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departed

Closing down NZ tracks

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Alan Sharrock, amongst others, is calling for a reduction in the number of tracks in NZ due to the spate of racemeeting cancellations recently caused by inadequate surfaces.  How will this help NZ racing?  Forcing trainers to try and sell their properties and try to buy a more expensive property near one of the main cities where the few remaining tracks remain?  Most will throw the towel in.

Trying to say there are too many tracks in NZ is nonsense.  Victoria has 67 tracks with a population of 5.7million.  Stakes are $23,000 for provincial maiden races, $120,000 for Saturday metropolitan races.  Crowds of 3000 are not uncommon at picnic meetings.  I haven't counted how many tracks there are in NSW, but it is a lot.  4 tracks in Sydney alone.

The problem in NZ is not too many tracks, it is not enough money.  Until the entire industry is taken apart and put together again with a whole new structure, nothing will change.  Winston Peters is not the saviour and never will be.  To get more money flowing in, betting turnover must be increased.  That will not happen as long as the TAB have a government-mandated monopoly.  They offer a mediocre product and have no incentive to sharpen up their act.  Once you let in bookmakers it creates competition and interest, and increases turnover.  It is already possible to operate an account with one of the many Aussie bookmakers from NZ, so why not just accept what is already happening and make the most of it? 

As the rot continues more and more of the capable and ambitious jockeys will jump ship.  Michael Dee, Daniel Stackhouse, Michael Walker and Cory Parish are already doing very nicely thank you.  They won't be the last to make the move.  And in the meantime nothing will change.

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12 minutes ago, departed said:

Alan Sharrock, amongst others, is calling for a reduction in the number of tracks in NZ due to the spate of racemeeting cancellations recently caused by inadequate surfaces.  How will this help NZ racing?  Forcing trainers to try and sell their properties and try to buy a more expensive property near one of the main cities where the few remaining tracks remain?  Most will throw the towel in.

Trying to say there are too many tracks in NZ is nonsense.  Victoria has 67 tracks with a population of 5.7million.  Stakes are $23,000 for provincial maiden races, $120,000 for Saturday metropolitan races.  Crowds of 3000 are not uncommon at picnic meetings.  I haven't counted how many tracks there are in NSW, but it is a lot.  4 tracks in Sydney alone.

The problem in NZ is not too many tracks, it is not enough money.  Until the entire industry is taken apart and put together again with a whole new structure, nothing will change.  Winston Peters is not the saviour and never will be.  To get more money flowing in, betting turnover must be increased.  That will not happen as long as the TAB have a government-mandated monopoly.  They offer a mediocre product and have no incentive to sharpen up their act.  Once you let in bookmakers it creates competition and interest, and increases turnover.  It is already possible to operate an account with one of the many Aussie bookmakers from NZ, so why not just accept what is already happening and make the most of it? 

As the rot continues more and more of the capable and ambitious jockeys will jump ship.  Michael Dee, Daniel Stackhouse, Michael Walker and Cory Parish are already doing very nicely thank you.  They won't be the last to make the move.  And in the meantime nothing will change.

thats a great comment, i use tab corp nsw myself, ive had lots of problems with nz tab, they just dont do it for me, im not going to go into details, but they cheat the nz punter, we do need some change, winstons not the answer as hes only there for him self, { my view sorry, } i no he puts the money up, but my view is its for kick backs, sorry to say that, he is there for winston, and the trainer/owner, forget the punters, its us who need the right thing done. there needs a change up top at tab.

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Would love to see competition on the bookmaking front, would also love to see on course bookies allowed as well, adds extra atmosphere to the course.

Realistically though, they wont do anything like that, their light bulb idea will probably be more likely to ban NZ punters backing offshore thinking it will force us all to come back to the TAB.

 

Why not embrace the likes of exchange betting where not only can you bet, but you can also trade. Try and attract new money to the races, show people that in this day and age you can trade much like Forex. day trading etc on each race/event, school up a new set of 'investors' to try help reinvigorate this great game.

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Here we can't get onto the NZ TAB website any more, they have blocked it for anyone out of NZ, but out of interest, do they offer a mobile app so that you can watch the races live on your phone?  And do they offer a visa debit card that you can transfer your balance on to and access your money immediately?   They hadn't last time I looked, but that is all available here in OZ.

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1 hour ago, departed said:

Alan Sharrock, amongst others, is calling for a reduction in the number of tracks in NZ due to the spate of racemeeting cancellations recently caused by inadequate surfaces.  How will this help NZ racing?  Forcing trainers to try and sell their properties and try to buy a more expensive property near one of the main cities where the few remaining tracks remain?  Most will throw the towel in.

Trying to say there are too many tracks in NZ is nonsense.  Victoria has 67 tracks with a population of 5.7million.  Stakes are $23,000 for provincial maiden races, $120,000 for Saturday metropolitan races.  Crowds of 3000 are not uncommon at picnic meetings.  I haven't counted how many tracks there are in NSW, but it is a lot.  4 tracks in Sydney alone.

The problem in NZ is not too many tracks, it is not enough money.  Until the entire industry is taken apart and put together again with a whole new structure, nothing will change.  Winston Peters is not the saviour and never will be.  To get more money flowing in, betting turnover must be increased.  That will not happen as long as the TAB have a government-mandated monopoly.  They offer a mediocre product and have no incentive to sharpen up their act.  Once you let in bookmakers it creates competition and interest, and increases turnover.  It is already possible to operate an account with one of the many Aussie bookmakers from NZ, so why not just accept what is already happening and make the most of it? 

As the rot continues more and more of the capable and ambitious jockeys will jump ship.  Michael Dee, Daniel Stackhouse, Michael Walker and Cory Parish are already doing very nicely thank you.  They won't be the last to make the move.  And in the meantime nothing will change.

Trainers won't have to move to be near the cities,Matamata and Cambridge will do.As far as buying a new property,just lease off racing club.

In my opinion one of the biggest problems(to late to fix) is that Te Rapa,Ellerslie and Trentham are not major training centres unlike Flemington and,Randwick.

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Years ago many clubs were losing money hand over fist,the worst been major venues,these clubs knowing they we,re broke got the RIB to bring in and subsidise "STRATEGIC VENUES",these were racecourses not to be loss to nz mainly because of been in a populated area,it is these clubs which have had millions of dollars poured in to them by sucking other clubs and it is these clubs which now have grandstands closed of to public and rapid deteration of facilities.if the rib had not intefered  "healthy wealthy clubs would have survived with small but luxurious facilties, unhealthy clubs would have been sold up with the result been half the clubs and racecourses.parasites drag down their hosts

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4 hours ago, premixer said:

Would love to see competition on the bookmaking front, would also love to see on course bookies allowed as well, adds extra atmosphere to the course.

Realistically though, they wont do anything like that, their light bulb idea will probably be more likely to ban NZ punters backing offshore thinking it will force us all to come back to the TAB.

 

Why not embrace the likes of exchange betting where not only can you bet, but you can also trade. Try and attract new money to the races, show people that in this day and age you can trade much like Forex. day trading etc on each race/event, school up a new set of 'investors' to try help reinvigorate this great game.

Its already available to those who want to avail themselves of it

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28 minutes ago, Fartoomuch said:

Its already available to those who want to avail themselves of it

I know it is, 95% of my punting is done through it.

I'm suggesting the TAB getting behind exchange style betting/trading, and putting it out there for the masses to see.

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7 hours ago, departed said:

Alan Sharrock, amongst others, is calling for a reduction in the number of tracks in NZ due to the spate of racemeeting cancellations recently caused by inadequate surfaces.  How will this help NZ racing?  Forcing trainers to try and sell their properties and try to buy a more expensive property near one of the main cities where the few remaining tracks remain?  Most will throw the towel in.

Trying to say there are too many tracks in NZ is nonsense.  Victoria has 67 tracks with a population of 5.7million.  Stakes are $23,000 for provincial maiden races, $120,000 for Saturday metropolitan races.  Crowds of 3000 are not uncommon at picnic meetings.  I haven't counted how many tracks there are in NSW, but it is a lot.  4 tracks in Sydney alone.

The problem in NZ is not too many tracks, it is not enough money.  Until the entire industry is taken apart and put together again with a whole new structure, nothing will change.  Winston Peters is not the saviour and never will be.  To get more money flowing in, betting turnover must be increased.  That will not happen as long as the TAB have a government-mandated monopoly.  They offer a mediocre product and have no incentive to sharpen up their act.  Once you let in bookmakers it creates competition and interest, and increases turnover.  It is already possible to operate an account with one of the many Aussie bookmakers from NZ, so why not just accept what is already happening and make the most of it? 

As the rot continues more and more of the capable and ambitious jockeys will jump ship.  Michael Dee, Daniel Stackhouse, Michael Walker and Cory Parish are already doing very nicely thank you.  They won't be the last to make the move.  And in the meantime nothing will change.

There’s a progressive group of lads that have a punters club at Ellerslie with 40k ready to unload on course.This group all like a punt n beer but have issues with the TAB why aren’t they courting these boys instead of making things hard .The AU corporates are already beating the NZ TAB to these boys punting dollar by good incentives .Time to open up competition I think let’s hope Winnie has this as one of his priorities.

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8 hours ago, gazza123 said:

Years ago many clubs were losing money hand over fist,the worst been major venues,these clubs knowing they we,re broke got the RIB to bring in and subsidise "STRATEGIC VENUES",these were racecourses not to be loss to nz mainly because of been in a populated area,it is these clubs which have had millions of dollars poured in to them by sucking other clubs and it is these clubs which now have grandstands closed of to public and rapid deteration of facilities.if the rib had not intefered  "healthy wealthy clubs would have survived with small but luxurious facilties, unhealthy clubs would have been sold up with the result been half the clubs and racecourses.parasites drag down their hosts

Totally agreed. The fact that these strategic clubs get paid a higher rate for meetings and they are gaurenteed that rate means that they dont need to encourage punters on course. For the industry to survive you need punters as well as the obvious tainers owners breeders. If clubs got a percentage of on course turnover it would mean that they would promote there race meetings more and try to get more attendance on course as at the moment it doesnt matter how many you get on course you are all paid the same within your classifaction as an Industry day. Of course the Strategic clubs get both a higher rate per meeting and a percentage of the tote.  Every meeting and club need an incentive and a percentage off the on course turnover would be just that.  The smaller clubs are getting paid less to run a meeting but there costs are the same and as you said the bigger clubs are sucking all the funds so the smaller ones are struggling.

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12 hours ago, premixer said:

I know it is, 95% of my punting is done through it.

I'm suggesting the TAB getting behind exchange style betting/trading, and putting it out there for the masses to see.

They have had plenty of years to do lots of things to stop NZ clients departing to greener pastures. The outcome is obvious to everyone bar them.

They have absolutely no idea about innovation and are reluctant copiers. The only thing they ,as in NZRB, are outstanding at is paying over the top salaries to people who have little or no knowledge of racing/gambling.

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16 hours ago, army said:

Totally agreed. The fact that these strategic clubs get paid a higher rate for meetings and they are gaurenteed that rate means that they dont need to encourage punters on course. For the industry to survive you need punters as well as the obvious tainers owners breeders. If clubs got a percentage of on course turnover it would mean that they would promote there race meetings more and try to get more attendance on course as at the moment it doesnt matter how many you get on course you are all paid the same within your classifaction as an Industry day. Of course the Strategic clubs get both a higher rate per meeting and a percentage of the tote.  Every meeting and club need an incentive and a percentage off the on course turnover would be just that.  The smaller clubs are getting paid less to run a meeting but there costs are the same and as you said the bigger clubs are sucking all the funds so the smaller ones are struggling.

I think you're missing the point Sharrock is making. If you look at his stomping ground around the Rangitikei, Taranaki, Horowhenua, Manawatu area you've got (or had) race courses at Otaki, Levin, Foxton, Bulls, Marton, Wanganui, Woodville, Awapuni, Hawera, Waverley, New Plymouth and probably several other places I have missed. It's total nonsense. Put it this way if you didn't have any race courses in any of those towns would you now go a build one in each of those places, knowing it requires capital outlay for a large stand, stables, course, and other facilities? Of course not. You have to give up hankering for how ii was and create a vision for the future.

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11 minutes ago, Timon said:

I think you're missing the point Sharrock is making. If you look at his stomping ground around the Rangitikei, Taranaki, Horowhenua, Manawatu area you've got (or had) race courses at Otaki, Levin, Foxton, Bulls, Marton, Wanganui, Woodville, Awapuni, Hawera, Waverley, New Plymouth and probably several other places I have missed. It's total nonsense. Put it this way if you didn't have any race courses in any of those towns would you now go a build one in each of those places, knowing it requires capital outlay for a large stand, stables, course, and other facilities? Of course not. You have to give up hankering for how ii was and create a vision for the future.

OK.  So in the CD they've killed off Foxton, Bulls, Feilding, Opaki, Marton and probably a few more that I can't call to mind. 

Some of those I believe contributed to the RACE outfit.  Awapuni has had millions poured into it. 

And where precisely did that round of track consolidation get us?  And just how well did that massive investment in Awapuni turn out?

And I think we need to remember that the abandonments have been no means  been limited to the small country clubs/tracks .... 

 

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29 minutes ago, Timon said:

I think you're missing the point Sharrock is making. If you look at his stomping ground around the Rangitikei, Taranaki, Horowhenua, Manawatu area you've got (or had) race courses at Otaki, Levin, Foxton, Bulls, Marton, Wanganui, Woodville, Awapuni, Hawera, Waverley, New Plymouth and probably several other places I have missed. It's total nonsense. Put it this way if you didn't have any race courses in any of those towns would you now go a build one in each of those places, knowing it requires capital outlay for a large stand, stables, course, and other facilities? Of course not. You have to give up hankering for how ii was and create a vision for the future.

You may as we shut New Plymouth then as it’s similar to Ruakaka and is basically dominated by local runners as it’s a shithouse place to get to .Interesting also that theirs not one senior based in New Plymouth not even sure if theirs any apprentices either .Saying that it is one of the best tracks in the sense of looking after owners and visiting trainers .

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24 minutes ago, puha said:

You may as we shut New Plymouth then as it’s similar to Ruakaka and is basically dominated by local runners as it’s a shithouse place to get to .Interesting also that theirs not one senior based in New Plymouth not even sure if theirs any apprentices either .Saying that it is one of the best tracks in the sense of looking after owners and visiting trainers .

Wuz would disagree with that summation about NP but what would he know

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3 hours ago, Timon said:

I think you're missing the point Sharrock is making. If you look at his stomping ground around the Rangitikei, Taranaki, Horowhenua, Manawatu area you've got (or had) race courses at Otaki, Levin, Foxton, Bulls, Marton, Wanganui, Woodville, Awapuni, Hawera, Waverley, New Plymouth and probably several other places I have missed. It's total nonsense. Put it this way if you didn't have any race courses in any of those towns would you now go a build one in each of those places, knowing it requires capital outlay for a large stand, stables, course, and other facilities? Of course not. You have to give up hankering for how ii was and create a vision for the future.

I wasnt replying to Sharrocks comment thought I was replying to Timon comment. Yes there certainly alot of clubs around there and probably too many how many have closed and how many of those clubs have suffered because they are not classed as a strategic club so get alot less portion of the pie. Most race course are similiar in size so they take the same money to maintain. If they dont get enough to ssurvive what are they suppose to do get out there and fundraise to get there amendaties up to date while the bigger clubs just sit there and watch the bigger bucks from NZTR role in.  You could say close some of these down and maybe yes perhap some should but how many of them are training tracks where a trainer would then have to move to make his living in his chosen path. For NZTR to make money they need to get punters on course and to get punters on course the clubs need to be offered incentives or you will see days like at Elleslie and Te Rapa that dont have alot in attendance but get the bigger money anyway.

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14 hours ago, Timon said:

I think you're missing the point Sharrock is making. If you look at his stomping ground around the Rangitikei, Taranaki, Horowhenua, Manawatu area you've got (or had) race courses at Otaki, Levin, Foxton, Bulls, Marton, Wanganui, Woodville, Awapuni, Hawera, Waverley, New Plymouth and probably several other places I have missed. It's total nonsense. Put it this way if you didn't have any race courses in any of those towns would you now go a build one in each of those places, knowing it requires capital outlay for a large stand, stables, course, and other facilities? Of course not. You have to give up hankering for how ii was and create a vision for the future.

I'll say it again for the 100th time.

Closing tracks isn't the answer imo , utilising your existing assets is. Someone had a great idea on here the other day about having back up venues for racing , I think thats a workable solution in the mean time if planned out correctly'

The reason we've got in such a mess is because of centralisation , its responsible for the neglect of some of these smaller venues as others have pointed out. It's favoured a few at the expense of many others.

Why do we want to get rid of tracks if they aren't costing the industry anything to operate? If they are providing product for the industry i.e. horse numbers, a strong volunteer base, horsemanship and expertise,an affordable option to race a thoroughbred that other venues wouldn't or currently don't offer,a home for the horses that the big players don't want, not only that they create and sustain local interest that gives racing a place in the local community that wouldn't exist without them.

Despite what the masses think the smaller venues can't just be sold up and the funds shifted on to the Strategic Venues to fix the ills of the industry, like many have professed I've no faith in the leadership to do whats right with those funds anyway.

Nothing will prosper without a strong base, look at Australia they have their synthetic and Strathryr tracks but they still depend a lot on the provincial areas to provide product etc for race days etc. I shudder to think what NZ racing would be like without it provincial support network, I'm only a small time participant raced a couple,breed a few,bought  a couple, frequent punter, learned to ride the highs and lows of the greatest game of all ... but when you take the number of persons involved in the industry out(i.e. who wouldn't be involved if they shut down the provincial venues) who have similar involvement like myself across the country it would leave a gaping big hole!

What are these Super Tracks that trainers like Sharrock speak of? Isn't there already an option for trainers to relocate to where ever they want to train from, so if a trainer thought Matamata was a better option couldn't they move there even without a Super track being put in? 

Why blame all the smaller venues for abandonment's when its clearly an industry wide problem:

Matamata Abandoned

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/racing/99676865/jockeys-walk-away-from-fall-free-of-injury-but-matamata-meeting-abandoned

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/racing/90972883/matamata-race-meeting-abandoned-due-to-visibility-concerns

Hastings Abandoned

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/hawkes-bay-today/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=1503460&objectid=11515796

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/97650432/hard-merchandize-grabs-guineas-before-hastings-meeting-abandoned

Te Rapa Abandoned

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/racing/86662364/strong-wind-gusts-force-te-rapa-race-meeting-abandonment

Awapuni Abandoned

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/racing/87681495/racing-industry-hit-again-with-abandonment-of-major-awapuni-meeting

New Plymouth Abandoned

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/racing/94968095/storms-hit-races-as-abandoned-meetings-and-rescheduling-keep-officials-busy

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/racing/70345526/opunake-cup-meeting-lost-again-as-torrential-rain-saturates-track

Ellerslie Abandoned

http://www.nzherald.co.nz/sport/news/article.cfm?c_id=4&objectid=10890998

https://www.stuff.co.nz/sport/racing/100278816/two-race-meetings-abandoned-because-of-unsafe-tracks-on-new-years-day

 

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1 hour ago, poundforpound said:

Seriously ...... ask Shatin and Mooney Valley.....

Read the question P4P you might be astounded at the initial cost and  ongoing costs thereafter.If i were to tell you they are around 500K plus to maintain would that affect your thinking??

Might such monies be used for other purposes. Im trying to get people to think outside the square so to speak in the vain hope that those in the corridors of power might latch onto things

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Well that doesn’t surprise me, and whilst I’m not current with AW technology I seem to remember sitting in on a presentation in which they suggested a full reno and replacement of the top layer about once every ten years. That’s be expensive too.

Is that correct ?

Anyway if there are costs associated that’s   not unreasonable because the benefits are so substantial .

 

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2 hours ago, poundforpound said:

Seriously ...... ask Shatin and Mooney Valley.....

It is unfortunate people always use Moonee Valley as the go-to example. I virtually never bet there, but that is because of the layout of the track with its short straight and the style of racing. I never really think about the racing surface.

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53 minutes ago, poundforpound said:

Anyway if there are costs associated that’s   not unreasonable because the benefits are so substantial .

 

I'd suggest the benefit we need is net revenue. I also am yet to see any analysis which suggests that an AWT would generate an increase in that. Has one been done and has a feasibility study been done for any of the proposed venues. I think the installation cost is significantly dependent on necessary drainage capability and the cost of that. So building a Strathayr in a swamp that also has existing unsolved drainage problems would seem to have substantial logistical and cost issues.

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That's the crux of the whole discussion, surely - abandonments and crap surfaces deter punters and stakeholders alike.

No-one is refuting the notion that an alternative surface,  be it a polytrack, American-style dirt or a Strathayr,  would save on the above - but will the installation of same produce increased revenue?   Because we are already 20 mill up the gurgler through the borrowing to increase stakes,  without the investment to put one or more of these tracks in...and we'll need to increase turnover exponentially to cover the costs inherent.

I just don't see where that much increased turnover is coming from,  hope I'm wrong though.

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