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alexandra park banning trainers using course

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Sunday Star Times article today.

A few more "battlers and "enthusiasts" will exit the industry.

The game is being left to the big stables for survival.

More than interesting

 

Seems reasonable to me, Guerin's story explains it well....

 

Training operations to end at Alexandra Park
14 June 2014

By Michael Guerin

Alexandra Park is to end its small daily training operations after “dodging a bullet” in a recent training mishap.

The ATC has advised trainers from August the track will no longer be available as a training centre, but will remain open for trials and workouts to compliment its near weekly racing schedule.

The move will have minimal impact on trainers, with only a handful of horses trained at the track, mostly by amateur driver Tim Vince.

ATC racing manager Kevin Smith says the decision is based around health and safety issues and brings Alexandra Park into line with other suburban tracks like Addington, where trainers have to ask for permission for a private workout.

“It has been coming for a while,” said Smith.

“Alexandra Park is a big business and we have a lot of people coming and going.

“A few weeks ago we had a horse get loose in training and run uncontrollably around the carpark area near the main stand and the sports bar.

“It was only metres from Greenlane Road and I hate to think what would have happened had it got loose there.

“There are simply too many health and safety issues to have horses trained here full time anymore.”

While only a handful of horses are trained on the track it does still get occasional use from trainers wanting to familiarise their horses with it before race night.

“But we have workouts and trials for that,” said Smith.

It is understood however that visiting horses, particularly those from the South Island, may be given access to the track on rare occasions for private workouts but in a far more controlled nature than at present.

“It is no different to Addington or Ellerslie. They don’t have horses trained there and you certainly just can’t turn up there and work your horse without asking.”

ATC boss Dominique Dowding says the decision is in no way related to negotiations between the ATC and the Blues Rugby franchise about the potential building of a rugby training facility at Alexandra Park.

While they are advanced, it is also understood neither organisation has signed off on an agreement.

The move away from being a small-time training centre is overdue for Alexandra Park as the ATC looks to further develop the property on 223 Greelane West to secure the long-term viability of harness racing in the northern region.

Already the projected returns from future property developments there, which in no way impact on racenights, have enabled the ATC to boost stakes to record highs in this country, which has seen a sharp boost in race field sizes.

Unfortunately as quaint as the notion of an inner city training track may be, the future viability of the harness racing industry is of far greater importance.

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So, are they going to ban training within 1km of all main highways , because they'd 'hate to think' what would happen if a loose horse ran on to it?

 

Sounds like they were looking for the first excuse to boot the trainer(s) out.

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Perhaps someone should find out how many accidents involving cars & horses ( & animals in general) occur away from racecourses...to put the whole situation into it's rightful context.

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That has to be the weakest argument you have ever seen by the ATC. If they are really worried about horses getting loose and running on to a busy road then they would have to stop having race meetings, where 100 horses turn up and all have the potential to escape onto the road. I note Tim Vince will be one of the affected trainers. He's a guy who can really speak his mind, I hope he does so on this one. I'm tired of corporate bullyboy imposters misusing their power.

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What's wrong with The Blues continuing to use Unitec Grounds?

 

Or is it all linked in with Unitec's plan to sell off land & assests & build high density shanty town housing?

 

Since when, & what right, have Educational Providers whose facilities  are there for the Public been so greatly invovled in "Residential Developments"?

 

It all smells very dodgy to us.

 

Why can't The Blues use Eden Park?

 

Or is it because all the millions of dollars we spent in upgrading it for The Rugby World Cup, they overlooked the need for local Rugby team's training facilities?

 

How would The Blues feel if Horse Racing kicked them off there turf & the boot was on the other foot?

 

It's all about power & control & money, money, money.

 

Unitec's housing bid stuns

5:00 AM Saturday Jun 14, 2014

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11273793

 

We're not a park, says Unitec boss

5:00 AM Tuesday Jun 24, 2014

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11280150

 

Residents upset over Unitec plans

 

JENNY LING

Last updated 05:00 11/07/2014

 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/auckland/local-news/central-leader/10252403/Residents-upset-over-Unitec-plans

 

 

http://www.theblues.co.nz/About-Us/Contact-Us.aspx

 

Administration

Level 6, Unitec, Gate 3, Building 23, Carrington Rd, Mt Albert, Auckland

Postal address

The Blues Ltd Partership, PO Box 77 012, Mt Albert, Auckland 1350

Phone

(09) 846 5425

General enquiries

info@theblues.co.nz

Office hours

8:30am to 5:00pm


Blues on track for move to new Epsom home

 

LIAM NAPIER

 

Last updated 05:00 15/06/2014
 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/10159331/Blues-on-track-for-move-to-new-Epsom-home

 

 

The Blues are on the move - to a race track.

Alexandra Park, home of the Auckland Trotting Club in Epsom, is set to become the Blues' long-term home from the end of next year.

The Sunday Star-Times understands a $6 million construction is planned to build a new high-tech training facility, with signoff expected this week.

"Alexandra Park is one of the shortlisted sites we've been in discussions with. It's not confirmed yet but we're taking it to our board next week," Blues chief executive Michael Redman said. "I can't confirm any of those [financial] details. There's a process of design tender to be finalised."

The imminent decision has angered established horse trainers, who have been told by the Auckland Trotting Club to remove their horses from the course and that they could no longer train there.

"We've looked at many options. Nearly all of them have some other operational constraints. Alexandra Park is no different," Redman said. "There aren't a whole lot of empty spaces that can accommodate a training field and a base that isn't sharing facilities with someone else. It's been a common feature of nearly all the sites we've looked at. We've worked through the issues to make sure everyone's operations are compatible."

Despite being situated in New Zealand's largest city, the Blues' current training facilities at Unitec, in Mt Albert, have long lagged behind their four Kiwi Super Rugby counterparts.

Last year, moving to a base by the airport was strongly considered, but since the Blues established separate governance from the Auckland Rugby Union, the franchise has settled on Alexandra Park as their preferred location.

"It was one of the highest priorities for the new board to resolve a long-term home," Redman said.

Formerly known as Potter's Paddock, Alexandra Park hosted the 14th All Blacks test, won 29-0 by New Zealand over the British and Irish Lions in 1908 in front of 12,000 people.

A training field, including goal posts, will be formed in the middle of the race track. Gym facilities are also expected to emulate the Warriors, who spent $1 million on an upgrade last year which featured altitude training equipment.

"The proposal at Alexandra Park is for us to have training facilities in the track area," Redman confirmed. "We'd have a standalone building that would be self-contained and would include our own gym."

Construction is expected to be completed by the end of 2015.

 

TRAINERS GET THE BLUES OVER ALEXANDRA PARK BAN - B12

- Sunday Star Times

 

Sunday Star Times article today.

A few more "battlers and "enthusiasts" will exit the industry.

The game is being left to the big stables for survival.

More than interesting

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Blues confirm move to training facility at Auckland's Alexandra Park

LIAM NAPIER

Last updated 10:28, February 3 2015

 

http://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/rugby/super-rugby/65711891/blues-confirm-move-to-training-facility-at-aucklands-alexandra-park

 

The Blues have confirmed their move to a purpose-built training and administrative headquarters at Alexandra Park.

 

The move, first revealed by Fairfax Media last June, sees the Blues commit to a 15-year lease with the Auckland Trotting Club to base their high performance centre at the Greenlane venue.

 

The agreement will see the Blues invest between $4 and $6 million and shift away from their current, tired facilities at educational facility Unitec, where they've been based for the past decade.

The new world-class high performance facility will include a gym, offices and training field, which will be situated in the middle of the race track.

 

It is understood, however, the Auckland Rugby Union, who hold a 39 per cent stake in the Blues, will not be based at Alexandra Park, further highlighting factions between the two organisations.

 

"We aspire to be a world class organisation both on and off the playing field – and we need appropriate facilities for the team and all of our staff," Blues chairman Tony Carter said. "This is a once in a generation opportunity to reposition the entire Blues organisation towards achieving our long-term goals."

 

Blues chief executive Michael Redman said the organisation underwent a robust competitive RFP process, evaluating a number of proposals before opting for Alexandra Park, which was ratified by the Blues board last year and with the formal consent process confirmed last week. Construction will start in March, with the team expected to be based there by the end of the year.

 

"The Blues board and shareholders have given tremendous support throughout the process and it is great to be at this point in the development," Redman said.

The Blues hope the new facility will greatly enhance the team's ability to prepare as well as retain and recruit players.

"It is not the total solution however it aligns with our other investments in culture, identity and sports science," Redman said.

 

Covering an approximate area of 1800sqm, the facility will boast a high-tech gymnasium, prehab/rehab area, rooms for seminars, medical and physiotherapy treatment, sports science and changing rooms, a cafe, and offices for coaching, team management and administration.

The Blues also plan to use the facility for age group development camps and will make it available to the three provincial unions within the Blues region - Northland, North Harbour and Auckland - for training camps and also plan other usage in the sport and the community.

 

Auckland Trotting Club and the Blues say the facility will not cause any scheduling conflicts between the two organisations.

 

"Like the Blues, we are really excited at the enormous opportunities to engage the community with the new facilities and training field, particularly when you consider all the nearby schools," Alexandra Park chief executive Dominique Dowding said.

 

The move will see rugby return to the venue for the first time in more than a century. Formerly known as Potter's Paddock, Alexandra Park hosted the 14th All Blacks test in 1908 in which the home team comprehensively beat the British and Irish Lions 29-0 in front of 12,000 people.

 

 - Stuff

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New facilities won't make them a better team What happens if they go bust. Didn't it happen 0Dunedin. Does the club do its dosh. Or is it guaranteed by nz rugby.be silly if it wasn't. Then we would be running somewhere else.big soccer clubs in Britain have gone bust u never know

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You're right there Paul about facilities not making them a good team and the possibility of the franchise going broke !!! Yes we do have a guarantee but if they did go broke the building would not be hard to rent out again anyway.

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I would say that Unitec's decision to make other plans for their land follows on from the Blues seeking other places to train, rather than the other way round.  That would have taken away a decent income for them and it would have encouraged them to look at other avenues of funding, but I can also agree that the Unitec grounds and buildings aren't really on a par with other franchises and if they can set up better facilities at Alex Park and hopefully provide the Auckland Trotting Club with some cash injection in turn, then all the better.  It may not make the Blues a better team but it certainly won't make them a worse team and we often complain about training and stabling facilities for our racehorses, I guess they are entitled to want decent facilities too - all located in one spot instead of having to travel to various places for workouts, fitness sessions, squad training etc.

 

Unitec have every right to do what they want with the land provided the right consents are sourced (and any Maori agreement if needed depending on land rights in that area) ..  they are an educational institution but they also derive their own income from fees, grants from various research bodies etc and have to pay running costs, salaries, building maintenance etc. from this income.  Gone are the days that university education is free and driven by the tax payer.  Universities and Technological Institutes now have to source funding mainly from enrolments and external research projects.   If Unitec have no use for some of the land, selling it or developing it further, and putting the money back into the Uni makes sense to offer better programmes of study - attracting more students both national and international (as that is where the higher fee income lies) and better/safer facilities. 

 

The local residents complaining about Unitec being smoke-free and pushing "smokers" out on to their streets is quite bizarre.   I am sure that the local hospital  and Mason Clinic is also smoke free for staff and visitors, as are the primary schools and kindergartens located nearby and i would say they have been for some time.

 

I can't see this move by the Blues, doing any harm to harness racing at Alex Park or to the ATC - which I guess I should revert back to given the forum this thread is in.   They might even host visiting teams at their practice field on a Friday and then drag them all on to Alex Park for a night meeting if they are playing on the weekend .. probably would enhance interest for possible racegoers.  It might open the door for the ATC and the Blues to do a bit more joint marketing also.

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One thing that will be interesting with these plans is the height of the buildings etc located in the middle of the track and how much this will impact on the viewing options, especially from the lounges on the track level.   Currently it's possible to see pretty much all of the track from the fence.  The club may need to look at installing a large viewing screen to counteract that or perhaps they will just encourage all racegoers to use the stands.

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One thing that will be interesting with these plans is the height of the buildings etc located in the middle of the track and how much this will impact on the viewing options, especially from the lounges on the track level.   Currently it's possible to see pretty much all of the track from the fence.  The club may need to look at installing a large viewing screen to counteract that or perhaps they will just encourage all racegoers to use the stands.

 

Always annoys me a little on Cup Day at Addington that you can't see the back straight from many vantage points due to tents etc in the middle of the track. But its only one day so you deal with it.... a permanent building however.....

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The reason the Auckland Trotting Club already have the best stakes in the country is due to their thinking outside the square. Their innovation, commitment to change and development and, most importantly, to making money from income streams that are outside of racing but sustainable and guarantee the future of the club and racing.

 

Why do you think Robert Dunn closed down his West Melton stable and is now permanently basing 12 of his best horses at Pukekohe? Because it is the bet place to race a horse.

 

The ATC can not be held accountable for dwindling fields. It is a self-correction dictated by industry involvement.

 

The other thing worth noting is that stud fees remain at ridiculous levels and grazing and feed costs are through the roof. This all adds up to part-time breeders not wanting to breed. Less horses bred, less horses qualify and therefor race.

 

What do ATC do? they create open nominations so EVERY possible horse can get a start and is not restricted by rigid handicapping conditions that prevail in the south.

 

There are some things that I don't agree with - the trespassing of Tim Vince because of some colourful language et al, the treatment of the Kumeu Racing Club when they (rightly or wrongly) would not hand over their assets to the ATC, and the complete abolishment of horses being able to be based at Alexandra Park. I realise this was to allow the Blues deal to go through but the process was what was got me. Was there suitable consultation? I would suggest not.

 

I am prepared to back this board and the Canadian CEO. At least they are being proactive.

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One other thing - meeting schedules and programming, in my opinion, need a drastic overhaul in the north. It won't happen, but it should. There are clusters of meetings in some parts, and a dearth in others.

 

What about claiming races? create an incentive. Commit a $10,000 stake every week for 3 months to a claiming race. Get them off the ground. They were going well (and weekly) about 3 years ago but have died out. Australian cards all have claimers racing on them. For the most part they are horses with ability and race form so people would bet on them. And if it is another 10-horse race to rely on every week, it should be targetted.

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I can tell you there will be no buildings blocking the track viewing.

 

 

I've just been looking at the google views of the track and if this (in quotes below) is all going to be in the middle of the race track (which is what the article says) along with a practice field...

 

"The new world-class high performance facility will include a gym, offices and training field, which will be situated in the middle of the race track."

 

"Covering an approximate area of 1800sqm, the facility will boast a high-tech gymnasium, prehab/rehab area, rooms for seminars, medical and physiotherapy treatment, sports science and changing rooms, a cafe, and offices for coaching, team management and administration"

 

then I can't see how it won't obscure some of the track.   Or,  are some of these buildings going to be positioned to the side where some of the parking area is on the tarseal?   or sunken?  If there is a cafe.. then surely they won't have people crossing the track all the time, or will there be a walkway under the track?  That would make sense because I can't see the facility not being used on a Friday evening when races are on and people will need to get in and out.   If they are needing to go under the track then that would require strengthening and the track would need to be closed surely.

 

Does anyone know the layout planned?  Nslram.. you seem to know that it won't cause problems for viewing so do you know any more details?

 

Thanks :)

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