We're Doomed

Westport

Recommended Posts

I went to the Westport trots last Friday; first time on the course for about 35 years. What a well presented course, lovely weather, great racing and a large crowd. It would put many other tracks around the country to shame. My previous on course attendance was Wellington Cup day at Trentham earlier this year. To be totally honest, Westport was more impressive and a more enjoyable day.

Compared to Trentham's rundown, tired appearance Westport was very clean and tidy. It is a very well laid out facility:  the tearooms looked relatively new and the grandstand was a credit to the club. Punters lined the rail the length of the straight and around the home bend. They even had a good selection of genuine sponsors. Not very often you would see New World and Fresh Choice sponsoring races on the same card.

We don't get to see turnover figures anymore, but it would be very interesting to compare Westport's on-course turnover with Riccarton the day before. To my un-expert eye I would also suggest the racing surface at Westport was probably better than at either Riccarton or Trentham.

I have always felt that the problem with Racing in NZ is not the small clubs, but rather the major metropolitan clubs. This experience tended to confirm that view. I do wonder how so called experts can tour the country writing reports and come up with the conclusion that we would be much better off if we eliminated the Westports of this world. If I was writing a report on the state of NZ Racing I would list Westport as one of the strengths, not a weakness, which seems to be the prevailing view.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On course up 5pc on last year, from 104,681 to 110,783 on Friday, off course 5.6pc on last year from 461,270 to 488,061 one less race last year though, fixed odds up up 29pc to 488,061, from 363,879 last year, tidy figures you would say, buggar I didn't know you were there, cant say I made much on the punt, but stuck with same runners at reefton, which netted me 3 winners, superfast gorsey,  sisters delight, and best bet boyz invasion, who sat parked trip on Friday and only faded late, 4 lengths from winner, much more economical trip yesterday, and a tidy div, one annoying think is all clubs don't have a separate TV screen for fixed odds, especially when they are better than tote,but only limited to how often one can see them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
22 minutes ago, Shad said:

On course up 5pc on last year, from 104,681 to 110,783 on Friday, off course 5.6pc on last year from 461,270 to 488,061 one less race last year though, fixed odds up up 29pc to 488,061, from 363,879 last year, tidy figures you would say, buggar I didn't know you were there, cant say I made much on the punt, but stuck with same runners at reefton, which netted me 3 winners, superfast gorsey,  sisters delight, and best bet boyz invasion, who sat parked trip on Friday and only faded late, 4 lengths from winner, much more economical trip yesterday, and a tidy div, one annoying think is all clubs don't have a separate TV screen for fixed odds, especially when they are better than tote,but only limited to how often one can see them.

1 ,where do you get your figures?

2,in today's day and age I'd say those on course figures are pretty good,probably some on course betting on phone as well.

Over  900 off course,I'd say that's pretty good too, some of those midweek southern meeting don't beat the  half a million turnover,I guess it comes down to the days and the timing of the races,some clubs get the poor rub of the green,Manawatu and Forbury spring to mind.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Figures hot off the press and are correct, and yep put a few other bigger clubs to shame, and mostly relying on local support and sponsors I guess,never reach the dizzy heights of the boxing day figures, but that solely due to the date and the large amount of visitors in the region, let's face it after xmas day scoffing a belly full of tucker, who wouldn't enjoy a relaxing day at the trots.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 minutes ago, mikenz said:

1 ,where do you get your figures?

2,in today's day and age I'd say those on course figures are pretty good,probably some on course betting on phone as well.

Over  900 off course,I'd say that's pretty good too, some of those midweek southern meeting don't beat the  half a million turnover,I guess it comes down to the days and the timing of the races,some clubs get the poor rub of the green,Manawatu and Forbury spring to mind.

The clubs know their own turnover figures and some put them up race by race for people to see. Those are very good figures and a very good crowd, without security people, police and drunk youngsters everywhere. In fact I didn't see any police presence at all. I suppose everyone can hold their booze and knows how to behave themselves on the Coast. I might be miles out, but it wouldn't surprise me if that is double the Riccarton on-course t/o from the day before. But the powers that be don't really care about on-course performance anymore. Its certainly a different world these days.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, Shad said:

Figures hot off the press and are correct, and yep put a few other bigger clubs to shame, and mostly relying on local support and sponsors I guess,never reach the dizzy heights of the boxing day figures, but that solely due to the date and the large amount of visitors in the region, let's face it after xmas day scoffing a belly full of tucker, who wouldn't enjoy a relaxing day at the trots.

I thought the range of sponsors was very impressive compared to many metropolitan clubs who hardly manage any real sponsors.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

They certainly know how to put on a good day, and seem to be very fortunate with the weather year in an year out,which makes a big difference, reefton up 2.8pc on course Sunday and put through 63,119 but were down 28pc off course to 506,573. I guess both clubs should be back again at xmas.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably too much overkill  in many places,races on the coast are few and far between so the public embrace it,that's understandable,while the suits are wanting to close the small courses I haven't heard or seen anything to suggest Westport or Reefton are in line for closure,the Xmas circuit is a firmly established part of the calandar,probably will be for a long time in the future,as long as the locals keep the place in shape,having the March meetings is a sign of its place in the scheme of things,Neilson and Blenheim should get the winter days back too.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nothing a given with these small clubs, and my comment on the following year was tongue and cheek,a few wet weather days racing days with poor turnovers can always be on the cards, then it gets dicey, crowd was well behaved and can only remember one incident when it wasn't, but that was some years back, didn't see any police presence myself, but have other years,all in all a great small track circuit, I'm more a thoroughbred favourite myself, but give the trot circuit a nudge, old story, if you don't use it you lose it, we seen what happened to the thoroughbred club.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Shad said:

Nothing a given with these small clubs, and my comment on the following year was tongue and cheek,a few wet weather days racing days with poor turnovers can always be on the cards, then it gets dicey, crowd was well behaved and can only remember one incident when it wasn't, but that was some years back, didn't see any police presence myself, but have other years,all in all a great small track circuit, I'm more a thoroughbred favourite myself, but give the trot circuit a nudge, old story, if you don't use it you lose it, we seen what happened to the thoroughbred club.

I think as long as the public turn out and the committee keeps the place looking good,safe as a church i reckon.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 3/16/2021 at 6:49 PM, mikenz said:

I think as long as the public turn out and the committee keeps the place looking good,safe as a church i reckon.

One would hope so. Westcoast circuit at Xmas is great. Shame Greymouth closed. Gave the battlers a chance to pick up a few crumbs as the blue colors didn't go there!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
49 minutes ago, Shad said:

Nothing at the ex greymouth course, just an eyesore to be fair, waste of a venue, all for nothing.

Victoria park had its days in the limelight too,top class trotters use to race there,wasn't the reason Greymouth gave up something to do with rentals going up or something?

Are they not doing anything with the place at all,does anybody know?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep, in early day used to have a open class trotters race, with some very good performers, from memory the land was owned by the mawhera organization, when the lease finished, was to double or treble, club was struggling already on the old lease, so that was that, so now nothing there just bare land, an eyesore last time I saw it, obviously no use for housing ect, so now there may be no revenue now, surprised the club never shifted to omoto, but just decided to shut the doors, shame really, Westport and reefton took the March dates over, so not lost to other clubs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.