We're Doomed

Different rules for different islands?

21 posts in this topic

Someone in the know might be able to explain if there are different rules for the North and South Islands when it comes to potentially splitting fields. I note that after 21 horses nominated for a maiden at Taranaki it has been indicated that the race may be split if enough pay up. This comes a few days after all 12 ballots for the two maiden races at Riccarton missed a start and others were eliminated. No desire to split a race there. Even Wingatui on Sunday had 4 ballots miss starts on a bog track. A few weeks ago Timaru had numerous horses balloted and eliminated. Note that ballots hardly ever get a start in the South. 

In the Central Districts there is always an identical race a few days later. This Saturday Trentham runs a 1,400m maiden, the same as Taranaki. The only option the Canterbury horses that were balloted or eliminated at Riccarton have is to wait 10 days to make the 3 hour trip to Waimate to potentially race over a different distance: but they probably won't get in anyhow as the same horses get balloted most weeks in the South, and the Canterbury horses will be competing with Otago and Southland horses for a start at Waimate. It must get very dispiriting for owners and trainers in the South. I can't believe they don't complain. I suspect most have just about  given up

I am quite disgusted by the 7 and 8 race boring, ugly, repetitive programmes that get put up each week in the SI. They show absolutely no imagination, provide no logical progression for horses and result in multiple horses being balloted and eliminated every week and others staying at home because there is nothing like a suitable race for them. Logic tells me that if all of the fixed cost expenses have already been incurred by the TAB, Trackside, Stipes, caterers, jockeys etc to run a meeting why not run 10 races and give another 28 horses a start.  If it is not viable to run an extra two $10,000 races to give horses starts, get horses through the grades, and give trainers and jockeys the opportunity to cover some of their expenses, then surely we are better off to just plainly say to people - "this industry is just not viable and we are shutting the SI down for good".

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3 hours ago, Pam Robson said:

Another good post.

Why aren't you on the programming committee?

The interesting thing Pam, is that you are virtually the only person who ever comments on my posts along these lines. Everyone feels qualified to comment on the merits of a $50m computer system, but no one seems very interested in getting pretty basic concepts right. It is pretty obvious that at all levels of the industry there are very few people who understand the basics. That is why I would be very worried about how any racing 'windfall" might be spent.

Just out of interest, do the southern trainers ever comment on the incompetence of the structure and management in the South?

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The real answer WD is that it depends which club, if youre Ellerslie,Te Rapa,Trentham,Taranaki,Awapuni,Hastings,Ruakaka and a few others you can get away with this unfortunately that is about as logical as it gets.

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34 minutes ago, Huey said:

The real answer WD is that it depends which club, if youre Ellerslie,Te Rapa,Trentham,Taranaki,Awapuni,Hastings,Ruakaka and a few others you can get away with this unfortunately that is about as logical as it gets.

I honestly cannot decide if it is gross incompetence, a total lack of interest, or some sort of conspiracy. I keep thinking to myself "what sort of halfwit thinks you can cater to the needs of the majority of the local horse population by only programming 7 races, and possibly splitting one. Especially when a region like Canterbury may only have a race-meeting every two weeks or so".

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36 minutes ago, Sobeit said:

I'm aware of a couple of unfashionable CD clubs who tried to get fields split. The answer was a flat 'no'. As I see it,  who you are has quite a lot to do with programming and the flexibility, thereof.

 

There does seem to be a willingness to split a race where only 7 races are programmed to make an 8 race card, but there is a total unwillingness to split a race when 8 races are programmed to make a 9 race card. This suggests to me that an 8 race card is considered more economical in some respect than a 7 race card, but a 9 race card is less economical to run than 8 races. I would love to see the figures that suggest what number of races is most economical to run. It certainly has nothing to do with horse numbers as more than 20 horses are balloted and eliminated most weeks in Canterbury. And remember, when only 7 races are programmed it isn't only the balloted and eliminated horses that are missing out, it is also the dozens of horses who don't have a race anywhere near suitable that stay home in their paddocks. This is also one reason why form can be inconsistent in the South, as horses don't get to race in suitable races at suitable intervals. 

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8 hours ago, We're Doomed said:

There does seem to be a willingness to split a race where only 7 races are programmed to make an 8 race card, but there is a total unwillingness to split a race when 8 races are programmed to make a 9 race card. This suggests to me that an 8 race card is considered more economical in some respect than a 7 race card, but a 9 race card is less economical to run than 8 races. I would love to see the figures that suggest what number of races is most economical to run. It certainly has nothing to do with horse numbers as more than 20 horses are balloted and eliminated most weeks in Canterbury. And remember, when only 7 races are programmed it isn't only the balloted and eliminated horses that are missing out, it is also the dozens of horses who don't have a race anywhere near suitable that stay home in their paddocks. This is also one reason why form can be inconsistent in the South, as horses don't get to race in suitable races at suitable intervals. 

Not only that youre also pumping horses through the system to move on to the next stage i.e. up grades , up in distance out to the paddock etc the entire calendar and programme should cater for this but it doesn't and its a huge problem. 

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11 hours ago, We're Doomed said:

The interesting thing Pam, is that you are virtually the only person who ever comments on my posts along these lines. Everyone feels qualified to comment on the merits of a $50m computer system, but no one seems very interested in getting pretty basic concepts right. It is pretty obvious that at all levels of the industry there are very few people who understand the basics. That is why I would be very worried about how any racing 'windfall" might be spent.

Just out of interest, do the southern trainers ever comment on the incompetence of the structure and management in the South?

Yes, I'm also very concerned about how a ' windfall ' might be spent.

When Monday/ Tuesday racing was first mooted - the brainchild of former NZTR CEO - the folly and waste of resources was loudly commented upon.  The wear and tear and cost of having 6 - 7 race cards was discussed ad infinitem....but that protest has dwindled away so that we now have random days all over the place with little relevance to the next random day.

Some of the 2 - 3 day carnivals have been split up and the days just dropped in anywhere...I just cant comprehend the logic.  Change can be beneficial but change just for the sake of it, no.

One prominent local trainer thinks NZTR is ' doing a good job '  and I think the same chap is on the programming committee....if he's not, he was.  What show do we have?

I think our club CEO might be involved in that as well....

As for trainers protesting their concern? Whinging about the ratings system is about as far as it gets...I realise it isn't perfect but it works well internationally. 

It is the hammering of the consistent gelding that is - IMO - the biggest problem there,  and the way it is applied here - a race based penalty as opposed to a pool based system - continues to throw up anomalies. 

To send a horse around to get beaten and lose points is, while not illegal,  is unethical IMO....and also requires a certain type of horse that remains genuine ( and sound ) while going around to make up the numbers.

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I've been going on about these same programming issues for 20 years now in various venues - the TA, NZTR, club committees etc. to no avail. The only positive step was NZTR agreed to pilot programming a final race 2 weeks prior to the meeting. That's being going for how many years? Surely they have enough data to assess whether that should be dropped or expanded by now. They continue it so I'd think it must be working. The majority of programming should be done on a similar basis. There should be someone at trial meetings and at least major training venues on say a weekly basis asking trainers what horses they have ready to run in the next few weeks and what type of races they want for them and the bulk of programming based on that and done much  closer to the actual events. You can't programme effectively six months in advance.

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1 hour ago, Huey said:

Not only that youre also pumping horses through the system to move on to the next stage i.e. up grades , up in distance out to the paddock etc the entire calendar and programme should cater for this but it doesn't and its a huge problem. 

Very much so, the more horses you can move out of maidens and 65s the better.

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1 hour ago, Pam Robson said:

Yes, I'm also very concerned about how a ' windfall ' might be spent.

When Monday/ Tuesday racing was first mooted - the brainchild of former NZTR CEO - the folly and waste of resources was loudly commented upon.  The wear and tear and cost of having 6 - 7 race cards was discussed ad infinitem....but that protest has dwindled away so that we now have random days all over the place with little relevance to the next random day.

Some of the 2 - 3 day carnivals have been split up and the days just dropped in anywhere...I just cant comprehend the logic.  Change can be beneficial but change just for the sake of it, no.

One prominent local trainer thinks NZTR is ' doing a good job '  and I think the same chap is on the programming committee....if he's not, he was.  What show do we have?

I think our club CEO might be involved in that as well....

As for trainers protesting their concern? Whinging about the ratings system is about as far as it gets...I realise it isn't perfect but it works well internationally. 

It is the hammering of the consistent gelding that is - IMO - the biggest problem there,  and the way it is applied here - a race based penalty as opposed to a pool based system - continues to throw up anomalies. 

To send a horse around to get beaten and lose points is, while not illegal,  is unethical IMO....and also requires a certain type of horse that remains genuine ( and sound ) while going around to make up the numbers.

Incredibly good points. The comment about "random days" is totally accurate; there is no pattern at all generally. I imagine the local trainer who thinks NZTR is doing a good job doesn't train many jumpers or stayers of any type. The ratings system does also concern me. I found it a bit bizarre that they merged 80s and 85s into one 82 class, and 70s and 75s into 72, but they left 65s, where all of the trouble is, exactly as they are. But that is a discussion for another thread one day. The horses you refer to that "go around to make up the numbers" are crucial to bulking out fields in the higher grades.

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1 hour ago, Leggy said:

I've been going on about these same programming issues for 20 years now in various venues - the TA, NZTR, club committees etc. to no avail. The only positive step was NZTR agreed to pilot programming a final race 2 weeks prior to the meeting. That's being going for how many years? Surely they have enough data to assess whether that should be dropped or expanded by now. They continue it so I'd think it must be working. The majority of programming should be done on a similar basis. There should be someone at trial meetings and at least major training venues on say a weekly basis asking trainers what horses they have ready to run in the next few weeks and what type of races they want for them and the bulk of programming based on that and done much  closer to the actual events. You can't programme effectively six months in advance.

The only time I can recall an extra race being added before a meeting in the South was a few months ago when a maiden stayers race was very reluctantly added, at Timaru I think, and of course it ended up with a full field.

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22 hours ago, We're Doomed said:

I am quite disgusted by the 7 and 8 race boring, ugly, repetitive programmes that get put up each week in the SI. They show absolutely no imagination, provide no logical progression for horses and result in multiple horses being balloted and eliminated every week and others staying at home because there is nothing like a suitable race for them. Logic tells me that if all of the fixed cost expenses have already been incurred by the TAB, Trackside, Stipes, caterers, jockeys etc to run a meeting why not run 10 races and give another 28 horses a start.  If it is not viable to run an extra two $10,000 races to give horses starts, get horses through the grades, and give trainers and jockeys the opportunity to cover some of their expenses, then surely we are better off to just plainly say to people - "this industry is just not viable and we are shutting the SI down for good".

Interesting your point on why races aren't being split, is shut down in your last paragraph, first paragraph. How does splitting the same group of horses into making a seven race programme into a 8 or nine race programme make it more exciting. One consideration that you haven't factored in is the stake money required to fund those extra races. NZTR only have so much to apply to stakes and any extra races have to come out of the same budget.

I don't know, but perhaps they may look at the turnover (off-course and on-course) of various clubs as a consideration on their races in determining whether to fund extra stake money. Basic Economics 101.  

Your thoughts on programming are probably valid (I am not familiar with SI programmes) and probably worth a complete review in both islands.    

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7 minutes ago, rdytdy said:

Interesting your point on why races aren't being split, is shut down in your last paragraph, first paragraph. How does splitting the same group of horses into making a seven race programme into a 8 or nine race programme make it more exciting. One consideration that you haven't factored in is the stake money required to fund those extra races. NZTR only have so much to apply to stakes and any extra races have to come out of the same budget.

I don't know, but perhaps they may look at the turnover (off-course and on-course) of various clubs as a consideration on their races in determining whether to fund extra stake money. Basic Economics 101.  

Your thoughts on programming are probably valid (I am not familiar with SI programmes) and probably worth a complete review in both islands.    

Thank you for that rdty. I am not totally sure what you mean by "shut down" in your first sentence. I am not actually an advocate for splitting races at all. I think it is a terrible way to form a racecard. I think they should programme 10 quite distinct suitable races in the first place, but I suspect that is far too hard.

I agree totally with your point about the economics of funding an extra race. That is why I suggested that if it isn't economical to fund an extra $10,000 race on a  friday afternoon in Chch, on a dead track, with 16 starters and the race being at a good betting time for Australian punters, then perhaps the best action would just be to close racing down altogether in the SI.

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49 minutes ago, rdytdy said:

Interesting your point on why races aren't being split, is shut down in your last paragraph, first paragraph. How does splitting the same group of horses into making a seven race programme into a 8 or nine race programme make it more exciting. One consideration that you haven't factored in is the stake money required to fund those extra races. NZTR only have so much to apply to stakes and any extra races have to come out of the same budget.

I don't know, but perhaps they may look at the turnover (off-course and on-course) of various clubs as a consideration on their races in determining whether to fund extra stake money. Basic Economics 101.  

Your thoughts on programming are probably valid (I am not familiar with SI programmes) and probably worth a complete review in both islands.    

Thats NZTR though isn't it, very small minded in their approach to everything , thinking not funding a race is saving them money when in the long term its doing the complete opposite, if splitting a field isn't going to cover the cost of that race then might as well not have jumps races,2yo races the race the field is split from because that also won't fund itself I'd have thought.

Then they argue about the drop off in horses racing ,being breed etc etc whilst they are worried about saving a few thousand here and there, if they are that worried about it race for $5k see if they still get entries I bet they would cause despite what they think owners,trainers and breeders want to race their horses.

At some point racing in NZ needs to front up and take a risk and just see if holding more races might create a better environment for racing horses in this country, people with horses are sick of being shut out of races , told to travel 5 hours down the road in the hopes of getting a start when there are races on their back doorstep. We are so backward in moving forward in this country we only ever tread water.

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it wasn't that long ago I remember reading something from the powers that be about the revenue gains from having more starters and more races ...

I would've thought they could fund more races by simply putting all the stakemoney they saved from abandoned race meetings into a bank account and then using it.....

 

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44 minutes ago, chelseacol said:

it wasn't that long ago I remember reading something from the powers that be about the revenue gains from having more starters and more races ...

I would've thought they could fund more races by simply putting all the stakemoney they saved from abandoned race meetings into a bank account and then using it.....

 

I would have thought they could have saved a lot of money by running rating 65s at feature meetings for $20,000 rather than $22,500.  Its a long list with many decisions vying for inclusion, but personally I put that decision very high up on the list of the stupidest things I have seen in Racing in recent years.

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There is no doubt that there are more solutions than ever with many having good ideas...but nothing happens.

Someone mentioned Wheels on this - or another thread -  ffs,  while I have enormous respect for the trainer he is/was,  he has been on the Members' Council for years..and done - what,  exactly?

He and Rogie stormed Parliament on one occasion yapping about minimum 10,000 stakes,  c'mon guys, is that the best you two could come up with?

Leggy has the right idea about framing races to fit the population - but I think it might be too complicated in application.

If the framework of major races / carnivals is set,  year on year,  with the major middle distance handicaps,  sprints, and age group races factored in,  then the ratings races can be added from a database of horses in training in any area.   Clubs have track fees paid, how hard would it be to get information about horses in training from them?

That should in itself create certainty for trainers/owners.  It shouldn't be necessary to attack a black-type race for your backward baby just for experience,  and blow its lights out in the process.

Neither should your potential distance 3 year old have to be screwed down to blast along over 1000m just for practice.

Jumpers - a dying breed it is said,  it will be sad if that happens,  but again, where is the incentive?  Riverton is an awesome course,  but who in their right mind decided to give first-starters their look at race conditions on a H25 - which it so often is?  And the home of the Grand National doesn't even hold a jumping race outside the GN meeting any more.

The demise of highweights have a lot to do with the lack of jumps riders down here - no riders,  so no races.  There are many honest sorts who appreciate going just a fraction of a second per furlong slower,  and don't mind a bit of weight to boot.

I harped on for ages about allowing highweights to be modified and run as welters - thus allowing flat riders to ride without penalty.  Oh,  said someone in officialdom,  trainers will just put up flat riders because they are better and the jump jocks won't get a go.  Of course they will, said yours truly,  if a small rule change is made to ensure jump riders are not to be bypassed if available.

Retrenchment,  all the way.

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Just now, We're Doomed said:

I would have thought they could have saved a lot of money by running rating 65s at feature meetings for $20,000 rather than $22,500.  Its a long list with many decisions vying for inclusion, but personally I put that decision very high up on the list of the stupidest things I have seen in Racing in recent years.

Personally - I don't think R 65 should be run at feature meetings,  I probably will get shouted down,  but if we must put up with ' Industry days'  then run maidens,  and R 60 - R 65 there.

A lesser rating penalty for performance at such days would soften the blow of running for modest stakes,  but help to get horses up through the grades.  For mine,  a maiden is a maiden whether is races at a premier day or not...let it's subsequent performances prove whether it has a future or not.

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You'd think with the noms at Waimate in lower grades if last meeting there just split them run 10 and have big day .Good to see Myers stable supporting the meeting with some of his warriors .

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