DONT FORGET SUPERSTARS OF THE SPRING ENTRIES THIS COMING COX PLATE WEEKEND !!!!!
Berri

Racing in the future while this rubbish is going on

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If we're one of the only nations racing, then we're one of a few with betting content.

So how do we keep racing going? Let's isolate every racing establishment with no exceptions for 14 days and have testing kits available for all participants. The day the entity goes into self installed hibernation they get tested. They then get tested at day 7 and then day 14. A test is not only to see if they have the virus but also if they have had it. Anyone who has had it is immune.  Let's install infra red sensors, or have tested people with mobile infra red sensors at all entrances to race/ training tracks. No person goes to the track without either having three negative tests and the regular infra red screen. Social distancing needs to still occur while on the track. Jockeys and track work riders are tested daily as they go from horse to horse.

And when I mean each racing establishment, I would also include any person required to be part of the process to train horses or hold a race meeting (float drivers, media crew, starting stall attendants etc). I wouldn't have tote staff involved because we are going to introduce a smart on-line presentation at a time of duress and we don't need extra risk of on course betting, although this may be introduced as we go along, as we understand the true nature of the beast in this country. 

We need to reduce the workforce in Petone. This is the golden opportunity to do this and also provide all other key employees the opportunity to stay on under reduced pay which wouldn't increase once the real embargo are lifted. They are being paid too much and most of them will be jobless unless we offer a candid solution. They can't be in the same building under lockdown rules. We go for an online solution only, with the introduction of additional systems from the savings of employees payments and the reduction of the mad salaries that are currently being paid to the likes of Glenn Saville etc. They've already stuffed things up so time and opportunity to start with a new crew.

We need a seriously good Information Processing System (IPS) which is the Racing Post site on steroids. I know how to do it because I architected that in 1995. This would allow the international racing market (our customers) to have the tools to "get to know" our horses and people (distinctly different from the current idiot's positions in calling it "the Product"). The IPS could connect all the horses to all the owners (they can't see and touch their horses) and the content would then be available to all the punters. The media data could include videos and uploaded content that trainers/ staff and anyone else, decide to create. The owners (the owners of the data) could then allow their data (their discretion) to be used by the punters but that there is a default amount of information available.

This could all be funded by the cost savings due to the layoffs and reduced salaries in Petone. And let's not get socialistic and unionist about this. These are extraordinary times and IF WE DON'T ACT, we will pay for it for years. When things were good, we were about to fail.

While I'm at it, to have to provide a $17m annual fee to Paddy Power et al for the FOB platform, nows the time to kick that into touch and renegotiate. We're already millions behind on that (we haven't got some of the updates so we're being handicapped) and it isn't good and it was a crap deal. And sports in the meantime is crap. So we default and renegotiate. Now's the time!!! All bets are off.

So back to racing. While all of this is going on, we have a chance of looking at things through clear lenses. The racing industry owns the tote. We've argued that for 30 years but the governmental powers that be, have chosen to act in an autocratic and dictatorial manner, and our bureaucratic representatives have been quite useless. Although the proposed Racing Bill has a suggested 126 changes in it from the latest round of submissions, unless it has what we need (first) and want (2nd) racing will always run second fiddle to politics. This this is our chance to reset the clock. We should simply say what we want and get on with the job.

So to racing, for the next 6 months we may have a problem large enough to destroy the industry. When things were fine, we were messing it up. So let's change it. Let's use this period of financial and social duress to change things because we have to and want to.

Winter racing is poor racing unless you can provide a spectacle. Yes Cambridge is going to have a all weather track. Only problem there is that it has a short straight and can only cater for less than 12 horses in each race before putting the racing real-estate under duress. I argued that if we were to build an all weather track, make it capable of taking 24 horses and for it to have a 800m straight at the very least. That way we can appeal to the international markets, have enough horses to make betting interesting (14+ horses in each race is ideal) and provide each horse with an equal chance despite the barrier draw. But no. They chose to put a square peg in a round hole by having the all weather on the existing race track where only a 300m straight was possible due to real estate that was available. That track didn't need to be where the current track was.

So what is good winter racing? The UK has taught us that. Eight of the top ten betting races the UK are jumps. Amount bet on jumps racing vs flat racing....jumps 26% higher. Number of online or television spectators jumps versus flat...Jumps 23% higher. Biggest betting race in the UK and Ireland...Jumps race. Why you might ask? The intuitive response would be to say that jumpers are older horses so there are more opportunities to get to know the competitors. The second would be that people like the event to last longer. A third would be that with obstacles, the event (from an entertainment perspective) is far more exciting. The fourth is that people intuitively like to identify with courage and winners of these races exemplify that emotion. The fifth would be that people get bored with the money men (Arabs, Coolmore etc) winning races as the "small man" cannot afford to compete, whereas in jumping they can.

So let's embrace these statistics and provide a new racing calendar for our winter racing. This just so happens to coincide with all of this virus stuff. Let's right now, and quickly look at NZ's whole race program and react very quickly. Let's set up a new competition to look after this winter/ wet track / jumps type of horse because there aren't enough good flat gallopers to provide the sort of competition that we need to make it appealing to the rest of the World for betting, so let's take two parts to this.

The first is to create something of such interest that makes it different. That could be setting up a race competition for horses racing up to 5000m on the flat. Let's make a whole program for this. This would turn a few heads in the World and make it a unique betting opportunity. We have the horses, we just need the events. As its run in winter, the mere fact that they are slow doesn't matter. In 1793 each race in the UK calendar was 3 1/2 miles (that is 5638m) unless otherwise notified. There were only 42 notified races and they were all over 2 miles (3200m) and the traditional horse person objected to these because they thought it too short. As its winter, we can train them on softer tracks so better for them on their legs. You will find a new breed of participant if you do this. If you chop $50m out of the over bloated and inflated salaries in Petone, these races will be worth racing for.

The second is to create a proper jumps calendar. We would start by a hierarchy of races. Unfortunately we don't have a large group of jumpers so we need to start a novice championship series for hurdlers and steeplechasers, with a graded pattern (initially done with incremental stakes levels) so that we set up the big iconic races culminating with the Great Northern Steeplechase.

We can't leave out the flat gallopers as our two year olds and young ones need to be able to go through their paces. We could simply go through history and identify which races in the past (over the period of the next 6 months)  were part of the stepping stones to horses that featured in large races later on and promote them better by having a focus on their relevance and educating people about this. Remember, you can't make a stayer a sprinter but you can make a sprinter stay. It's all about training the fast twitch fibre types to have slow twitch characteristics. 

But I think the main thing is that we need to change quickly at this time. We are in for a rocky road but if we do change NOW, then we might just beat the tide.

So first things first, how do we get enough testing kits available to the racing industry participants (28,000) to get going? We need to fund this so let's get the Minister to do something properly and quickly. Let's get a group of racing's warriors to demand a change to the current program so that we survive. Let's take the opportunity to rationalise the current RIB's position and let's not rely on those currently in charge. Let's give any current RIB employee the opportunity to suggest how they would quickly restructure the RIB to enable it to be operational with 50% of the current racing with only an online offering. The brightest and smartest ideas keep their jobs in order to execute. This could be done by issuing a terms of reference document for them to work from. Let's go online and via phones to deliver a superior product quickly. I for one could get a team together to develop everything remotely in respect of the software needed. We could hold industry think tanks that ultimately report to a consensus appointed group who have the final say. This consensus appointed group would be appointed by EVERYONE in an online one person one vote environment. I'm picking this couldn't be any worse that has recently happened with the debacle over the proposed Racing Bill because anyone associated with that isn't really the type of person needed for this initiative.

But we need to act now.....and by now I mean now!!! .....and I'm quite serious about this. We were in a mess before.....we were in a mess 20 years ago but no-one listened. Our mess is bigger than we now know....we need to get going...this is a time for a call to arms....set aside weird shit thoughts that we had the liberty to think about before....because our paradigm has just shifted.

 

 

 

 

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This is an issue for all codes. I doubt racing will be allowed to continue after today with 36 new cases. I see ferry's are restricting travel between the islands, so are domestic flights. I'd be surprised if racing is considered an essential gathering aswell.

There have also been cases overseas now where covid-19 has been transferred from people to animals. As for testing the entire industry. Thatd be impossible. We only have the capacity to do 1500 a day and if we follow other trends. We will end up being short of test kits

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15 minutes ago, Basil brush said:

Every cloud has a silver lining.There's a few horses about to have their first decent holiday in a long time.

Like it , that's what we need positive thoughts , feed the horses , help the workers , look after each other from safe distance . Then in the downtime study horses with good fresh up records , then on resumption punt like mad , punt punt punt to help the game keep going .

Look after yourselfs and loved ones people .

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1 hour ago, gubellini said:

Don’t like being alarmist but I don’t think we will be able to race again for the next two to three months. Hope I am wrong!

No your spot on there Gubs we are all going into self isolation so lets hope this will turn this around i have found the old Betty Crocker Cook Bock so think I'll take up baking as its has got to be better than my punting.We just came up from the Yrapa early this morning hardly a car on the road .Just announced racing cancelled for a month, now were did I put that book . Cheers BH

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51 minutes ago, Boss Hogg said:

No your spot on there Gubs we are all going into self isolation so lets hope this will turn this around i have found the old Betty Crocker Cook Bock so think I'll take up baking as its has got to be better than my punting.We just came up from the Yrapa early this morning hardly a car on the road .Just announced racing cancelled for a month, now were did I put that book . Cheers 

Now where is the racing going to be beamed in from, I reckon Mumbai Greyhounds maybe , or something I actually had a few wins on in Raro few years back, Hermit Crab Racing . Empty pot , bang a drum and first crab out the circle scoops the pot , betting blind but I found the one with beaten up shell is experienced racer so knows that the quicker he scurrys the quicker he's outta there back into the bucket and safety. 

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As usual Berri has some great ideas........but then he gets on to his usual 24 horse fields solution......and jumps racing !

Kiwis don't like jumps racing ,they definitely don't like betting on them.

Trainers don't like training them..it takes years ,hence owners won't invest em them .Even less folk to ride em.

Our close neighbours Australia not over fussed with jumps racing ,most states don't even have them. A few years back they introduced a lot of $100 k jumps races...went nowhere.

It seems part of UK 's racing DNA...huge history ,huge crowds ,huge betting ,huge business !

A great idea to start afresh ,with a clean sheet of paper.

Bankrupt the TAB and start again.

Several great ideas Berri......but forget the jumps racing...please !!!!

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Berri

I admire your optimism and thinking but there isn't that level of thinking in Wellington. The South Koreans have a phone app of some sort which allow officials to track people during their crisis. Have any NZ officials enquired about it --I doubt?  The Aussies are getting 500,000 Covid19 testing kits by the end of this week which give a result in 15 minutes. Maybe some of that $50 million Maori voter bribe could have been spent on these kits, if they know of their existence.

To do what you are suggesting requires the thinking which the Singaporeans showed after the SARS outbreak --they said we must learn from this and plan for the next epidemic which they knew would come. So they were prepared for a Covid19 like outbreak and results speak for themselves. After this episode is over, the industry should sit down and plan for the next one, even if Wellington sits on its hand as usual.

Having said that and I haven't seen the full details of this Level 4 but does it stop the fruit picking , the grape harvest, the milking of cows and therefore Fonterra and other factories etc etc ?  If it does then the virus will be the least of NZs problems --we'll have a huuuuuge recession. If it doesn't then the silver lining is the chardonnay socialists will see who the real essential people are for the NZ economy --it is not the media and the Beehive crowd.

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1 minute ago, tasman man 11 said:

As usual Berri has some great ideas........but then he gets on to his usual 24 horse fields solution......and jumps racing !

Kiwis don't like jumps racing ,they definitely don't like betting on them.

Trainers don't like training them..it takes years ,hence owners won't invest em them .Even less folk to ride em.

Our close neighbours Australia not over fussed with jumps racing ,most states don't even have them. A few years back they introduced a lot of $100 k jumps races...went nowhere.

It seems part of UK 's racing DNA...huge history ,huge crowds ,huge betting ,huge business !

A great idea to start afresh ,with a clean sheet of paper.

Bankrupt the TAB and start again.

Several great ideas Berri......but forget the jumps racing...please !!!!

I love watching jumps racing, but you're right, it's not a great betting option in the main. 

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Yes I'm a fan of jumping for betting and the reason why it doesn't exist properly anywhere else around the World other than the UK, France and Japan (yes Japan!!!) is that the pattern isn't there. So if i were to instigate a flat racing program culminating with a series of 5000m championship races, and simultaneously a novice hurdle and steeplechase program, I could start the process. You may not be aware but France and Japan have a series of jump races for 3 and 4 year olds. Does them no harm at all, and in fact is unbelievably popular. and betting is huge. We've lost contact with the community.

 So if I was to develop a real stayers program, with a series of staying races (3200-4800m races) for 3 and 4 year olds only and they were worth $100,000 each, would you race in them? Four of them a month for 6 months equates to $4.8m. That is 3.2% of the current Petone spend. All we've got to do is take a brave step and restructure Petone. And then towards the end of the 6th month, we create a championship series of 8 races for specialist staying races over slightly different distances and a couple of female races. Those races should be worth $250,000 each. That is equivalent to 1.33% of Petone. Then half way through the end of the flat stayers championships we incorporate a series of novice novice hurdle and steeplechase races for those that want to play that game (3 months with 6 races per weekend worth $100,000) being 4.8% of Petone with a championship of 12 races over 2 days where each race is worth $250,000, being 2% Petone.

All of this will cost 11.33% of Petone.

Look we're in the shitter for the next 4-5 months anyway. It's winter anyway. We chop Petone down to 75% of what it currently is and we save $35m pa. I would like less than half of that to save an industry during a major downhill ride, which by the way wasn't travelling too flash anyway. Why can we do this? Because we're under duress and in lockdown and are probably technically insolvent under the current stakes structure. That means we can get rid of the dead wood and chop the ridiculous under performing leaches' pay packets right now and renegotiate a bullshit agreement for an under performing FOB platform. 

By October we can be something that we are not currently.

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5 hours ago, Berri said:

That means we can get rid of the dead wood and chop the ridiculous under performing leaches' pay packets right now and renegotiate a bullshit agreement for an under performing FOB platform

Berri, if the teachers pay is so ridiculous, how come there are so many teacher vacancies? 

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