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Changes In Karaka Format

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Big changes announced for Karaka National Sales week    .

Dennis Ryan

Thoroughbred sales company New Zealand Bloodstock has today announced an overhaul of its National Yearling Sales format that will also involve significant changes to the pre-sale Karaka Million Ellerslie race meeting.

The twilight meeting, which has become an integral part of National Sales week since its inaugural running in 2008, will be brought forward to Saturday and the National Sale will begin with a 100-lot offering on Sunday evening.

The traditional Premier, Select and Festival Sale sections will in 2018 be broken up into Book I, Book II and Book III, with the most significant change the former Premier section now being four sessions from Sunday January 28 to Wednesday January 31.

Under the new format Book II will comprise two sessions across Thursday and Friday, and Book III will follow the normal Festival schedule on Sunday, February 4.

"I'm absolutely certain this new structure will be a success,” said NZB managing director Andrew Seabrook in announcing the changes. “Selling 100 horses on Sunday night gets more horses in front of buyers early in the week and aids the troublesome transition vendors have always faced midweek.

“We have done a lot of homework over the past several weeks and the feedback received from vendors and buyers has been pretty consistent.

“They want to see more horses sold in the first book and they want their second session horses, particularly those being sold on the Friday, to be on the property in a more timely fashion.”

The Sunday evening session, commencing at 5pm, will be part of a 700-strong Book I catalogue, while Book II, formerly conducted over three days, will be reduced to approximately 400 lots.

“The aim is to give the international buyers a reason to stay longer by giving them even more horses to look at on the sale ground at one time,” Seabrook added. “In theory there will be at least 200 more horses being offered in front of a full overseas buying bench.

“It's an exciting change that we think will provide a positive boost to sales week for buyers and sellers alike.”

Since 2008 the Karaka Million Sunday twilight races have raised the curtain on National Sales week, but to accommodate the new format, the iconic Ellerslie fixture has been brought forward to Saturday evening.

As well as the Karaka 3YO Classic with an increased stake of $1 million to complement the traditional Karaka Million for two-year-olds, the six-race programme for the inaugural Saturday twilight meeting will be completed by four Group-rated races.

"The four Group races at the twilight meeting will provide a heavyweight punch to the event, boosting the atmosphere to new levels and attracting larger on-course crowds," commented Auckland Racing Club CEO Cameron George.

“To accommodate the black type features, we have moved the Karaka Stayers’ Cup to Sunday 14 January, which will be an ideal lead up to a 2400-metre Group race on Karaka Million night."

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NZTR states its position....

 

No decision has been made on the composition of the programme for the 2018 Karaka Million meeting at Ellerslie in January.

NZTR wishes to clarify the situation following a release from New Zealand Bloodstock today, which stated that four Group races would be staged at the Karaka Million meeting.

While NZTR has supported moves to run the Karaka Million meeting on a Saturday and to provide an enhanced racing programme, including Group racing, the details of the programme have not been finalised.

Over the next three weeks, NZTR will be consulting with all race clubs impacted by the proposed changes.

A recommendation will be considered at the NZTR Board meeting on May 11, prior to consideration by the New Zealand Pattern Committee.

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1 hour ago, BruceL said:

Wellington have stuffed it up anyway changing from the 2 premier Saturdays and the public holiday Monday.

It didn't work having the Thorndon on the average last day with an average tired track.

 

Yes, spread too few interesting races over too many weekends and diluted the product too much.

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A poorly timed announcement by NZB in jumping the gun and leaving the above questions begging. Also, find it very odd that NZTR sends out its cautionary statement but leaves the original puffery  by NZB up on its news page ..  http://www.nzracing.co.nz/News/21448/Major-changes-made-to-Karaka-sales-week-.aspx

Adding to the confusion, the NZTR statement doesn't appear in the news feed at all. 

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I'd be trusting NZB and Cameron George 101% on this.

On the other hand no one should believe anything NZTR says / claims and certainly neither trust them nor invest any hope in them.

I do feel a bit sorry for the WRC though, and whilst I can see both sides of this situation it's rather tough on a well established carnival to have a day effectively hijacked.

I hope they find a fair and reasonable way to compensate the WRC for that.

 

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19 hours ago, SMD is rife said:

Thorndon moves to Cup Day alongside the Telegraph. Last day buggered now.

The last day was buggered this year even with the Thorndon , the crowd was poor and little atmosphere for a G1 day, the crowd was no way near the size of the crowds Wellington used to get on the Anniversary Monday.

The premier carnival/racing was much better suited to 2 Saturdays and diluting the product didn't work, Thorndon back to cup day suits much better as it had been until this years changes.

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26 minutes ago, BruceL said:

The last day was buggered this year even with the Thorndon , the crowd was poor and little atmosphere for a G1 day, the crowd was no way near the size of the crowds Wellington used to get on the Anniversary Monday.

The premier carnival/racing was much better suited to 2 Saturdays and diluting the product didn't work, Thorndon back to cup day suits much better as it had been until this years changes.

yes the anniversary Sat/Mon meetings worked and should be brought back with some atmosphere - getting visiting stables to stay the weekend with a bit of fun thrown in... you know maybe a golf tournament.. Sunday evening quiz night with teams.. Sunday morning BBQ breakfast -

Oh sorry I thought I was dealing with a smart go ahead industry - silly me ! 

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What I don't get is where is the pattern? I really can't get my mind around the fact that Racing is in two parts. One is the promotion of the breed and the other the promotion of betting/ event/ media. 

All thoroughbred sales around the World are booming....except for NZ. Our breed is being discounted as a result of our racing's status. Nothing wrong with our horses. Take the Telegraph/ Thorndon mile. Used to be that you had the Railway winner move on to the Telegraph. The Thorndon should have been placed to allow a horse the opportunity to prove they were an outstanding sprinter that could successfully extend to a mile. That's breed making and stallion making. But now this is gone. The pattern has been stuffed. The reason for the NZ Derby placement in December was to identify the most precocious 3yo that was capable of running the classic distance at THAT time of the year. The theory is that there should be two further races after the Derby, one over 2000m( for the those three year olds that didn't quite stay the 2400m) and the other over the 2400m, but both of these races are against the older horses. This is to test the classic crop against the older brigade to ascertain the quality of the classic crop.

So if you change the listed and group races to support a couple of restricted races, how is this going to help prove the best horses? This is a stroke against making and shaping the breed.

As it is a stallions chances of being a champion stallion (first season or general) is now dictated by the results of a restricted race. That's bullshit as the champion first season sire should really be all about producing group one winners. How many times has the Millions winner gone on with it? Some have but not many so it's not really a good breed making race. Should not the stakes of this race be excluded from the official premierships tally? They are after all restricted races. All that is happening is that breeders are playing games to qualify their horses for the race so this must potentially compromise the integrity of some sales. We all know it happens.

One interesting thing to do would be to open the race to all comers but have the stakes bonus(ie the million stake) be distributed to those who were sold through the sales and paid the entry. That way the playing field would be levelled

 

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In light of your post Berri, I like your final suggestion very much. It would need to still be a worthwhile stake say $250,000 to create sufficient interest and prestige, but the added bonus up to $1M for 'sale only' horses, sounds like a sufficient incentive. I'm sure it could work. A filly like Prom Queen might have been an interesting runner this year, on that basis, but obviously excluded due to her sale history.

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