Taku Umanga

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  1. Taku Umanga

    Can the Auckland Trotting Club survive?

    The true picture of the Auckland Trotting Club development By Garrick Knight It’s understood the Auckland Trotting Club is facing a minimum initial loss of $40 million on its urban/retail development. That number is likely to blow out further depending on various factors including legal proceedings, sources have told this writer. The development, which had sales of $300 million, was trumpeted as going to deliver a $30 million cash profit to the club. This $70 million swing in fortunes has come as the development approaches three years beyond its original expected completion date. It has been mired with delays owing to numerous construction issues. The club terminated the contract of one of two construction companies, Canam, in July last year, replacing them with CMP Construction. Canam and the ATC subsequently commenced legal proceedings against each other. Club officials are holding a Special General Meeting next week where they will plead the case to members to sell off a parcel of land on Manukau Rd, owned by the club, currently occupied by Caltex and Burger King. The hoped outcome would be to reduce an outstanding loan to Westpac from $40 million to $20 million. Interest on the loan is currently around $2 million per year. The past three years the club has posted net operating results of a $283,000 loss (2016), $69,000 profit (2017) and $500,000 profit (2018). Factoring these into account, an annual $2 million interest payment to the bank, or even $1 million should the debt be halved by the sale of the Manukau Rd land, seems hard to service. In spite of this catastrophe, the club has proceeded with stakes rises, albeit capping race numbers at 8 or 9 to offset the extra costs involved. The light at the end of the tunnel is that the retail development at the base of the development complex is projected to return $2.5 million per year in rent to the club.
  2. Taku Umanga

    It's finally

    The $400 starting fee is for the $20k races which despite the promises are few and far between now. Most horses race for the $15k stake (which is way better than anywhere else to be fair), get $300 for turning up - take off the driving fee and transport and there's not a lot left to put toward that monthly training fee if you don't run in the money.
  3. Taku Umanga

    UMC still at it

    Are you Iraklis in disguise?
  4. Taku Umanga

    UMC still at it

    Easy as bro!
  5. Taku Umanga


    Garrick Knight‏ @GarrickRKnight 21h21 hours ago More Hearing Greyhound Racing NZ CEO Mauro Barsi has been appointed as the new CEO at @AlexandraPark and the Auckland TC. He’s also the Greyhound rep on the (soon-to-be-disbanded ?) NZ Racing Board. Top appointment but walking in to a volatile situation.
  6. Taku Umanga

    Couldn't happen here

    Nothing to do with the rating system - JackSprat nailed it with his answer.
  7. Taku Umanga

    Harness racing property 4 sale.

    Brent Mangos' property
  8. Taku Umanga

    Oscar Bonavena

    Still a "chance" he'll get in judging by the number of withdrawals in some of the other races already today.
  9. Taku Umanga

    Simon Lawson

    The appeals panel were clearly not impressed: http://www.jca.org.nz/non-race-day-hearings/appeal-riu-v-s-lawson-reserved-decision-reasons-for-decision-of-appeal-tribunal-dated-13-may-2019-chair-hon-j-w-gendall-qc
  10. Taku Umanga

    box seat ,debate on blood spinning

    Assume that is what was happening here ..... https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/racing/94229662/harness-racing-trainer-mark-purdon-cops-hefty-fine
  11. Taku Umanga

    Simon Lawson

    Very poorly written too. JCA decision not on line yet but have been reliably informed that he has now been disqualified rather than suspended - taking effect as of Saturday 11 May.
  12. Taku Umanga

    Simon Lawson

  13. Taku Umanga

    box seat ,debate on blood spinning

    So if "spinning" is removing blood and replacing it later, wouldn't this have the same performance enhancing effect?
  14. https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/racing/112400258/brendon-cole-pleads-not-guilty-to-live-baiting-greyhounds
  15. Taku Umanga

    Changing Codes

    G Smith has had thoroughbreds for a while I believe
  16. Taku Umanga

    Is this how a rating system should work?

  17. Taku Umanga

    ATC Update

    Hi owners/trainers, This is an update from the ATC regarding the recent stakes increases and the effects these will have on field selection going forward into the foreseeable future. The ATC has put in place numerous ventures in recent times to ensure the viability of the ATC and racing here at Alexandra Park and it is our commitment to our members, supporters and the wider industry that everything is done to enable us to remain as the premier harness racing venue here in the North Island. As with many new building developments in Auckland at this present time, periodic issues have stalled the flow of timely construction and unfortunately for the ATC, this has been no different. The new increased stakes that came into effect as of March 1 2019 was originally meant to have coincided with the opening of both Building A & B and a fully functioning village – however due to numerous issues experienced to date on the building site, completion has now been deferred to an expected September 2019 date TBC. The ATC Board understood how important these new stakes increases were for many in the industry to provide a level of confidence proceeding forward into the future and as a result, the decision was made not to defer these stakes increases until the village opened and to continue with the promised March 1 2019 date for these to kick into effect. What this has meant of the industry is that the ATC now has a $15K minimum stake (2YO’s & non-winners), race winners are racing for $20K and the highest rated pacers/trotters are regularly racing for $25K – stakes levels that are above and beyond any other racing club in the country and allow both owners & trainers to achieve and sustain a far greater potential return than has otherwise been seen for many years in this industry. What we have experienced in recent weeks is the flow-on effect from these increases – with a wealth of nominations for both the meetings of April 5 & 12 and unfortunately (due to limited funding from HRNZ) some horses have had to miss a start. Given the ATC races 41 times for the 2018/19 seasons and hopes to replicate that for the upcoming 2019/20 season, outside of the six Premier meetings there are 35 remaining standard race nights in which most horses are always catered for – again well over and above the number of racing opportunities that are being offered to the industry by the balance of clubs. What has come to light in recent times is that many are not made aware that the ATC is bulk funded at the beginning of the season by HRNZ and this is based on the number of approved meeting/race number licences given to us by HRNZ and the NZRB. For the ATC to achieve the new increased stakes levels of March 1 2019, all available funds (until the completion of the village) have gone into achieving these and hence the ATC is unable to additionally self-fund any extra races here at The Park. HRNZ are in a similar predicament at this current time – having exhausted their own cash reserves which again does not allow for them at this current point to confirm reimbursement to clubs for any additional races that are approved. Both above points are why on April 5 & 12, even given the wealth of nominations, that additional races were not able to be programmed over and above the pre-approved (and funded) race licences for each of these meetings (besides from the additional 10th race that was approved and self-funded by the ATC for $10K this Friday 12 April). Going forward, the ATC wanted to advise owners/trainers on the process of how fields will be selected going forward into the foreseeable future so that while disappointment for some may not be avoidable on a given week, a clearer and more open picture of what can be expected could be instated. The ATC is committed to being the premier harness racing venue in the North Island as aforementioned and this combined with a strong Cambridge & Manawatu will allow for the foreseeability of harness racing in the North for many years to come. What this will mean is that our fields will always be selected from the top downwards, with selection preference (where applicable) always going to those rated R55 & faster on any given week – with the spread of horses gaining preference in any given race to be chosen (at the club’s discretion) using a combination of both ratings & form. This doesn’t mean that horses rated below R55 won’t be given racing opportunities here at The Park on a regular enough basis - series such the ‘South Of The Bombay’s’ will continue to be programmed (again where applicable to the overall racing population) as will races for the R40-54 grade horse. What this will mean though is that Cambridge & Manawatu will derive direct benefit as horses will have to race at these tracks to incur rating points that will allow them to safely guarantee themselves a start here at The Park on a more regular basis than previously – something that while may not please everyone right now, will actually be to the overall benefit of all three North Island clubs and most importantly the industry in the North as a collective. We thank you for your time and understanding during this period and we look forward to having you racing your horses here at The Park not only now but for many years to come.
  18. Taku Umanga

    Anyone know?

    The maiden stake will include the HRNZ $1500 bonus payment for a horse's first win.
  19. Taku Umanga

    Gareth Dixon - charges not proved

  20. Taku Umanga

    Is this how a rating system should work?

    I struggle with handicapper discretion! The points Shillelagh accrued or had deducted over a month is a classic example: 1st at Manawatu (12/02) - 6 points added (discretion applied) = 82 4th at Manawatu (14/02) - no change = 82 8th at Auckland (01/03) - drops 2 points (discretion applied) = 80 6th at Manawatu (12/03) - drops 3 points (discretion applied) = 77 6th at Manawatu (14/03) - drops 3 points (discretion applied) = 74 The last two 6th's are only one placing away from losing no points at all ..... so why deduct 3 when all of those finishing further back only lost 1 point - and this in fields of 8 and 10 runners respectively? Great for connections as gets their horse back down to a competitive rating level quicker, but the only justification I can see in increasing a horses rating by 6 points and then decreasing it by 8 points within a month is to keep it eligible for racing at Manawatu. How is that a true rating system?
  21. Taku Umanga

    Operation Inca - Part 2

  22. Taku Umanga

    Simon Lawson

    Yep - race fixing has been going on for years. The difference nowadays is that it's a criminal offence.
  23. Taku Umanga

    Women in Racing ?

    Agree with all - we know the importance of the female to the industry ...... who needs a bloody survey - sexism gone mad!
  24. Taku Umanga

    red army could win card today

    Day one being a Wanganui (low stakes) meeting doesn't help. Will be interesting to see how the next two day meeting fares re field size when stake levels are back to normal.
  25. Taku Umanga

    Cambridge v Auckland

    Cambridge $8000 ($4560, $1200, $800, $400, $240, others $160) Auckland $20000 ($10700, $3400, $1600, $1000, $500, others $400) Run 4th at Cambridge, earn $400 less driving fee and percentage and lose no rating points. Run last at Auckland, earn $400 less driving fee and lose 1 or 2 rating points.