We're Doomed

Cup Week Maidens

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Seven maiden races over the first two days of "Cup Week". Surely a record. I do wonder though if it is a good look for the South Island's premier racing carnival.

Maybe it might have something to do with Banks Pen being dumped from the Sunday before Cup Week and the next meeting in Canterbury being THREE weeks away, and the following meeting TWO weeks after that; and both of those industry meetings. Perhaps someone suddenly thought "Oh Fuck! 140 maidens wanting a start and nothing for them for five weeks".

Contrast that with Avondale last week on a perfect track with 60 scratchings and not a single capacity field, and Te Rapa starting yesterday with 6 and 7 horse fields. No wonder Te Aroha has 8 ballots in some races; the only way to ensure a full field up north.

I'm just going to check and see if Victoria shuts down for three weeks after their Cup Week so everyone can have a wee lie down.

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Maidens shouldn't be run on premier days or Saturday's , it's done because it is cheaper than staking another couple of higher rating races . Not a good image having 10k maidens on a premier day . No problem with the MAAT races as they usually have winning horses .

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14 hours ago, nomates said:

On top of all the maidens on Wednesday i see the Couplands Mile has drawn a very average field for $230k , no way is this a G2 quality field , should be listed and $100k . We give away group form far too easily now in NZ . 

Am I right in thinking the top weight this year carried only 53 kg last year and finished fourth but now has to carry 59 kg? 

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18 hours ago, nomates said:

On top of all the maidens on Wednesday i see the Couplands Mile has drawn a very average field for $230k , no way is this a G2 quality field , should be listed and $100k . We give away group form far too easily now in NZ . 

Yes, it isn't a flash field, but I doubt it will be the worse Group 2 we will see this season. The Ellerslie Group 3 on Melb Cup day was hardly flash either, and without Melody Belle those HB Group 1s wouldn't have been much.

I am disappointed that the CJC haven't made much effort to try and upgrade any of their races. The only Cup Week race that has seen much of an upgrade was the Couplands several years ago, when Winston moved the Guineas to the first day and the Churchill was upgraded to replace it on the Wednesday. With six horses rated 90 and above the sprint might be a candidate for Group 2 status. Only 2 horses rated 90 and above in the Couplands. Then again of course, just who is missing? We don't have that many flash horses in NZ at the moment. Canterbury really should be trying to get at least one 2yo race up to group status as well.

On a slightly related subject, I was staggered to hear them say on Trackside on Saturday that many great judges rated the 2,000 Guineas the best field they have ever seen for that race. I suppose we will see. I wouldn't have thought that myself. Perhaps I'm just not a great judge.

Talking Group racing, Australia must also be having problems in that respect. The group race pattern over there is being severely impacted by all those unlisted multi million dollar races being introduced in Sydney. Some of the group races in Melbourne were pretty light in quality and quantity. They are even detracting from their own group races in Sydney. That $500,000 group 2 with only six mares going around was hardly flash.

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1 hour ago, We're Doomed said:

Yes, it isn't a flash field, but I doubt it will be the worse Group 2 we will see this season. The Ellerslie Group 3 on Melb Cup day was hardly flash either, and without Melody Belle those HB Group 1s wouldn't have been much.

I am disappointed that the CJC haven't made much effort to try and upgrade any of their races. The only Cup Week race that has seen much of an upgrade was the Couplands several years ago, when Winston moved the Guineas to the first day and the Churchill was upgraded to replace it on the Wednesday. With six horses rated 90 and above the sprint might be a candidate for Group 2 status. Only 2 horses rated 90 and above in the Couplands. Then again of course, just who is missing? We don't have that many flash horses in NZ at the moment. Canterbury really should be trying to get at least one 2yo race up to group status as well.

On a slightly related subject, I was staggered to hear them say on Trackside on Saturday that many great judges rated the 2,000 Guineas the best field they have ever seen for that race. I suppose we will see. I wouldn't have thought that myself. Perhaps I'm just not a great judge.

Talking Group racing, Australia must also be having problems in that respect. The group race pattern over there is being severely impacted by all those unlisted multi million dollar races being introduced in Sydney. Some of the group races in Melbourne were pretty light in quality and quantity. They are even detracting from their own group races in Sydney. That $500,000 group 2 with only six mares going around was hardly flash.

NZ racing needs to totally recalibrate their group and listed races , we hand out black type like candy now . We don't have the depth of quality in horses anymore , we sell majority of foal crops thru sales , trials and race performance , and it's not going to change , unless stakes go thru the roof , which gives people incentive to race their horses instead of sell .

We have a 2yo race at Riccarton on Saturday which is black type , but i don't recall too many top class horses going on from it . The only people getting a result are breeders .

The only G1 race that has stood the test over the last few years is the Derby , the only genuine G1 race in NZ now , IMO .

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18 hours ago, nomates said:

NZ racing needs to totally recalibrate their group and listed races , we hand out black type like candy now . We don't have the depth of quality in horses anymore , we sell majority of foal crops thru sales , trials and race performance , and it's not going to change , unless stakes go thru the roof , which gives people incentive to race their horses instead of sell .

We have a 2yo race at Riccarton on Saturday which is black type , but i don't recall too many top class horses going on from it . The only people getting a result are breeders .

The only G1 race that has stood the test over the last few years is the Derby , the only genuine G1 race in NZ now , IMO .

The same is true up here - we have 36 Group 1 races in the UK.

If I look at it fairly dispassionately, I could lose half of these. Races like the Ascot Gold Cup, the Leger and some of the juvenile races aren't really top races and are living on their history.

I'd keep the Eclipse, King George, Juddmonte, the other four classics and a couple of the sprints but if we had 15 championship races that would strengthen the whole pattern.

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So Mrs Cubes comes home one day from a long lunch a couple of years ago and says to Mr Cubes " Why do you always decide what thoroughbreds we buy ? "

And the Cubinator had no answer .

For unknown to the Cubmeister...deals had been done

Let one not forget the 7 maiden races are 4 maiden races that have been split

Russian Fable...Race 4....Riccarton Wednesday

Fast but unruly

Drew the visitors carpark

Rain no help

Yet starting in maiden races targeted by astute trainers for known 30k stakes is surely wise ?

 

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1 minute ago, Cubes said:

So Mrs Cubes comes home one day from a long lunch a couple of years ago and says to Mr Cubes " Why do you always decide what thoroughbreds we buy ? "

And the Cubinator had no answer .

For unknown to the Cubmeister...deals had been done

Let one not forget the 7 maiden races are 4 maiden races that have been split

Russian Fable...Race 4....Riccarton Wednesday

Fast but unruly

Drew the visitors carpark

Rain no help

Yet starting in maiden races targeted by astute trainers for known 30k stakes is surely wise ?

 

Your up against the million dollar machine , Lethal . He might get his head in front tomorrow as he's hit a bit of form . Good luck with Russian Fable tomorrow.

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37 minutes ago, Baz (NZ) said:

Wet track to boot...wouldn't have helped Nom's either.

They don't really have a great record at Tauranga with their group races. I seem to recall they had another group 2 mile just before lockdown with only about 8 starters. At least the SI can usually fill a field for a group race.

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3 hours ago, We're Doomed said:

They don't really have a great record at Tauranga with their group races. I seem to recall they had another group 2 mile just before lockdown with only about 8 starters. At least the SI can usually fill a field for a group race.

They're in niggly places on the calendar. This coming up one should be 1400 to become more attractive for milers that skipped Hastings or have had a freshen since then. They can use it as a lead up for the Captain Cook and then maybe the Zabeel. The up and running lot can use the Couplands if they really need a mile. Currently the two clash too much imo. The NZ Japan trophy is in no man's land being shortly after the G1 WFA season through summer and the best horses are tired. The switch to SW+P for that race while the Easter (the most convenient target race after it) has been changed back to handicap simultaneously means that smart trainers with lower rated horses don't want to risk the large rating penalty that inherently comes with SW+P racing. 

The South Island black type races probably have bigger fields because of their scarcity. They are almost all handicaps so many have a go with a lighter weight, while the highly rated horses have no other option but to run unless they want to go up north.

The concept of scarcity, in my opinion, should be employed all over the country. Fewer really big races mean that everyone has to converge for them and it creates more depth which we are sorely lacking. But, organising a downgrading and better flowing black type calendar would need the co-operation of NZTR and a lot of clubs, and it wouldn't take much unco-operation to throw the whole thing off and we'd be back at the start 😕

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7 hours ago, soliloquy said:

The concept of scarcity, in my opinion, should be employed all over the country. Fewer really big races mean that everyone has to converge for them and it creates more depth which we are sorely lacking. But, organising a downgrading and better flowing black type calendar would need the co-operation of NZTR and a lot of clubs, and it wouldn't take much unco-operation to throw the whole thing off and we'd be back at the start 😕

Right on the mark there, my friend. 

Establish a country-wide pattern around a defined series of championship races leading (perhaps) to a big final day such as an Arc day, Champions Day or a Breeders Cup day. The US model of moving the big day round a series of tracks is interesting. In the UK, the big tracks do dominate - of the 36 Group 1 races, the majority are run at Ascot (13) and Newmarket (9). Epsom, Goodwood and York get three each, Doncaster has two and the others are at Newbury, Sandown and Haydock. It's unhealthy to have all the top races at just a couple of tracks in my view but we have history to work against unfortunately. 

As you say, it requires all the clubs to work together - one option might be to provide "trial" races at the smaller tracks for the big races or a "win it and you're in it" as happens with the Melbourne Cup. 

I note a lot of the tracks have a "Cup" race which is a historical event - these should be encouraged and boosted to give each track at least one day of prominence.

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7 hours ago, soliloquy said:

They're in niggly places on the calendar. This coming up one should be 1400 to become more attractive for milers that skipped Hastings or have had a freshen since then. They can use it as a lead up for the Captain Cook and then maybe the Zabeel. The up and running lot can use the Couplands if they really need a mile. Currently the two clash too much imo. The NZ Japan trophy is in no man's land being shortly after the G1 WFA season through summer and the best horses are tired. The switch to SW+P for that race while the Easter (the most convenient target race after it) has been changed back to handicap simultaneously means that smart trainers with lower rated horses don't want to risk the large rating penalty that inherently comes with SW+P racing. 

The South Island black type races probably have bigger fields because of their scarcity. They are almost all handicaps so many have a go with a lighter weight, while the highly rated horses have no other option but to run unless they want to go up north.

The concept of scarcity, in my opinion, should be employed all over the country. Fewer really big races mean that everyone has to converge for them and it creates more depth which we are sorely lacking. But, organising a downgrading and better flowing black type calendar would need the co-operation of NZTR and a lot of clubs, and it wouldn't take much unco-operation to throw the whole thing off and we'd be back at the start 😕

What an intelligent contribution. Better than anything I have seen come out of the graded stakes committee. You will never get a job in Racing administration.

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8 minutes ago, stodge said:

 

I note a lot of the tracks have a "Cup" race which is a historical event - these should be encouraged and boosted to give each track at least one day of prominence.

We have a sad lack of interest in preserving the status or even the existence of historical events in NZ, and especially in the SI. So many races that used to have some significance have been allowed to lapse. And it isn't even about money, just disinterest from the industry as a whole. The Haldon Plate was a maiden race for 2yos, just had a normal stake, but it used to be a prestigious race to win, purely because of tradition. Likewise Wingatui had the Mclean Stakes which was a significant 2yo race. The Brabazon, like the Haldon a Hunt Club race, has disappeared. The SI Champion Stakes, and many others. And none of these races have been replaced by exciting new events like an Everest. 

Unlike Australia, NZ doesn't recognize champion horses from the past in race names. Auckland RC is probably the best in this respect with Sunline, Uncle Remus and a few others all recognised. The SI is terrible in recognising its champions. No Showgate, Grey Way, or even Phar Lap. I think it's all just because of a lack of interest, passion and enthusiasm, and an indication that those running the industry these days have no history in it. They have probably never heard of Grey Way so you can hardly expect them to suggest naming a race after him.

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2 hours ago, stodge said:

Right on the mark there, my friend. 

Establish a country-wide pattern around a defined series of championship races leading (perhaps) to a big final day such as an Arc day, Champions Day or a Breeders Cup day. The US model of moving the big day round a series of tracks is interesting. In the UK, the big tracks do dominate - of the 36 Group 1 races, the majority are run at Ascot (13) and Newmarket (9). Epsom, Goodwood and York get three each, Doncaster has two and the others are at Newbury, Sandown and Haydock. It's unhealthy to have all the top races at just a couple of tracks in my view but we have history to work against unfortunately. 

As you say, it requires all the clubs to work together - one option might be to provide "trial" races at the smaller tracks for the big races or a "win it and you're in it" as happens with the Melbourne Cup. 

I note a lot of the tracks have a "Cup" race which is a historical event - these should be encouraged and boosted to give each track at least one day of prominence.

I think Kentucky Derby has a points system  of races that horses accumulate up  , including a few run in Europe that defines the lead in . Newcastle had one I think that Gronkowski won a few years back .

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Looking at Race 2 result, I see that horse won on Saturday and then again today.  How does it get the second win in the maiden class?   Is it to do with nomination times that if you were already nominated you can race even though you are no longer a maiden?

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