husband and father did and the example he set for you. His giant shadow will be cast over you and give you comfort forever. Rest easy now Trev, you’ve worked bloody hard, go have a long rest...and do me one last favour, ride Consensus in spirit for us next week and I’ll genuflect to you afterwards Love you Trev.
  31. 17 points
    poundforpound

    Stay Strong Christchurch

    In fairness to Plod, unless you were a FB follower of the offender you wouldn’t have know he was live streaming his slaughter.....until the footage spread due to friends of friends sharing their morbid interest. The heroes are the two cops who so quickly located the offender ( while he was traveling to another mosque ), rammed his car, then fearlessly dragged him from the vehicle, coshed him with the butt of a gun ( loved that bit, just like the movies ) and cuffed him / detained him. Those two saved a lot of lives without fear for their own. They’re heroes.
  32. 17 points
    Sent by a friend ( from the service handout ) who went to see the old bugger farewelled......some nice thoughts here to reflect on
  33. 17 points
    Dear Chestnut, , Mardy , Ohokaman , PJ and scooby3051. With the Flemington Thoroughbred Carnival coming to an end this Saturday. Seriously , what fun has it been to enter all the Race Cafe Tipping Competitions this Melbourne Cup Carnival year. It is a wonderful time of the year in Thoroughbred Racing which has produced so many Thoroughbred Racing Tipping highlight's. My personal 2018 VRC Carnival Racing highlight was the run of 150/1 runner Miner's Miss. Gee , so close :). Congratulation's Paddy and Michelle. Once again , Chestnut, , Mardy , Ohokaman , PJ and scooby3051 thank you all for the huge and fantastic summaries each week for us all to enjoy. scooby3051 , thank you for all the prize's you have furnished for all the Tipping Competition's. Sincere congratulation's to all the prize winner's. You all have produced and showed us some wonderful Tipping Score's. God Bless.
  34. 17 points
    puha

    Riccarton Results

    At a time when many people are talking about closing small tracks and centres wasn’t it great to see the small guys stand up yesterday with horses that would have long been discarded in the horse factories that are proposed . Waiuku , hunterville, Waipukurau and Opaki all take a bow .Yesterday showcased the beauty and diversity of NZ racing. Let’s not follow the Aussies and have most races dominated by a couple of stables . The people in this great industry are just as important as the majestic horse.
  35. 17 points
    Chris Wood

    WOODSY

    Thanks Guys. Two nice horses and both ridden very well. Viktoria has a real affinity with Pacorus, obviously mutual! A nice ride from Hairi saw the Edge get home late to get up! Thanks to my staff who do a fantastic job and to my loyal owners, another great day and the team is ticking over nicely!
  36. 17 points
    Cubes

    UnEasy...'Cafer...feel for ya buddy

    Look... Here are the facts about Cuboid.... Johnny come lately , Hooray Henry , blah blah blah... But in our time in Thoroughbred Racing we have come across few , if any , with the passion ( Not to mention the track record !!!) , of the Pitman clan.. Always under-rated and under appreciated , Cubemeister can think of no more magnanimous a trainer than Michael when it comes to the industry . All here at Cube Central are saddened .
  37. 17 points
    rdytdy

    Bloody Well Done Tony! Congratulations.

    What a fantastic day for Tony Pike and his team. Three starters in G1 races at Eagle farm today for two super impressive wins by Sacred Elixir in the J.J.Atkins and Provocative in the Queensland Oaks with a very good fifth by Sacred Star in the Stradbroke. Well planned and executed by Tony and highlighted a fantastic 2015/2016 season for his stable. Congratulations and bloody well done Tony, may there be plenty more to come.
  38. 16 points
    poundforpound

    Yuilly

    The news is all good with the legend It’s with great pleasure, and the approval of Donna and Richard himself, that I can post this picture of him taken today. He’s got a way to go, the speech is not quite there yet, but no different to how he used to talk after 27 beers, but his progress is nothing short of miraculous. From last week when he could squeeze your hand but little more, he’s now making bad jokes, and laughing at himself. It’s such great news because as you’re all aware there’s been some depressing disinformation circulating. I’ll endeavour to keep you posted if and when there’s something to say.
  39. 16 points
    I loved the bit about having a billion dollars of land assets that are "the collective assets of this industry". For the most part Bernard, they are the non-collective assets of the various clubs and communities that developed and own them, NOT the racing industry. They have generously been provided to the racing industry for its use for many years for very little return to those clubs and communities. On average, probably no return for most of those clubs and communities. If the racing industry now thinks they are going to commandeer or colonise those assets to bail them out of years of mismanagement, I suspect they have another very big and different think coming, and rightly so.
  40. 16 points
    In the unlikely event of Simon Bridges ever becoming PM he would do exactly what Winston has done that is bring in policies that please the people who have funded him into office. The elite breeders don’t need tax breaks nor do potential buyers of these mythical elite yearlings. The people who need a helping hand are those who get out of bed at 3.30 in the morning and do the hard yards for owners who against all odds continue to support the industry.
  41. 16 points
    Last Friday I ventured to Alexandra Park for a night at the trots. The facilities were outstanding, the catering was super and the all round experience was good in all facets. Bar prices were not over the top, a lovely buffet dinner was $17.50, great value. The Park has got the mix right in my mind, open your eyes Racing Clubs!
  42. 16 points
    barryb

    A provocative question if I may

    Jumps racing is one of those things that exists to appease the people in racing who want it to continue (of which I am one), I am sure given half a chance those in charge would pull the plug on it. My perception is that it doesn't have wide public appeal among'st regular race goers & least of all the general public. Its destined to be around for a while yet, as I think with like you frequently point out Midget the staying ranks are dumbing down and for older geldings this is the perfect lease on life many of them can have. I think a few things need to be tried to enhance the image of jumps and imo they are: 1) Remove starting gates and all jumps racing to be flag starts. 2) Remove the last fence in the straight, better to have any fallers well away from public view. 3) No more whip after the last fence, watching a horse getting flogged when its out on its feet in a jumps race over the last 200mtrs does zero for the image.
  43. 16 points
    Midget

    Ken Kelso letter to Informant

    Steady Scooby. Ken Kelso rang me about this, and he's a sensible measured man, but he's had enough. David Ellis approached me about the same thing, and he went further and said he was contemplating having only a farming business in NZ and his horse operations in Singapore ( there was another lesser reason he wanted to keep horses in NZ but I don't think it's appropriate to divulge this as it's private and not terribly relevant ). Chris Wood is a good measure of the Cambridge racing community and his feelings are well known and appreciated here. There is a groundswell of dissent and discontent across the industry, and trouble is brewing, it's being fomented by the failure of our alleged leaders to act constructively, despite the ludicrous promises made and the extraordinary hope that was attributed to and invested in Alan Jackson. Cafe might be repetitive, and the odd ignoramus might vent a bit here whilst devoid of facts, but at the same time Cafe is a window for the disillusioned to look into and to read then understand the complexities involved, and who's to blame for the various elements contributing to our dilemma. There will be change soon enough, particularly close to election time, and more so if Winston appears to be in a position to exert leverage over the other parties, but in the interim we need to keep talking, and looking at solutions that might help change the structure of the industry for our benefit. I'd close by saying that when the remarkably placid Tony Pike starts to flex his muscles and openly criticise the incumbents then you can reasonably presume the entire industry is ready to do some dirty work, or as they politely say in the trenches, some heavy lifting, and it won't be aimed at NZTR ( I think everyone has given up on them, an they're not really to blame for our fundamental problems) this heavy lifting will be very much aimed at the NZRB and it'll be a lot more effective and beneficial than Fairtax was. On that note Scooby might I suggest you let the disenchanted vent, it's harmless but it's an important part of generating the groundswell required for change.
  44. 16 points
    Peter Jenkins

    Trifecta not Tractor....

    A bit of fun from Country Racing Victoria:
  45. 16 points
    toolittletoolate

    A Question for Greg

    Yes I have crunched those numbers and they are not that bad. But here is another real issue. i am just so pissed off with our administration at both NZRB and NZTA level I just cant be bothered supporting their product anymore. Year after year we just hear the same tripe and the only direction we have is backwards. I have no faith or trust in any of the management. For several years I have invested, I have owned in excess of 20 thoroughbreds over the last 12 years, all 100%. At the beginning of this year I had 9 (no not 90 - just 9), I have 5 left. One of those is a broodmare who is coming up 3 years without any intimacy. She has been told that even though she is in her prime those days are over unless she can sort for herself. I have 2 three year old's and one just turned two - all boys and all who will be tried and trialed with the intention to sell. None will race in NZ under my name unless absolutely necessary, - that being if we think we can win a race to sell. I lost my other broodmare, syndicated one (he still hasn't raced) and tried 2 filly's - both at age three. One of these went pretty good, was told she would win a few but needed time - would however struggle to get black type, the other no good. Both were retired immediately and found good homes, thankfully quiet types. That's me - I'm out. I don't trust our brand anymore. I love the game and most of the people, I love the thrill of the chase - to try and find that good one who i may read about one day on page 3. But as a punter as well I have also been in conflict with my self for several years - I love the Aussie punt, i hate just about everything of the NZ punt - the tracks, the inconsistent track preparation, small betting pools, the amateur broadcast, the inconsistent tempo, the gutless odds etc. I stopped having a serious bet here years ago. I hate to bet offshore knowing that I am not supporting in my own small way the industry that I myself invest in, even though I easily spend 4/5 times more on the punt than I do on paying the breeding and ownership bills. I will feel at peace soon when I shift my betting offshore again. But I've had a gutsful and sick of getting a two fingered salute from above who will neither front up or f**k off. One or the other would be a good start.
  46. 16 points
    Midget

    Lance O'Sullivan

    Meantime at Matamata this morning two Friesans and a Jersey worked a 1000 in 1.01.2, the last 600 in 34.6, hard held.
  47. 16 points
    hedley

    Lance O'Sullivan

    i choose silence over expressing my opinion on this matter's creedence, but it seems that Suffire drank not quite half the trough water that Quintastic did..and that Sound Proposition wasn't quite as thirsty as Quintastic.
  48. 16 points
    Midget

    Racing being destroyed, slowly

    NZTR was told the handicapping model was flawed. The architect was an Australian handicapper who'd lost his job. The females allowances discourage males from participating, unless you're Benzini or El Chico. Now Te Rapa has 7 races because the R85 had only 4 entries. The industry statesman Brian Anderton is on Trackside this morning lamenting the disaster that is the R85 grade and the non existent opportunities for that 85 rated horse. Meantime NZTR prove they just have no idea about handicapping by forcing the professional Dean Nowell out of his job and then appointing a series of less qualified persons, culminating in the tragic appointment of an accountant with an apparent gambling problem, and then passing the poison chalice to a youngish " Mr Fixit " in Matt Hall, in conjunction with a low achiever who was a modest and insignificant jumps jockey, and who cannot seem to decide how to treat identical cases. Meantime the influential trainers who are on the Review Panel abuse their position and power by insisting horses cannot be brought into the handicap ( and that makes banding totally irrelevant ). This is just a chaotic and catastrophic mess that's destroying the industry from the top down because idiots masquerading as know alls are applying a sick model that's designed, sanctioned and supported by a minority few who have a secret agenda, but who have NO grass roots knowledge of the industry and the damage they're doing. Tommy Heptinstall, Michael Pitman, Brian Anderton, Murray Baker.....these guys have to be listened to.....it's time the independent board at NZTR was replaced in its entirety and the executive team orchestrating these septic policies is dismissed. Rise up you all, express yourselves now and act with urgency before it's too late.
  49. 16 points
    Canelo

    Dear NZ Herald

    Dear NZ Herald. I bought you today. You used to promise so much joy on a Friday, so much happiness for the weekend. We used to have a connection, an affinity even; when I was in need of Australian form you used to say "here you go, enjoy my Aussie form" now it's like you don't care. What has changed? you still cost the same, maybe even stealthily, incrementally more yet you don't do for me what you used to. Those times on the couch on a Saturday evening meant something to me, I'd see an aussie race coming up and I'd look at you, a look of contentment and you gave me something special, something I yearn for but you cold heartedly hold back. Is it spite? was it the time you saw the informant on the bench that has driven you to callously repress your form? that was a mistake, It never meant anything but the way you are behaving it will do nothing but drive me into the informants pages, she gives me what I want, what I desire, something you no longer care to offer. A tear drops from my eye, I well up at the memories we had which are no more. Without Australian form we, us, this cannot continue, I'm moving on. I may ocassionally see you on the street and give you a glance or pick you up in the coffee shop when I'm waiting on a Latte but we both will know it means nothing. Canelo
  50. 16 points
    barryb

    Missing my Loyalty Card from NZ Racing.

    Just curious NZ Racing where my discount Loyalty Card has got too. Over the last 3 weeks I have attended on course at Taupo, Tauherenikau, Hawera Sunday, and Wanganui Today, Te Rapa coming up on Saturday. I have turned over $thousands on track and spent heaps on food and drink, stayed in motels across the North Island, dined out at 7 Restaurants, spent heaps on shops in between times in these towns. Had ownership in 3 horses across those meetings and I am still waiting for my loyalty card. I am at a shitful mid week meeting in Wanganui today (albeit a nice track and facilities are good) and get looked at by members when I walked into the members area to place a bet that would have been bigger than all the members combined were placing, despite having an owners badge on the scorn was obvious. NZ Racing please sort out this bloody silly issue of members eliteness on track when the industry is in decline, create a loyalty card for people like me who keep on course racing going, have this card give me access to anywhere I want on the day and give me discount drinks, food etc., You can either create this card from attendance or I can purchase it from you like the Entertainment card for restaurants etc. Please also open things up better for Jockeys to be held to account from owners for shitful rides, I have been victim of a few lately. It seems ok for them to say, "my bad not a great ride today" and there is no accountability, I cannot as an owner and the poor bastard picking up all the costs do or say anything other than not let them ride again. Maybe that's punishment enough you say but shit there needs to a fraction more immediate accountability than that. Simple solutions NZ Racing to help make owners feel a little more valued than a ribbon and a free drink with a savoury.