Zak Hussai

What can Trackside do better?

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I have noticed throughout various different forums that most people including me haven't been happy with the coverage by Trackside. Our Australian counterparts are a mile ahead of us and many others and set the benchmark worldwide. In terms of on course presenters various different shows such as previews,  reviews and followers. 

Thoughts around gradual improvements that are needed to get in the right time zone as Australia? 

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If you don't mind a perspective from elsewhere:

Who is Trackside's audience - is it a specialist horse racing channel for horse racing enthusiasts? That would be like our Racing TV or Sky Sports Racing.

I've seen some Australian coverage up here from Sky Racing and it's awful - all the presenters have the personality of a block of wood and they all seem to wear the same suit and tie each day. They do plenty of pre-race analysis it seems but it's primarily for racing punters with the obligatory interview with the trainer and jockey after the race.

The problem with all specialist racing channels is they are obliged to try to make the midweek bread and butter dross seem interesting (which it isn't) and often a lot of races means each race gets a minimum of coverage before they're down at the start for the next at Gosford or Wyong or Ipswich or somewhere.

We have racing on the main free-to-air ITV channel every Saturday and this is more racing as entertainment. It's like reading a glossy magazine - the Derby and Oaks meeting coverage had a two-part interview with Frankie Dettori and a superb piece on Galileo as a racehorse and stallion featuring Aidan O'Brien, Mick Kinane and John Magnier and presented by the excellent Brian Gleeson.. 

This was because unlike most Saturdays ITV only showed five races from Epsom in a three and a half hour show - normally, they have a second or third meeting and try to cram 10 races into two and a half hours. It was actually interesting to see racing covered in a different way - less is more - rather than cramming races and betting down our gullets.

Ascot will be similar - plenty of tips on fashion etc. That's because the audience isn't just racing fans.

Sky Sports Racing has Ascot and they will cover the racing - lots of analysis and the like - but they are a specialist racing channel and to be honest analysing good racing is always interesting.

I'm a racing fan but I couldn't watch the specialist coverage day in day out - it's relentless and formulaic. Probably starts from there being too much racing up here. 

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In many overseas broadcasts they have former jockeys in presenting roles which adds a bit of interest from someone who has been out on a racehorse. They have more knowledge about tracks, pace, tactics from barriers etc. They are usually not afraid to have an opinion either and say it like it is either.

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16 hours ago, stodge said:

If you don't mind a perspective from elsewhere:

Who is Trackside's audience - is it a specialist horse racing channel for horse racing enthusiasts? That would be like our Racing TV or Sky Sports Racing.

I've seen some Australian coverage up here from Sky Racing and it's awful - all the presenters have the personality of a block of wood and they all seem to wear the same suit and tie each day. They do plenty of pre-race analysis it seems but it's primarily for racing punters with the obligatory interview with the trainer and jockey after the race.

The problem with all specialist racing channels is they are obliged to try to make the midweek bread and butter dross seem interesting (which it isn't) and often a lot of races means each race gets a minimum of coverage before they're down at the start for the next at Gosford or Wyong or Ipswich or somewhere.

We have racing on the main free-to-air ITV channel every Saturday and this is more racing as entertainment. It's like reading a glossy magazine - the Derby and Oaks meeting coverage had a two-part interview with Frankie Dettori and a superb piece on Galileo as a racehorse and stallion featuring Aidan O'Brien, Mick Kinane and John Magnier and presented by the excellent Brian Gleeson.. 

This was because unlike most Saturdays ITV only showed five races from Epsom in a three and a half hour show - normally, they have a second or third meeting and try to cram 10 races into two and a half hours. It was actually interesting to see racing covered in a different way - less is more - rather than cramming races and betting down our gullets.

Ascot will be similar - plenty of tips on fashion etc. That's because the audience isn't just racing fans.

Sky Sports Racing has Ascot and they will cover the racing - lots of analysis and the like - but they are a specialist racing channel and to be honest analysing good racing is always interesting.

I'm a racing fan but I couldn't watch the specialist coverage day in day out - it's relentless and formulaic. Probably starts from there being too much racing up here. 

im just glad your still alive 😀

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45 minutes ago, mckenzie said:

In many overseas broadcasts they have former jockeys in presenting roles which adds a bit of interest from someone who has been out on a racehorse. They have more knowledge about tracks, pace, tactics from barriers etc. They are usually not afraid to have an opinion either and say it like it is either.

Thats because they sit in the Jockeys room deciding on tempo 😆 I love their Courage and ability but Trust them as much as a used Car Dealer 🙃

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7 hours ago, mckenzie said:

In many overseas broadcasts they have former jockeys in presenting roles which adds a bit of interest from someone who has been out on a racehorse. They have more knowledge about tracks, pace, tactics from barriers etc. They are usually not afraid to have an opinion either and say it like it is either.

That's very true over here - there is no dedicated "form" expert anymore in the way there was with Jim McGrath of Timeform.

For the jump racing, the recently-retired Ruby Walsh, with his connections to the Mullins yard, is very much in demand as a race reader and analyst. Sir Anthony McCoy is actually superb but he's far more acerbic and with a much drier wit and that often clashes with the bonhomie of host Ed Chamberlain. Two other ex-jockeys, Mick Fitzgerald and Luke Harvey, back up the coverage and obviously bring their knowledge of jump racing while Alice Plunkett (married to 3-day eventer William Fox-Pitt) talks to the tweed set at Cheltenham.

In the summer, we have Francesca Cumani looking at the horses with ex-jockey Jason Weaver (who does some excellent analysis over on Sky Sports Racing) while Johnny Murtagh, who was a jockey, is now a trainer and has always kept well in with Coolmore, provides the Irish angle. To be fair, Aidan O'Brien (and John Gosden) are both incredibly open and approachable in interviews which isn't and hasn't always been the case with some of the more established trainers.

Will Frankie Dettori be a pundit once he retires? He's a media natural - far more than Ryan Moore for example but the younger generation of jockeys are all very media savvy.

I think having a form analyst outside the weighing room would be helpful - Rishi Persad is a sporting all-rounder but clearly knows and loves his racing and it's interesting he led the betting coverage at Epsom rather than Matt Chapman.

ITV also have a thing called "the social stable" which utilises all social media formats to expand awareness of and interest in racing. It's fronted by Oli Bell (nephew of a trainer) and Chris Hughes (ex apprentice rider and better known in the UK for "Love Island").

Hayley Turner fits in a bit of punditry with her riding and we also now have Natalie Green, Adele Mulrennan (wife of jockey) and Leona Mayor (ex-jockey) among a few others who appear occasionally.

It's a bit overblown but most of the "minor" players ply their trade on Racing UK and Sky Sports Racing. The former has Nick Luck, who might have become the ITV lead host had they not decided Ed Chamberlain, who was a football presenter on Sky, would be a better fit for the all-round element of the coverage.

 

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2 hours ago, stodge said:

That's very true over here - there is no dedicated "form" expert anymore in the way there was with Jim McGrath of Timeform.

For the jump racing, the recently-retired Ruby Walsh, with his connections to the Mullins yard, is very much in demand as a race reader and analyst. Sir Anthony McCoy is actually superb but he's far more acerbic and with a much drier wit and that often clashes with the bonhomie of host Ed Chamberlain. Two other ex-jockeys, Mick Fitzgerald and Luke Harvey, back up the coverage and obviously bring their knowledge of jump racing while Alice Plunkett (married to 3-day eventer William Fox-Pitt) talks to the tweed set at Cheltenham.

In the summer, we have Francesca Cumani looking at the horses with ex-jockey Jason Weaver (who does some excellent analysis over on Sky Sports Racing) while Johnny Murtagh, who was a jockey, is now a trainer and has always kept well in with Coolmore, provides the Irish angle. To be fair, Aidan O'Brien (and John Gosden) are both incredibly open and approachable in interviews which isn't and hasn't always been the case with some of the more established trainers.

Will Frankie Dettori be a pundit once he retires? He's a media natural - far more than Ryan Moore for example but the younger generation of jockeys are all very media savvy.

I think having a form analyst outside the weighing room would be helpful - Rishi Persad is a sporting all-rounder but clearly knows and loves his racing and it's interesting he led the betting coverage at Epsom rather than Matt Chapman.

ITV also have a thing called "the social stable" which utilises all social media formats to expand awareness of and interest in racing. It's fronted by Oli Bell (nephew of a trainer) and Chris Hughes (ex apprentice rider and better known in the UK for "Love Island").

Hayley Turner fits in a bit of punditry with her riding and we also now have Natalie Green, Adele Mulrennan (wife of jockey) and Leona Mayor (ex-jockey) among a few others who appear occasionally.

It's a bit overblown but most of the "minor" players ply their trade on Racing UK and Sky Sports Racing. The former has Nick Luck, who might have become the ITV lead host had they not decided Ed Chamberlain, who was a football presenter on Sky, would be a better fit for the all-round element of the coverage.

 

That is all well and good but do these well connected presenters tip winners ? The problem I have with trackside is people like Rodley and Fenton- Ellis are so well connected but never ever tipped winners for the punting audience that you might expect given their obvious advantages.They were hosting shows dedicated to tipping but seemed to go out of their way not to mention horses and jockeys they were connected with.

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3 hours ago, stodge said:

That's very true over here - there is no dedicated "form" expert anymore in the way there was with Jim McGrath of Timeform.

For the jump racing, the recently-retired Ruby Walsh, with his connections to the Mullins yard, is very much in demand as a race reader and analyst. Sir Anthony McCoy is actually superb but he's far more acerbic and with a much drier wit and that often clashes with the bonhomie of host Ed Chamberlain. Two other ex-jockeys, Mick Fitzgerald and Luke Harvey, back up the coverage and obviously bring their knowledge of jump racing while Alice Plunkett (married to 3-day eventer William Fox-Pitt) talks to the tweed set at Cheltenham.

In the summer, we have Francesca Cumani looking at the horses with ex-jockey Jason Weaver (who does some excellent analysis over on Sky Sports Racing) while Johnny Murtagh, who was a jockey, is now a trainer and has always kept well in with Coolmore, provides the Irish angle. To be fair, Aidan O'Brien (and John Gosden) are both incredibly open and approachable in interviews which isn't and hasn't always been the case with some of the more established trainers.

Will Frankie Dettori be a pundit once he retires? He's a media natural - far more than Ryan Moore for example but the younger generation of jockeys are all very media savvy.

I think having a form analyst outside the weighing room would be helpful - Rishi Persad is a sporting all-rounder but clearly knows and loves his racing and it's interesting he led the betting coverage at Epsom rather than Matt Chapman.

ITV also have a thing called "the social stable" which utilises all social media formats to expand awareness of and interest in racing. It's fronted by Oli Bell (nephew of a trainer) and Chris Hughes (ex apprentice rider and better known in the UK for "Love Island").

Hayley Turner fits in a bit of punditry with her riding and we also now have Natalie Green, Adele Mulrennan (wife of jockey) and Leona Mayor (ex-jockey) among a few others who appear occasionally.

It's a bit overblown but most of the "minor" players ply their trade on Racing UK and Sky Sports Racing. The former has Nick Luck, who might have become the ITV lead host had they not decided Ed Chamberlain, who was a football presenter on Sky, would be a better fit for the all-round element of the coverage.

 

When at Ascot I did a Sunday morning interview with Nick Luck, what a very nice knowledgable bloke he is. He had done plenty of research and even had video clips of us working Sensei at the beach which he showed on his ‘Luck on Sunday’ show

Thats the type of programme we need here

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4 hours ago, stodge said:

That's very true over here - there is no dedicated "form" expert anymore in the way there was with Jim McGrath of Timeform.

For the jump racing, the recently-retired Ruby Walsh, with his connections to the Mullins yard, is very much in demand as a race reader and analyst. Sir Anthony McCoy is actually superb but he's far more acerbic and with a much drier wit and that often clashes with the bonhomie of host Ed Chamberlain. Two other ex-jockeys, Mick Fitzgerald and Luke Harvey, back up the coverage and obviously bring their knowledge of jump racing while Alice Plunkett (married to 3-day eventer William Fox-Pitt) talks to the tweed set at Cheltenham.

In the summer, we have Francesca Cumani looking at the horses with ex-jockey Jason Weaver (who does some excellent analysis over on Sky Sports Racing) while Johnny Murtagh, who was a jockey, is now a trainer and has always kept well in with Coolmore, provides the Irish angle. To be fair, Aidan O'Brien (and John Gosden) are both incredibly open and approachable in interviews which isn't and hasn't always been the case with some of the more established trainers.

Will Frankie Dettori be a pundit once he retires? He's a media natural - far more than Ryan Moore for example but the younger generation of jockeys are all very media savvy.

I think having a form analyst outside the weighing room would be helpful - Rishi Persad is a sporting all-rounder but clearly knows and loves his racing and it's interesting he led the betting coverage at Epsom rather than Matt Chapman.

ITV also have a thing called "the social stable" which utilises all social media formats to expand awareness of and interest in racing. It's fronted by Oli Bell (nephew of a trainer) and Chris Hughes (ex apprentice rider and better known in the UK for "Love Island").

Hayley Turner fits in a bit of punditry with her riding and we also now have Natalie Green, Adele Mulrennan (wife of jockey) and Leona Mayor (ex-jockey) among a few others who appear occasionally.

It's a bit overblown but most of the "minor" players ply their trade on Racing UK and Sky Sports Racing. The former has Nick Luck, who might have become the ITV lead host had they not decided Ed Chamberlain, who was a football presenter on Sky, would be a better fit for the all-round element of the coverage.

 

Exactly. I think even a Ron Dufficy type who immediately says after the race if it was a poor ride on the favourite, or they went too hard in front etc and analyses the race a bit more. Ours seem too afraid to say anything much and every race seems to be "a great ride/training performance!" and that's it.

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5 hours ago, Nukkledragga said:

That is all well and good but do these well connected presenters tip winners ? The problem I have with trackside is people like Rodley and Fenton- Ellis are so well connected but never ever tipped winners for the punting audience that you might expect given their obvious advantages.They were hosting shows dedicated to tipping but seemed to go out of their way not to mention horses and jockeys they were connected with.

BZ off Racing. Com got the arse for 6 odd months for not including a horse he had been tipped ,and backed ,out of his race selections. Quite a scandal . Having said that he is the woooooorst tipper in the history of tipping. The more he likes a horse the further back in the field it will finish. 

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There is so much wrong with the current presentation that its not funny. Trackside is the only shop front window so it has to be the best of standard. It starts with the language, tone, accent of speech, good use of the English language, pace of the message, inflection of the message and finally the content. If you close you eyes and listen to those who are currently presenting, and then do so again with someone you really enjoy listening to, you will quickly realise why you think its slightly off.

If you are a producer/ director who doesn't understand these attributes, then you will not be aware of them. Nick Luck and Jim McGrath are two people who have a great command of timing, pace and knowledge, with an understanding of the pronunciation of the English language. That is why they are so easy to listen to.

Then there's the rest of the production schedule, which in my mind, is extremely mediocre at best. I tried suggesting things to the powers that be on numerous occasions with no effect that it becomes a chore. Once again, if you don't know these things at the start, how can we expect anyone to be able to direct others to do it correctly.

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1 hour ago, Memphis3 said:

BZ off Racing. Com got the arse for 6 odd months for not including a horse he had been tipped ,and backed ,out of his race selections. Quite a scandal . Having said that he is the woooooorst tipper in the history of tipping. The more he likes a horse the further back in the field it will finish. 

Steven Reid got the chop years ago for not tipping his own runners if the owners forbid him because he was shortening the prices,so by not being honest he was manipulating the audience and the tote for his own benefit until he was caught.Too many conflicts of self interest is the common denominater

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They had N.Bishara on today, and he was hard out tipping his horse Cherry Lane .. "I'm putting a hundy on" .. his words. Said he doesn't want to sway punters off anything but he really really likes Cherry Lane today .. well the rest is history, you have to love his passion and no BS talk. Like someone else said I wouldn't trust Rodley as far as I could kick him, I mute his err and ahh chat anyway.

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Ha ha haaaaaaa. Sitting here watching trackside Sunday arvo. I can watch a trainer at Sapphire Coast and listen to ex jock and young lady assessing the field. What are the Ozis thinking about. Get rid of this coverage. It’s no good for your product . For more info contact NZ Tab urgently. Joke 

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7 hours ago, Memphis3 said:

Ha ha haaaaaaa. Sitting here watching trackside Sunday arvo. I can watch a trainer at Sapphire Coast and listen to ex jock and young lady assessing the field. What are the Ozis thinking about. Get rid of this coverage. It’s no good for your product . For more info contact NZ Tab urgently. Joke 

Sounds exciting Memphis.......have you ever been to Sapphire Coast races ?

They seem to get a lot of Heavy tracks there...must be in a rain belt ?

I note there were 6 races from there today ,4 of them only had two dividends ,the highest quinella was $11. One race had 8 scratchings.

Sunday in NZ has harness racing....and today a Bonus of Timaru races with a Jumps race.

Pogo will be pleased.....check it out ,some well bred horses in the Hurdle race. I just watched it ,hard to tell if the horses were blowing steam or someone started a fire close to track. The race delayed cos 3 riders late cos of flights !Seems most jockeys ,and several horses from North Island.

The winner was an ex-Myers horse having first start over Hurdles...he can place them.

The two best bred horses failed to finish......looks like the jumps season going to create a lot of interest !

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And at Timaru we had s person in an um agh studio um arging um a phone interview um aw ah with a jockey who um um ah had just ridden an um um milestone winner. Not a jockey who was possibly going to ride a winner in the next um urr ah race. 

The 3 blokes should be replaced by EB . At least she can string half a dozen words together 

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9 hours ago, Memphis3 said:

And at Timaru we had s person in an um agh studio um arging um a phone interview um aw ah with a jockey who um um ah had just ridden an um um milestone winner. Not a jockey who was possibly going to ride a winner in the next um urr ah race. 

The 3 blokes should be replaced by EB . At least she can string half a dozen words together 

Not the slick Aussie presentation here Memphis where our resources and budgets a country mile behind Aussie.

Impossible to tell the costs involved compared to benefit of the different presentations.

Does the more professional approach attract more people to the Industry long term...and lead to more involvement ,betting and profits ?

Impossible to tell.....

But I note that on the bigger days in NZ racing when more effort put in there is at least one interviewer ,one camera man and one 'producer' putting these interviews together and then possibly extras in the Van editing and organising.

The extra costs would be interesting...not only wages but travel etc.

When NZ racing basically hit bankruptcy last year these services were first to go ....radio also apparently was hit with considerable infrastructure/costs ,on towers etc.

Last time on-course I noted the frail condition of the selling machines....a maintenance man was racing around with rolls of tape keeping the things together !I guess the push to Digital will be the next adjustment us oldies need to make...I read where Aussie now up to 85% bets made digitally !

In NZ top 10 % of punters do over 70% of punting[ stand to be corrected here ! ,but rough enough].....do they require all the 'nice to have' services ?

Bleak weather today ,time to reflect !

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2 hours ago, tasman man said:

When NZ racing basically hit bankruptcy last year these services were first to go ....radio also apparently was hit with considerable infrastructure/costs ,on towers etc.

Last time on-course I noted the frail condition of the selling machines....a maintenance man was racing around with roles of tape keeping the things together !I guess the push to Digital will be the next adjustment us oldies need to make...I read where Aussie now up to 85% bets made digitally !

In NZ top 10 % of punters do over 70% of punting[ stand to be corrected here ! ,but rough enough].....do they require all the 'nice to have' services ?

Bleak weather today ,time to reflect !

Ive posted basically the same on here  numerous times TM  More like 20-80 now and the 80 seem to want more of everything including Trackside Radio which whilst a " nice to have" was the first to go in times of financial stress and calls from the industry to CUT COSTS. Likewise the failure to invest in terminals for decades sees them now vulnerable and probably not worth fixing. Digital is way forward overseas so good to see us finally getting with the program

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2 hours ago, tasman man said:

Bleak weather today ,time to reflect !

Indeed, TM...

Im unacquainted with any of the 10% you refer to, but I would be curious to learn from a few of them (they use this site, no?)  just how much they get out of Trackside.

I presume they do their own form study etc and couldn't care two hoots about the Trackside Presenters' annoyng habit of saying things like: 'Horse A is the fave and I like Horse C. Horse G has been trialling well. And of course you can't ignore Horses X, Y and Z.'

And then, should any combo of that lot come in, having to hear their colleagues praise them to high heaven for their skill!

'If youd boxed (Presenter A') horses, you'd have struck that $50,000 First Four.

Erm, no, because of course the divvy would have been pro-rata reduced by the number of punters suckered in to the 'non tips', heh.

And it usually is a major surprise, anyway, if any of the presenrtes tip anything loner than five or six to one, heh.

I must admit that I only tend to watch Trackside for specific races - usually big Carnival meetings. Before any given race I l;ike to 'learn' my nag's colours and those of the fave.

Afterwards, I like to hear, eg, how the jockey/trainer/owner felt about their success. 

 

 

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I totally support the technolgy movement, hence why I get so annoyed at the TAB for the below:

  • charging you to deposit money
  • Uncompetitive odds (more 10% worse than competitors in places)
  • A platform with missing crucual data (HK racing)
  • Self service terminals that require ten attempts to put a note through them

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Disillusioned said:

Indeed, TM...

Im unacquainted with any of the 10% you refer to, but I would be curious to learn from a few of them (they use this site, no?)  just how much they get out of Trackside.

I presume they do their own form study etc and couldn't care two hoots about the Trackside Presenters' annoyng habit of saying things like: 'Horse A is the fave and I like Horse C. Horse G has been trialling well. And of course you can't ignore Horses X, Y and Z.'

And then, should any combo of that lot come in, having to hear their colleagues praise them to high heaven for their skill!

'If youd boxed (Presenter A') horses, you'd have struck that $50,000 First Four.

Erm, no, because of course the divvy would have been pro-rata reduced by the number of punters suckered in to the 'non tips', heh.

And it usllay is a major surprise, anywya, if any of the presenrtes tip[ anything loner than five or six to one, heh.

I must admit that I only tend to watch Trackside for specific races - usually big Carnival meetings. Before any given rcae I l;ike to 'learn' my nag's colours and those of the fave.

Aterwards, I like to hear, eg, how the jockey/trainer/owner felt about their success. 

 

 

There is a cost of missed opportunity.  I am certain that big regular punters pay little attention to trackside.  However there is a duty to inform and attract new customers.

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On 6/12/2021 at 2:41 PM, Berri said:

There is so much wrong with the current presentation that its not funny. Trackside is the only shop front window so it has to be the best of standard. It starts with the language, tone, accent of speech, good use of the English language, pace of the message, inflection of the message and finally the content. If you close you eyes and listen to those who are currently presenting, and then do so again with someone you really enjoy listening to, you will quickly realise why you think its slightly off.

If you are a producer/ director who doesn't understand these attributes, then you will not be aware of them. Nick Luck and Jim McGrath are two people who have a great command of timing, pace and knowledge, with an understanding of the pronunciation of the English language. That is why they are so easy to listen to.

Then there's the rest of the production schedule, which in my mind, is extremely mediocre at best. I tried suggesting things to the powers that be on numerous occasions with no effect that it becomes a chore. Once again, if you don't know these things at the start, how can we expect anyone to be able to direct others to do it correctly.

That's a bit negative of you there Berri.

NZ racing is going gangbusters at the moment :

- new AWT (everyone loves it I'm told which is absolutely fantastic for the industry going forward, well that's what they all say on trackside so it has to be true)

- Massive increase in distributions to the codes (costs have been cut here there and everywhere , including that pointless avenue for distributing the product etc  the radio , a tool of communication set back in the stone ages and thankfully we in NZ racing circles have seen the light and rid our industry of this pointless tool for promoting our sport amongst others has been uses for the tool, I expect other jurisdictions will soon follow our lead on this one in droves! ) 

- rumour has it prizemoney will soon be going up up up also, which is fantastic for everyone in the industry - can't wait! Still only at rumour stage but I'm certain it will happen soon

and of course the main reason for our massive resurgence

- the quality product we put out on trackside which is quite simply world class (those darn Aussies could learn a thing or two from us thats for sure!) I put the success of trackside down to the "been there and done" that persons running the show ( they probably don't listen to your suggestions because they already have it performing to its absolute best , so don't take it to heart , they know what they are doing!) 

Got to go getting ready to watch "Weigh In" , my weekly review fix of Aussie racing !

 

 

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