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Showing content with the highest reputation since 12/07/2018 in all areas

  1. 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
  2. 17 points

    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.
  3. 17 points

    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.
  4. 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
  5. 16 points

    Yaldhurst to Hong Kong to Ascot

    I just want to thank everyone who wished us well over the weekend with Enzo's Lad it's an amazing experience having a runner up here in an international race. The owners, Diane, Matty, Brittany and I could not have wished for better in all facets of our trip. Despite EL going in to Sunday's race very well in great order he once again showed his utter dislike for going right handed- he won't race that way again. He was well placed and traveled well to the 600m where he stumbled 2 or 3 times and that was the end. Initially I was very disappointed but after talking with J Mac, The Owners, Diane, Matt and I have made the decision to head to Ascot on 18th and 22 June. This decision is obviously made easy by the substantial incentive provided by Ascot to go there, better than winning a Listed race in NZ, its huge With HK Jockey Club paying our travel to U.K., no matter the outcome it is a great situation to be in and I am sure we will make the most of a week at the home of the sport of kings Ascot. Regarding my own health I'm going great and looking forward to May 23rd when I get "reconnected" . Hopefully I bounce through that operation in good order as I want to be buying at the Gold Coast sales in early June where I bought Enzo's Lad for $A15,000, prior to heading up to Ascot. I am traveling with EL to Mark Todds property in Lambourn tonight. I very much appreciate that we can head there initially where our horse can get a chance to get some grass under his feet and get some grass back through his system
  6. 16 points

    Vale RJ (Dick) Bothwell

    Today we lost one of the good guys with the passing of RJ Dick Bothwell,who died peacefully surrounded by friends and family. I was proud to call him a friend, one of best trainers or horsemen I ever worked for, he taught me so much about riding ,training and later owning horses. I never saw him in the 30 odd years I knew him ever lose his temper in any situation.Most of the success I had as an owner was with the Bothwell stable training some of my best horses to win many group races... which we always celebrated long into the night the way it should be done. Dick was never one to chase owners he always let the results on the track speak for themselves, and over the years he had many top horses go through his care. Dick was supported throughout 49 years of married his life by his loving wife, my second Mum...Jill, Jilly, or Mummy depending on who you were but one thing was always for sure in the Bothwell house, you were welcome, the food was always fantastic, and we all would enjoy a drink or two to celebrate our many winners together. Jilly was his rock and was behind him in everything he ever did. Dick is survived by Jill and their three children Bones, Burt and Dale and two grandchildren. I will never forget what you or your family did for me and the many memories you gave me over the years,RIP my friend, go join the other great trainers in the sky...till we meet again someday...Leigh
  7. 15 points
    Thank you all for taking part today - it's been fun and a fantastic way to see out Autumn racing. Well done to our winners ivanthegreat and Sir Castleton and a beaut effort, Thepaw and Kundalini. I will of course do a check of the points but if you think I've duped you out of a few please msg me and I'll remedy it asap That's it from me for a couple of weeks as I get some stuff done around the place before the colder months set in I'll catch you all again in the Winter season I hope!
  8. 15 points
    Congrats to Team Pitman and what a great way to start 2019 after the year Michael has last year. Congrats from everyone here at Racecafe.
  9. 14 points

    Karaka on TV?

    Guys at least the sales are covered live... cant we just be happy with that instead of knocking everything all the time...its bloody good to see the sales live without being there...JMO...cheers.
  10. 13 points


    It’s taken me a while to put this tome together. It’s part experience, part observation and part opinion. Those farming in the Auckland or northern Waikato areas in the 50s and 60s may have come across Agronomist and farm advisor Ralph du Faur, from Papakura. My Dad sought his advice in the late 50s and though I was only about 12 years old at the time I have always remembered something he told me, have noted it over the years and found it to be particularly relevant to the state of our racetracks today. He said this: “Irrigated water comes from a well, a dam, a pond or a reservoir where it generally sits open to the sun then is pumped through a maze of pipes and sprayed onto pasture. Because of this, along the way it has lost its oxidisation and is “dead.” He likened it to flat beer. Lifeless. Sure, it keeps soil damp or moist but comparatively, the oxygen in rainfall keeps soil aerated. Debra Moss shared an historical pic recently on Facebook relating to Aussie farmers that read “despite all of our accomplishments, we owe our existence to a six inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.” Never was this more true here. A Racecafe post said “40 mm total in last 10 days and what is Trentham track rated - YEP - Heavy 11.” That should not be possible. In old parlance, tracks up until Easter should be somewhere between hard and fast, and easy. Those who instigated the current grading system were unaware that in rating tracks “dead” that’s exactly what they are – dead, lifeless. Fill your watering can and pour it on your driveway from as high as you can. It spreads in a mass then runs down the drain. Then watch what happens when it rains. The raindrops bounce because they are oxygenated and it’s this that keeps our soils aerated. Yes, we pour water on our gardens too but in spring we turn them over by spade or fork and open the soil up which realistically can’t happen to a race track. Many farmers irrigate their crops but in the process of grass to maize then back to grass, the ground is cultivated thus allowing nature to do its bit. Trentham was the “Champagne Turf.” It was bubbling and full of life, big crowds, big fields, best horses, fastest times. No false rails, no ‘how is the track “playing” b/s and, no irrigation and a postponed or canned meeting as rare as hen’s teeth. If it pissed with rain the track simply got deeper but racing went on and Trentham, for one, recovered to be the Champagne Turf it was always reputed to be – until irrigation. . No chance of record times on soft tracks which are now standard in summer racing. All of that is now assigned to history and for those who complain about hard summer tracks, no more horses went sore or broke down 50 years ago than do today and back then though there were fewer races, horses generally had more starts, a number of two year olds having 8, 10, 12 starts or more. Average NZ rainfall is around 50-odd inches (say 1200 mls). I would ascertain that irrigated tracks might get ten or twenty times this amount of ‘dead’ water poured on them. The sub-soil then becomes like a three-layer sponge where the chef has forgotten to add baking soda. Its like a bloody big layer of sodden blotting paper. Even sand-slitting has minimal effect when the sub-soil is like plasticine. Not being critical but do track managers ever ask themselves “Why are we irrigating? What is it we are trying to achieve?” As I said at the beginning, these are years of observations, generalisations and some opinion. I don’t have an answer but I would, first and foremost, stack the irrigator into the back of the shed and leave it there. I would then investigate the infusion of grass species suited to purpose of racing and in light of climatic conditions in different areas. This could even be a factor when setting racing dates too. It’s no secret that those who set the racing dates have little or no comprehension of any of these factors. It has taken man thirty to forty years to bugger up our racing surfaces.(a stronger term may be more appropriate). Mother nature can fix most things so I would let her do her thing bearing in mind it may take another 30-40 years for the situation to right itself, God willing that the industry can survive for that long.
  11. 13 points

    The Informant Chutneyed

    Funny how this was announced today as I read a very bullish update from John Allen saying how great everything is..... Would the industry be better if John Allen's salary was funnelled into the Informant rather than John Allen.
  12. 13 points
    Counter Punch

    Boys get Paid

    Tell you what - there's a group of people that hang out on these sites and say that the racing game is dying. They bemoan everything new that comes, bag the shit out of people who are trying to add interest to the game and create new ways and initiatives for people to get involved. Largely they are bitter keyboard warriors. They make little to no contribution in most instances other than to sit back and moan and bitch about absolutely nothing. Yet, they are the same people that when a something like BGP comes along, look for the negatives in it. Bag the people behind it, through wild accusations around and can't see past the end of their own crooked and bent noses. Here's a new flash, it's because of people with mindsets like this that the industry is struggling in some corners. The negativity is ridiculous. Yes, there are things that can be done and things that need improved - show me a sector of life where there isn't some struggles. I joined Boys Get Paid back when there was less then 100 members. It was a group of lads who threw the odd tip around in the hope of making a quick buck. Largely it was pretty successful, there was some good heat and some big bets landed. Over the past two years I've sat back and watched that page morph into something quite remarkable. I grew up in a township of non racing people. I could reel off a list of about 50 people from my small town who are now frequent racing punters because of BGP - they got a taste, and they liked it. It's nontraditional in the sense that there is banter, noise and a new way of looking at punting - but you can't deny that it's a real positive for our industry. They're pumping money across the tote, not just on the big days but even days like today. This morning a tip was posted for a horse at Manawatu. In an hour that horse had moved from it's $31 quote into $11 and it's still dropping. There are countless examples of weights on money being placed on horses because of the BGP input. One person throws a tip up and you can almost guarantee that a good percentage of the wagering on that particular runner will be held by members of BGP. Luke Kemeys is a bloody genius. The foresight that man has and the ideas him and his mates have come up with for the future are exciting. The establishment of the foundation is only another positive step forward, they want to bring people back to the races, encourage the industry to be better and challenge those who have had it good for far too long. And they're doing it in a way which may just ensure that the missing generation of punters are slowly but surely returning to the game. How anyone can bemoan a request that will only be beneficial for the industry going forward is beyond me. Like anything, it's not yet perfect and it probably never will be. But it's heading in the right direction and being driven by a group of enthusiastic racing fans who have some pretty smart business acumen behind them. And from what I can see it's only going to get better.
  13. 12 points

    Vale Trevor McKee.....

    Really sad news to hear of Trevor's passing at the age of 81 after a long illness. A real gentleman. What a career....from Proud Chief to Sunline and everything in between. Condolences to Noeline and Stephen and family. RIP.
  14. 12 points

    The Informant Chutneyed

    NZRB and the TAB hold your heads in shame.Heard Dennis Ryan on Trackside and he rightfully didn't hold back The board of NZRB in my opinion should be sacked forthwith. The Informant had zero financial assistance from NZTR and yet they produced the fields every week and wrote supporting articles to assist turnover,beggars belief how this has unfolded
  15. 12 points

    Hesi Spits the Dummy

    Here's a challenge.. just give it a rest.. just focus on racing and not on what other websites are doing.. because I can't be bothered with this crap anymore.. people will go wherever they want to go but if you want to make people avoid reading posts and taking part in a forum, using it to abuse another or continuously go on about another racing site, is a good way to piss people off and push them the other way. Is everyone's life so bad that the only enjoyment they can get is putting down other people so they feel worse than you do? I'd hope not, and worse if you get enjoyment from doing it for no other reason than abusing someone else.
  16. 12 points

    racehorse rating for stallions

    I'm of the belief that ratings are in two parts. The first is the official rating (Timeform or Racing Post will do). Then I look to see the best single performance because that is the rating that is their best performance unless the rater has got it wrong. The ratings I have provided are the latter. The problem that I have is that even though a champion in New Zealand, many of our horses are inferior to those in other markets. Super Easy and Darci Brahma are two examples of those stallions. Due to franking their form, their official ratings are average in relation to what stallion material should be. The interesting thing is that their progeny are following the same path. Although stakes winners are plentiful of the breed in NZ, when they compete in a competitive market like Australia they get rolled. The "breed shaper" Darci Brahma's progeny couldn't get to the top over there. Neither could Volksraad, where he is a multiple champion stallion but in Aussie just OK. We're lucky to have Savabeel and Tavistock. They were proven in those racing markets and had good ratings. Gone are the days where a half brother to a champion make it as a stallion. The competition has moved on. That is why the likes of Almanzor need to be embraced. They rarely come here. When they do (Montjeu, High Chapparal etc) we do well. Note they are both stayers. Our breeders have lost their way but our administrators are at fault. We do not have a staying program. We have lost our edge because of it. If the NZRB and the NZTR don't get together and develop this program, they all need sacking.
  17. 10 points
    We're Doomed

    The Informant Chutneyed

    The suddenness of this does make me wonder one thing. We think of the Racing Industry as being in steady decline, partly because of changing times and partly because of gross mismanagement, but just like the Informant once it starts to go the industry could collapse quite quickly. It only needs 5 or 6 key trainers to give up/retire and things could happen quite fast. The closing of numerous tracks will inevitably destroy the hard core heartland support base and precipitate quite a major collapse. I know this has nothing to do with the subject of this thread, but it is worth considering how all the little things quickly add up and how quickly things can happen.
  18. 10 points
    Here we are squabbling about which track should or shouldn’t close for the sake of little money in comparison to what the NZRB are squandering .
  19. 10 points
    Chris Wood

    Karaka on TV?

    Most of it comes back to one thing, there is no domestic product. All the promises in the world to say we will be going ahead in August with stake increases etc. They have borrowed money to prop up our current stake levels, please tell me where the next increase is coming from? Funnily enough, every prediction that Leo has come out with is coming home to roost!
  20. 10 points

    New FOB and Shutdown

    Disclaimer: I work at the TAB (I won't say where other than in the capacity of a customer facing role) but I'd prefer to remain anonymous for the sake of job security. I'll put some points out there and let people take from it what they will: 1) When calling up the help desk or phone bet - remember, the staff that answer the phones didn't make the choice to change the system, yelling and screaming at them along with a barrage of swearing won't magically bring back the old site or get the operator to fix something that they themselves cannot fix. 2) The OpenBet platform is a good platform (at the core of it) but the problem is that they tried to retrofit it with the old jetbet system for backwards compatibility with the retail sites and touchtone betting along with integration with the legacy parts of the system. What they should have done was to stand back and take a big picture analysis as to the direction the betting industry is taking and develop a system that didn't require the mess of compromises. The result of what you see today and the money spent is the result of so much work being spent trying to get the new system to integrate with the old processes. 3) With the moving of the data over to the new system they did some really stupid decisions for the sake of 'simplicity' - the new system only allows one card per account thus you cannot use the same card on more than one account which is fair enough from a fraud prevention point of view. The problem is that when they migrated the data across it resulted in all the old accounts with the same card being used across multiple accounts also migrated across with the net result of deposits failing. Why did they do it? apparently for the sake of convenience but what is more inconvenient - spending 2 minutes to re-enter the credit card number on the account or waiting 30 minutes on hold to then having the operator trying to locate the other accounts where the credit/debit card is used? Same can be said for the race tracker - why not just get the customer to enter it again where as they're now going to spend thousands of dollars more to try and retrieve the information off the old database with no guarantee that it can be migrated - why not just start with a clean slate and get the customers to choose them again rather than promise something only to find that the end result is iffy reliability? 4) The payment processor, IP Payments/Bambora, has always been a mess even before the change over with the constant breakdowns; the problem made worse by the fact that the system works by doing pre-authorisation, security check but the problem comes when the security check fails because what is meant to happen is a 'message' is sent back to IP Payments/Bambora to release the pre-authorisation but it doesn't resulting in people seeing money being deducted multiple times - it should drop off after 5-10 days but for the average person who needs the money for other things then the current system is unacceptable. 5) The website itself is one of those things that one can chalk up as "sounds great in theory" but in reality it becomes "if you try to be everything to everyone the end result is no one is happy". The website is meant to scale and adapt to screen sizes hence the mobile app looks the same as the website on a mobile phone web browser when being run on the same device (I wonder whether the app itself is nothing more than a Progressive Web Application (PWA)) but when you make such a choice you end up making compromises - buttons have to be bigger because you're not only catering for mouse input but also touch screen thus the target has to be big enough for a customer to easily press. The net result is that it isn't information dense enough resulting in the inability to display the full field of runners when trying to place a racing bet resulting in time spent scrolling up and down the page. I was thinking to myself, "maybe it is great for sport but bad for racing' but even for sports it is a mess. 6) With the attempt to be 'everything to everyone' the result is also lousy performance - it took 20-30 seconds to load up the results page for the EPL - and this is on a high end computer on a 100mbps fibre connection so it is hardly a situation where I lack the 'grunt'. 7) One thing to keep in mind that the programmers are working on the issues but keep in mind that the original scope of the project was laid down by the TAB/NZRB - it was ultimately TAB/NZRB that chose to to do what they did. 8) The one theme I am hearing 'on the streets' is about John Allen going on television saying, "everything is great, everything is awesome" and I can't help but be reminded of 'Baghdad Bob' with a side of 'Nero playing the fiddle as Rome burns' - the least he could have done was gone out and said, "we are aware of some teething issues and the transition wasn't as smooth as expected but we are working on addressing the sore points that our customers have provided feedback regarding..." - at least then he would win bit of a kudos for having a degree of humility but the fact that he keeps claiming everything is ok demonstrates just how out of touch he is with the day to day operations - that some how he can 'Donald Trump' his way to success by boasting benefits and ignoring the legitimate issues the customer base does have.
  21. 10 points

    Ashburton Trials

    NZRB-have more to worry about at the moment with massive turn over reductions due to punters shying clear of new betting platform, seriously we need racing people in charge not ex NZ Post employees whose racing knowledge could be put on postage stamps they once sold
  22. 10 points


    Talking of ownership, return on "investment" etc, I saw Jamie Richards interviewed after You're Welcome won at Matamata today and he was ''"very pleased the horse won as it had some important owners".(some league players who are also in Te Akau Shark). Would have thought "unimportant" type's money was as good as anyone's when it came to sustaining the industry so comment pretty crass. In my unimportant opinion!
  23. 9 points

    Stay Strong Christchurch

    Just wanted to put out there how sad it is whats happened in Christchurch ...thoughts and prayers with anyone and everyone affected by this horrific act. The type of mongrels who do this deserve the same fate.
  24. 9 points

    Boys get Paid

    I don't understand how anyone can knock this group . They need all the encouragement they can get . Or are some forums full of grumpy old people looking at all the negatives ....
  25. 9 points
    As always my worst fear is that I've missed some dollars for someone and it has completely altered the result I've done a quick check after each race and I'll do another final audit but if you think I have whipped a few lazy dollars off you, message me and I'll do my best to put them back where they belong Thanks all for taking part today! - hard to run a comp without you all