CeeMeNow

Transformational Change

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Money  Money  Money  its a Rich Mans World  aaah  aaah  aaaah

Thirty years ago, or probably more, I wrote an opinion stating that the reason the pyramids were still standing, 5000 years after they were built, was that the Egyptians understood the fundamental truth, that if you want to go UP,  you need a strong foundation to build upon, the base is the most important thing, HRNZ still don't get it.

 

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So what was in this announcement that may encourage more mares to be served in the year ahead? Maybe the recurring heats and $35k finals idea for Auckland, unfortunately presumably being subsidised yet again from owners and trainers in Canterbury, and we didn't see anything equivalent being promoted for the more successful venues in the South . Even more so hopefully the new fillies and mares race structure which is still to be detailed. But nothing at all to indicate why Methven (and others) is not supported to run an extra race day or to be able to put on every race for at least $15,000, which is what it should be entitled to do from the betting revenue it generates for its local owners and trainers.

Earlier this year the acting GM of HRNZ said the 1758 mares served for 2023/24 "was not a disaster but less than we had hoped for". Well compared to the 2552 of 8 years earlier it looks like a bit of a disaster to me. And I agree with Cee Me Now that HRNZ seem to just keep on forgetting or ignoring the crumbling foundations this statistic represents. They seem wholly focussed on cross subsidising and moving money around the country to who yells loudest through early racing incentives and shifting $ millions south to north (where the owners/ breeders aren't). To be fair we await the rest of the detail in " The Future Starts Now", but at this stage it seems all about the 20, whilst the 80 that keeps the industry afloat are increasingly (relatively speaking) only doing so for love rather than money.

And as a small aside, Harness Racing Unhinged has 12,000 followers currently, i believe the best number that "The Future Starts Now" Facebook feed had watching on Friday was around 250. Happy to be told I'm wrong, but if I'm not, that's a bit of a worry about how few harness racing enthusiasts HRNZ have to worry about to basically do what they like. 

 

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1 hour ago, Four more years said:

They seem wholly focussed on cross subsidising and moving money around the country to who yells loudest through early racing incentives and shifting $ millions south to north (where the owners/ breeders aren't).

Well put ,and they wonder why Harness is going backwards. I get that they are trying to resurect North Island Racing and that they will continue to do so under current board but one day the "Penny will Drop". It of course will be too late but by then the board will have changed with no blame attached

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Whilst I agree harness racing is far stronger in the South Island than the North Island, it would never survive as a South Island only sport, so somehow they have to rebuild interest in the North. I just hope they haven't left it too long to act. There's certainly been very little of interest happening at Alex Park in some years, save for the balls up with the apartments, the disgraceful removal of the museum etc. certainly very little positive outside of a renewed interest by Aussie pacers and trotters in taking our cash back across the ditch.  

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Sorry Idolmite, South Island skifields without Ruapehu will still attract tens of thousands of Aussie and North Island visitors to the South Island every year, and Marlborough Sauvingnon Blanc is sold all over the world without there ever being a relevant  or commercial equivalent wine type in the North Island. On TV screeens, phones and PCs all over Australasia punters already follow South Island country harness racing and Addington week in and week out  I can name you a dozen brilliant South Island venues that marketed properly could give visitors to the South Island from anywhere a fantastic day out on a long weekend or holiday to directly engage with harness racing and thus complement that great off course betting support they already achieve. And the number of people in South Islance communities who know and care about the sport still numbers in the thousands, at the moment anyway. But if you don't treat them fairly, giving those venues back what they put in, they too will dwindle away.

We can find examples of businesses and sports operated or played successfully on a regional basis all over the world. It's usually when you don't cut your cloth to fit it that all the trouble starts, trying to sell at great cost something to the world that no one is really interested in (NRL in Las Vegas comes to mind currently). Unfortunately that's the situation where HRNZ and the ATC also seem to find themselves today. The clock has already ticked past 4 years to go, and they appear to still be trying to be all things to all people. The money will in time run out.    

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1 hour ago, Four more years said:

Sorry Idolmite, South Island skifields without Ruapehu will still attract tens of thousands of Aussie and North Island visitors to the South Island every year, and Marlborough Sauvingnon Blanc is sold all over the world without there ever being a relevant  or commercial equivalent wine type in the North Island. On TV screeens, phones and PCs all over Australasia punters already follow South Island country harness racing and Addington week in and week out  I can name you a dozen brilliant South Island venues that marketed properly could give visitors to the South Island from anywhere a fantastic day out on a long weekend or holiday to directly engage with harness racing and thus complement that great off course betting support they already achieve. And the number of people in South Islance communities who know and care about the sport still numbers in the thousands, at the moment anyway. But if you don't treat them fairly, giving those venues back what they put in, they too will dwindle away.

We can find examples of businesses and sports operated or played successfully on a regional basis all over the world. It's usually when you don't cut your cloth to fit it that all the trouble starts, trying to sell at great cost something to the world that no one is really interested in (NRL in Las Vegas comes to mind currently). Unfortunately that's the situation where HRNZ and the ATC also seem to find themselves today. The clock has already ticked past 4 years to go, and they appear to still be trying to be all things to all people. The money will in time run out.    

While you're hardly comparing apples with apples (more like apples with meat pies), I just hope and pray we never have to find out whether I'm right or you're right - plus your argument contains lots of ifs, coulds and woulds. Sadly I won't be around in 4 years to see how accurate your prediction is. 

IMO the north vs south battles are what makes races like the NZ Cup and the Dominion such great events as the best from Auckland take on the best from Christchurch (as very few of 'the best' are trained outside of the two main centres these days). Take the top northerners out of those events and they become little more than a regular Addington harness event. The northerners interest on their phones and screens would soon wane. There's too much else to do in the country's biggest city - especially nightlife - hence part of the problem Auckland harness finds itself in today. HRNZ and the ATC hasn't adapted to that, or the demographic changes to Auckland's population. While everything else around it has changed dramatically, Alex Park is still operating to pre-television formats. And I don't mean pre-live coverage of all races, I mean pre-television in New Zealand homes. And I'm not sure about this, but I imagine the money thrown at the big races recently is only bringing them back to where they used to be decades ago, relatively, as costs have easily outstripped potential winnings in recent years. Hence so many horses racing in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane having 'Nz' after there names. So many owners are choosing to sell rather than race'n'win. 

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Totally agree with most of these observations Idolmite, and for another everday comparison pies like Fairlie/ Sheffield/West Coast are known nationwide countrywide but more importantly are able to be bought online nationwide as well just like our harness racing, despite their South Island heritage and home. "Alex Park is still operating to pre-television formats" so true, and especially worrying when all our future customers now think even Facebook is old school. Scary future in so many ways for harness racing, especially in our biggest city, and very likely not solveable at that venue. But most South Island venues just a direct flight and short drive away, nowhere better on a sunny Sunday!

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40 minutes ago, Four more years said:

Sorry Idolmite, South Island skifields without Ruapehu will still attract tens of thousands of Aussie and North Island visitors to the South Island every year, and Marlborough Sauvingnon Blanc is sold all over the world without there ever being a relevant  or commercial equivalent wine type in the North Island. On TV screeens, phones and PCs all over Australasia punters already follow South Island country harness racing and Addington week in and week out  I can name you a dozen brilliant South Island venues that marketed properly could give visitors to the South Island from anywhere a fantastic day out on a long weekend or holiday to directly engage with harness racing and thus complement that great off course betting support they already achieve. And the number of people in South Islance communities who know and care about the sport still numbers in the thousands, at the moment anyway. But if you don't treat them fairly, giving those venues back what they put in, they too will dwindle away.

We can find examples of businesses and sports operated or played successfully on a regional basis all over the world. It's usually when you don't cut your cloth to fit it that all the trouble starts, trying to sell at great cost something to the world that no one is really interested in (NRL in Las Vegas comes to mind currently). Unfortunately that's the situation where HRNZ and the ATC also seem to find themselves today. The clock has already ticked past 4 years to go, and they appear to still be trying to be all things to all people. The money will in time run out.    

Wine and skiing may be similar to racing standardbreds in that they are optional luxuries, but unlike the first two, there is a growing and vocal sector of the population that are very anti racing. Only 23% of the population live in the South Island. If we want the social licence to continue racing, it is essential to reinvigorate the North where the other 77% live. We too to have great race courses for picnic meetings in the North. Unfortunately instead of the multiple country clubs we used to have across the Waikato and Bay of Plenty, they have been "centralized" and the current business model is to have everything based at Cambridge with multiple paid staff. Of course this means we've lost all those regional sponsors and volunteers which we'll never get back. I will be very interested in seeing how HRNZ plans to reinvigorate the North. While I believe it is vitally important to promote harness racing to wealthy Aucklanders (and ATC needs to be more effective here), as an owner I'd love to see some grass track picnic racing back on the calendar. Perhaps joint meetings with the galloping fraternity would help reduce costs and maximize exposure for everyone.

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" Future Now"    " Auckland will hold the $1m Golden Gait Series, consisting of 10 $100,000 races on December 20, before the Auckland Cup and National Trot move to New Years Eve"

What a GREAT plan;

Last year ATC had 3 meetings in December;

8/12        70 horses         Funding  $182,000   = per horse $2600         GBR  $15,000       Loss $167,000

15/12     73                                        $306,000                  =   $4192                   $146,000     Loss $160,000

31/12     69                                        $260,000                 =   $3768                     $138,000    Loss $122,000

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15 minutes ago, CeeMeNow said:

" Future Now"    " Auckland will hold the $1m Golden Gait Series, consisting of 10 $100,000 races on December 20, before the Auckland Cup and National Trot move to New Years Eve"

What a GREAT plan;

Last year ATC had 3 meetings in December;

8/12        70 horses         Funding  $182,000   = per horse $2600         GBR  $15,000       Loss $167,000

15/12     73                                        $306,000                  =   $4192                   $146,000     Loss $160,000

31/12     69                                        $260,000                 =   $3768                     $138,000    Loss $122,000

 

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1 minute ago, Charlie E said:

I can't understand the mentality of how they think things like this will change the problems in the Harness Industry . Its all well and good to have the Jewels etc but that is not going to attract more owners and trainers . As mentioned they need to raise weekly stakes so its worth people getting in or coming back to the game so they can survive

 

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"Future Now"     " late November-December there'll be two meetings at Addington expanding on the old Grand Prix concept "

Last December Addington had 3 meetings, including the disastrous Grand Prix meeting on the 10th, where they LOST a million Dollars;

1/12        90 horses           Funding $383,000        = per horse $4256          GBR $242,000         Loss $141,000

10/12      110                                      $1,194,000                         $10,854                $208,000         Loss $986,000

15/12      97                                        $201,000                            $2072                   $131,000         Loss $70,000

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21 hours ago, CeeMeNow said:

" Future Now"    " Auckland will hold the $1m Golden Gait Series, consisting of 10 $100,000 races on December 20, before the Auckland Cup and National Trot move to New Years Eve"

What a GREAT plan;

Last year ATC had 3 meetings in December;

8/12        70 horses         Funding  $182,000   = per horse $2600         GBR  $15,000       Loss $167,000

15/12     73                                        $306,000                  =   $4192                   $146,000     Loss $160,000

31/12     69                                        $260,000                 =   $3768                     $138,000    Loss $122,000

Latest article on ATC;

Paying $115,000 a week in Interest ($6m year }

$ $90m payment for Franklin due November 8th

They estimate that after paying outstanding loans there may only be $10m left

" We don't believe we should be the only club in the country who has to build a training centre to keep racing going up here"

They want the Industry to help them replace the training centre that they had and then sold!

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11 hours ago, CeeMeNow said:

Latest article on ATC;

Paying $115,000 a week in Interest ($6m year }

$ $90m payment for Franklin due November 8th

They estimate that after paying outstanding loans there may only be $10m left

" We don't believe we should be the only club in the country who has to build a training centre to keep racing going up here"

They want the Industry to help them replace the training centre that they had and then sold!

The current regime isn't actually deserving of public support, for reasons such as you've mentioned, however that only speeds up what is ultimately likely inevitable anyway. 

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It is probably worse than what JMK says, he may be a bit optimistic at saying $10m over, at last balance date (31/7/23) ATC had $80m debt, it is about 66 weeks till 8th November, 66x $115,000 = $7,590,000.

The Interest is being added to the Principal and being compounded weekly, no doubt the payments would have been smaller last year, but getting larger each week.

An old saying, maybe Einstein, " He who understands compounding gets it, he who doesn't pays it"

Also, given that property developers are not flavour of the year, there maybe some doubt that they will receive the $90m on time, or at all?

Alexandra Park revalue their properties every year, last year on the Investment Properties it was   -$7.1m on the land and  -$3.9m on the buildings, I expect when they do it again at the end of this month it will be another negative revaluation, 

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48 minutes ago, Idolmite said:

The current regime isn't actually deserving of public support, for reasons such as you've mentioned, however that only speeds up what is ultimately likely inevitable anyway. 

Throwing money at ATC for Stakes will not solve Auckland's problems, it wont make punters invest more, it wont increase the horse numbers, unless they can steal them from another Club who is not getting the same subsidy's, all it will do is substantially increase the money that is lost.

Nothing has been done to fix the ratings/handicapping, and encourage like for like racing with fields that can pay 3 dividends.

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13 hours ago, CeeMeNow said:

Latest article on ATC;

Paying $115,000 a week in Interest ($6m year }

$ $90m payment for Franklin due November 8th

They estimate that after paying outstanding loans there may only be $10m left

" We don't believe we should be the only club in the country who has to build a training centre to keep racing going up here"

They want the Industry to help them replace the training centre that they had and then sold!

I inferred from the quote that ATC thought Cambridge should chip in "to keep racing going up here".  Little chance of that happening as that club is also selling off land to raise funds.

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11 hours ago, CeeMeNow said:

It is probably worse than what JMK says, he may be a bit optimistic at saying $10m over, at last balance date (31/7/23) ATC had $80m debt, it is about 66 weeks till 8th November, 66x $115,000 = $7,590,000.

The Interest is being added to the Principal and being compounded weekly, no doubt the payments would have been smaller last year, but getting larger each week.

An old saying, maybe Einstein, " He who understands compounding gets it, he who doesn't pays it"

Also, given that property developers are not flavour of the year, there maybe some doubt that they will receive the $90m on time, or at all?

Alexandra Park revalue their properties every year, last year on the Investment Properties it was   -$7.1m on the land and  -$3.9m on the buildings, I expect when they do it again at the end of this month it will be another negative revaluation, 

I think the quote should have been " He who understands Compounding Interest..........

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"Future Now"          "We are delivering a race programme & Stakes that will revitalise fan engagement with Harness Racing"

" Punters love consistency" says Shannon, "and we KNOW they will respond well to racing at Auckland & Addington every Friday, and then Cambridge on a Tuesday"

Very positive statements, but I don't see any evidence from the past to support their plans for the future being successful, without a major rework of our basic handicapping system to advance our horses through the grades with the opportunities for owners to do so profitably, and extending the racing life of the horses in New Zealand.  

They are also fixated on Topend prize money, and prestige and aspirational million dollar races.

Everybody has heard of the Meadowlands Pace, certainly a lot of the American Sires that we use have it mentioned in their resume, it is a very prestigious race, it is worth a mere $650,000 and will be run this weekend.

They had two  $50,000 eliminations last Saturday, with the first 5 from each race going forward to the final.

They were won by Nijinsky {Betters Delight)  1.47.3     &   Legendary Hanover ( Huntsville )    1.48

Dexter got second with Funtime Bayama (He's Watching) In Nijinsky's race, and third with Gem Quality (Captain Crunch) in the other race, I don't know which he has chosen for the final.

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23 hours ago, CeeMeNow said:

"Future Now"          "We are delivering a race programme & Stakes that will revitalise fan engagement with Harness Racing"

" Punters love consistency" says Shannon, "and we KNOW they will respond well to racing at Auckland & Addington every Friday, and then Cambridge on a Tuesday"

Very positive statements, but I don't see any evidence from the past to support their plans for the future being successful, without a major rework of our basic handicapping system to advance our horses through the grades with the opportunities for owners to do so profitably, and extending the racing life of the horses in New Zealand.  

They are also fixated on Topend prize money, and prestige and aspirational million dollar races.

Everybody has heard of the Meadowlands Pace, certainly a lot of the American Sires that we use have it mentioned in their resume, it is a very prestigious race, it is worth a mere $650,000 and will be run this weekend.

They had two  $50,000 eliminations last Saturday, with the first 5 from each race going forward to the final.

They were won by Nijinsky {Betters Delight)  1.47.3     &   Legendary Hanover ( Huntsville )    1.48

Dexter got second with Funtime Bayama (He's Watching) In Nijinsky's race, and third with Gem Quality (Captain Crunch) in the other race, I don't know which he has chosen for the final.

Did you happen to see the story from Michael G about Alex Park and the money they owe ?

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On 7/9/2024 at 12:42 PM, CeeMeNow said:

" Future Now"    " Auckland will hold the $1m Golden Gait Series, consisting of 10 $100,000 races on December 20, before the Auckland Cup and National Trot move to New Years Eve"

What a GREAT plan;

Last year ATC had 3 meetings in December;

8/12        70 horses         Funding  $182,000   = per horse $2600         GBR  $15,000       Loss $167,000

15/12     73                                        $306,000                  =   $4192                   $146,000     Loss $160,000

31/12     69                                        $260,000                 =   $3768                     $138,000    Loss $122,000

Fr  26/1       68                    Funding       $172,000                                            GBR   $ 68,000     Loss $104,000

Fr  9/2         81                                         $183,000                                                       $ 80,000     Loss $103,000

Fr 16/2        85                                         $259,000                                                       $151,000    Loss $108,000

Fr  1/3         64                                         $193,000                                                       $136,000    Loss $ 57,000

Fr  8/3         45                                          $145,000                                                       $ 19,000    Loss  $126,000

Fr 15/3        69                                          $203,000                                                       $133,000   Loss $ 70,000

Fr 22/3        88                                          $543,000                                                       $164,000   Loss $379,000

No wonder HRNZ stopped publishing the figures!!

This is the club HRNZ/Entain want to give 30% more racedays, and many more millions in stakes and subsidies

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'Future Now"     Sires Stakes

The 'Sires Stakes" will contribute $300,000 per annum for 3 years to increasing Stakes for races they administer, this is matched by HRNZ & Entain also contributing $300,000 a year. 

How is it that Sires Stakes have $900,000 on hand?  surely all the money they have is from owners subscription to specific races?  surely that money would be held in trust for those specific races? surely if there was any surplus, it should have been added to the stake for the final, or maybe additional heats or consolation races for the series.

Over $300,000 of this is going to races to be held in November that you would have had to make payments for last year, while they have kept the closing date open till August 1st for sustaining payments, that doesn't help  if  you missed the payments last year, but may have made them if you had known of changed conditions.

Should HRNZ  even be putting Industry funds into subscription races?

 

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On 6/28/2024 at 9:26 AM, unhinged said:
On 6/27/2024 at 2:01 PM, Ohokaman said:

You cannot hope to increase ownership/participation without an incentive to do so….and that would be a financial one. Costs keep increasing and any potential owner needs to have some dream of making a dollar, or at least minimising his outlay. They should keep this in mind when thinking about strategies..without this, field sizes will not increase enough to generate the betting turnover growth he talks about.

Agree with Mister Ed that wasting stakes on races that favour a select few will do nothing for overall growth….and the idea of a series of imaginative races for specific classes, with the large carrot at the end of it, might be worth considering to get people enthused again.

Yes, like the idea of monthly or quarterly regional finals, they encourages owners to race more with the carrot there.

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