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Posts posted by bazach

  1. What has changed that has caused many more meetings to be cancelled than in previous decades, is (in my view), 'Worksafe' legislation, ie The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. In effect, even volunteer 'officers' of a racing club are potentially liable to be prosecuted following a death or serious injury. In previous decades (before Health and Safety legislation became such a big issue) was it not mainly jockeys who decided whether they would continue to ride or not?  Although H&S is very important, it's not difficult to see numerous examples of H&S going overboard and the 'nanny' state prevailing. It's not therefore surprizing to see race day officials having little option but to call off meetings at the first sign of a horse slipping.

    We can't change the legislation, so the big question is, how to make the tracks we are going to retain for the future, safer?


  2. It’s good that many country clubs want to keep going and are supported by the local community. However the debacle over cancelled race days - caused by health and safety concerns over unsatisfactory surfaces, and the previous valid points raised by ‘race’ concerning the reason for the decline in other rural communities facilities, means we have to face up to the fact we have far too many race courses in these changed times. To minimise cancellations we need to rationalise the number of race day tracks where the travelling time between current tracks is ( because of better roads and better cars) no more than an hour. As has been previously proposed on this forum, establishing several new state of the art track venues in strategic locations (eg Waikato) which replace current tracks within 60 minutes drive of the new facility would have little negative effect on ‘locals’ and be of great benefit in encouraging the current and next generation of people to attend and become interested. To me it looks like those who can’t see this is necessary will have to accept that it will be forced upon them, not by the racing hierarchy, but by the Work Safe NZ legislation which is highlighting how deficient many of our tracks are. Climate change is going to exacerbate the issue.

  3. A general comment - the thing that's hard to guage with all the sires (from the breeder's seat) is temperament  - once there are a lot of progeny around there is more to go on as far as what the trainers, breakers and owners say.  Parades can give at least a glimpse of the stallion's nature.   Most of of us only have 1 or 2 of a given sire so it's not fair to judge on that sample size.   And of course not many stud masters are going to tell you their horse is a fiery type!

    Sir Tristram was a fiery type Jess, but didn't turn out too bad! If you are a small breeder though, temperament is important. And of course you have a 50% chance of offspring inheriting their dam's temperament. Having a mare with a bad temperament (kicked, bit, stubborn) has previously dented my confidence and enthusiasm, so always good to have a quiet mare!.  

  4. Just wondering if cafers of old knew of this weighty tomb (hard cover 800 pages). I found one in a second hand bookshop. It contains over 550 pages in the thoroughbred section and has full details of every race held in the 1968/69 season, together with a table of the breeding, owner and trainer of every placed horse. The preface to the book says "we present the very first edition.....". I wonder if it was also the only edition as I was involved in thoroughbreds from the early 1970s but never knew this publication existed. It's certainly a great store of information about stakes, race times, and people and horses involved at that time.

  5. On ‎22‎/‎08‎/‎2017 at 11:05 AM, fitzy said:


    It always amuses me when armchair experts make comments' like this on stud fees. I seriously doubt anyone on this chat site would have the gonads to fork out $10 mill for one of these stallions. If you did then you might start to work out why there stud fees get set at the prices they are. Compare them to almost any of the new sires in Aus and you will see they are fair value.

    In the event that any of you breed a horse that might make the grade as a stallion prospect I'm fairly sure you will try to sell him for as much as possible - just like every other owner.

    Hi Fitzy, Thanks for your reply. It doesn't really matter what studs pay for their stallions, as with anything, the consumer will in the end decide whether it is worth the money.

    There is a reason (well probably a number of reasons) why the number of thoroughbred mares served has gone down from over 8,500 in the mid 1990s to (as I understand it) somewhere between 4,000 and 5,000 currently. Most people are not in the 'game' to make a dollar, but because they love horses and are passionate about them. But small time breeders have deserted like rats from a sinking ship. Stud fees are not the only reason, but overall costs, including silly amounts being charged by studs for daily agistment,  certainly helped kill my enthusiasm.

    PS. I liked your response Jess.

  6. Hi Jess, good comment. There is a reason why the big Waikato Studs each own about 1,000 acres of prime Waikato Land. Small breeders are very much at the bottom of the food chain, as are race horse owners. I agree that most stud fees are far too much, especially for unproven sires. I guess you have to be passionate or mad to be involved! I was passionate, but have since realized I was mad to be involved in breeding thoroughbreds!.

  7. a real shame. As Midget pointed out, a humble hero, who probably wasn't comfortable being treated as a hero. Was happy to chat with anyone regardless of their background, and in addition, had a very dry wit. The country will miss him.

  8. 1 hour ago, ivanthegreat said:

    TV monitors there looked like the same ones installed when Keith Holyoake was PM last time I was there and the on-course experience was so underwhelming we went home after the 3rd race.

    ...........and yet there are still those saying we need to keep all our current racecourses going! 

  9. 4 hours ago, gubellini said:

    Hidden Action makes his debut in Race 4 at the Sunshine Coast today. He is a 6g by Hidden Dragon. Ran last in a 1050m Trial at Deagon so obviously not worth a cold pie. He is a half brother to Buffering winner of 19 from 51 and $7,238,955. How can their dam the Anabaa mare Action Annie leave two such contrasting types? Comments please!

    You only need to look at sales catalogues to see that even mares that leave group winners mostly have stats such as: dam of eleven foals, eight to race, four winners etc etc. One will be a stakes winner, a couple the winner of minor races and the rest?? - maybe pet food! Makes you realize how much money goes down the gurgler in service fees when you read sales catalogues thoroughly! Of course there are occasionally exceptions, but not often.

  10. I agree that having more staying races here would be good. That said, you need to put things into perspective re the number of 2400 metre races there are across the ditch. They (Oz) have hundreds more meetings a year than us and there are many meetings with just the one 1800 or 2000 metre race carded.

  11. This is a very good article, well written. There are numerous forces at play which have influenced why less people are interested in racing. Some of them are the same reason clubs like golf clubs, bowling clubs etc are also struggling with new members, ie too many other options, both partners need to work to pay the mortgage, computers, social media etc etc.

    Horse racing  is also suffering because we are now two generations removed from the generation that used horses to work the land, and these people often also had an interest in thoroughbred racing, either as local committee club members, small time breeders, or owner trainers. These "horse" people are now (mostly) gone.

    There isn't much we can do about all the above. However, one thing that can be done, is to provide enough incentive for younger people to want to go to a racecourse (outside the one day a year picnic meeting they may attend), and in that regard, we are still on a down-ward spiral of deteriorating facilities and crumbling infrastructure. I don't have an issue if local areas want to retain their traditional "picnic" meetings, but in reality most of the attendees at these meetings are there for the social occasion (nothing wrong with that of course) and nothing else. Sure the odd one might get enthusiastic toward regular punting or ownership, but the one thing that is sure to put people off going to the races and showing an interest in the industry is the out dated and tattered nature of facilities at 90% of our racecourses. I have mentioned this before n Racecafe, but I would like to see in the Waikato, a new racecourse constructed which not only caters for the majority of Waikato horse racing, but is also an equestrian facility for showjumping, dressage, eventing, equine retail, apprentice jockey school etc, plus be a desirable venue for large non horse functions.

  12. Jimmy Choux was a great race horse but doesn't have a very strong female line. Not that that means a stallion with an average female line can't be successful, but it is certainly one of the key things to look at when deciding on a stallion. Shocking also doesn't have a very strong female line and is doing well enough. Dalghar has a very strong female line, albeit he wasn't a 'top' race-horse.

  13. Definitely a "wait and see". Pentire has no history of siring successful stallions as yet. He won't have the cream of mares so will have to "do it on his own merits". He isn't a stallion I would send a mare to (personal opinion only) - couldn't win a GP1 in NZ, and only won a GP3 in Oz. Plus was unplaced in half of his 22 races. The studs always gloss over how many unplaced races their stallions have - I wonder why!. Anyway, all the best for Mapperley, as Pentire has been a great stallion and it would be nice to see his sire line successfully continue. 

  14. These have been my thoughts for decades. Really good to see this great post by Midget. Racing can't continue as it is with the number of tracks we have, most of which are devoid of people most of the time (except Christmas etc). Our total population is less than Melbourne, and a lot less than Sydney.

    Also good to see mention that we don't need concrete edifices anymore! Go to tracks like Caloundra on the Sunshine Coast and see their facilities.

    There is still time to save this industry!

  15. Could have had a better record at stud if he had gone to a well known stud and had better mares. Top bloodlines of course being by Zabeel out of Eight Carat, therefore a full brother to Octagonal, three quarter to Don Eduardo, Kaapsted etc etc. He managed to sire 10 stakes winners from just over 200 to race, a pretty good effort considering the quality of mares he served. More disappointing at stud was Don Eduardo.

  16. On ‎18‎/‎04‎/‎2016 at 2:24 PM, bazach said:

    This family goes back to the 'blue hen' mare Malva, and what an amazing mare she was. Only 15 hands high, but the dam of derby winners Blenheim and King Salmon, and also of His Grace.

    Blenheim of course is the sire of Mumtaz Begum, the dam of Nasrullah.

    Breeders in New Zealand will also be familiar with this family, as Malva is the 3rd dam of champion sire Summertime, the fourth dam of NZ half brother sires Crest of the Wave and Palm Beach, and now the 9th dam of both Jakkalberry and Power.

    This family has been extremely successful 'down under' and it would be no surprize if both Jakkalberry and Power continued this success with this great thoroughbred line.

    "The Karaka Million does distort the 2yo First Season sires Premiership.If you look into Power's pedigree you will see this is not a 2yo family, so expect much more when they get to 3yo's and above. After all this is the Bruce Lowe number one family.Some examples of great family number one are- High Chaparral, Shirley Heights, Swynford ,Blenheim, Phalaris...etc."

    As previously discussed on here back in April, as above, Power is a descendant of the great "blue hen" mare Malva (who is Blenheim's dam). I agree that Power's progeny should be far better as three year olds.

  17. 1 hour ago, morayfm said:

    I'm surprised there aren't more people doing what I am. After 40 years of racing horses in New Zealand I'm getting out as like everyone else on here, I have no faith in the Minister or the Board to do anything about the obvious mess we are in. So from now on my horses are going to Trent Busuttin & Natalie Young in Melbourne. I've just retired one racehorse which leaves me with two more in NZ and that's it. I don't like to do this to my NZ Trainer but they fully support my decision and understand.

    I'll still keep my band of 5 broodmares here in NZ as I believe we have the best conditions in the Southern Hemisphere to breed top horses. I'm even buying into a stallion here so I still have faith in the breeding industry, so long as we can keep producing top horses in Australia.

    Melbourne is only 3 hours away and with retirement looming, my wife and I will have an even better reason to visit that wonderful city.

    Tell me why I'm making the wrong decision here - I can't think of any negatives except that I'm turning my back on a New Zealand industry which I love but is being destroyed by incompetency. At least I'm still supporting New Zealand Trainers in Melbourne.

    Of course you are making the correct decision morayfm, Melbourne is a great place to race a horse. Also cheaper and quicker to get to than flying from the top to the bottom of NZ. You can also race a horse with modest ability at a country midweek meeting at places like Moe, Sale,  Benalla etc, for the equivalent of our Saturday stakes. And a good horse is always racing in the city for roughly 80k minimum. Why wouldn't you? I think you are also correct about our conditions for breeding, especially if we go back to our knitting and breed good staying types. The fields for staying races in Victoria are not good quality and should be a good target for NZ bred horses with stamina.