L.J.Shannon

Woodville-Pahiatua Raceday

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An awesome crowd turned up for the Woodville-Pahiatua races yesterday(Post Covid lets get out again crowd) , Great to see the carpark was full (Video attached) , Some reasonably good times were run 1.09s for 1200m 1.23 for 1400m 1.35 for a couple of the 1600m races on a good 3 track that seem to give everybody a chance .

Seemed to be lots of young children running around everywhere having a good time , that was great to see

Was 1 slight issue about midway through programme as the beer supply started to run low, but a couple committee cars down to local bottle stores replenished supplies.

I congratulate all of the Woodville Racing club committee(all unpaid volunteers) for the enormous amount  work they did leading up to the raceday  and a fantastic effort on the day , I spoke to several of the committee later in the day that said they were that busy they didn't have time during the day to even see A race  , That's what I call commitment to the industry. 

Next Raceday "MOTHERS DAY"  Sunday 8th May , the club has a huge day planned for the public starting with a CHAMPAGNE BREAKFAST (Bring Mum Along)

Following that the FIELDING JOCKEY CLUB  will  be running their meeting here at Woodville in early june

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The track was outstanding, firm yep but the sole of grass and evenness was brilliant. 

You mention young children running around and having a good time, it was one thing I noticed and put a smile on my face, just don't seem to see that anymore at race meetings. Long may country racing continue to keep that next generation interested in the game. 

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yes another great day at Woodville

hundreds of new faces I'd never seen before.....assume the Dannevirke Pahiatua and Woodville communities were out in force

Marty and Di Catering Ltd flat out all day feeding everyone........(everybody knows Marty has the best sausages in the CD, anywhere actually )....they roped in all their whanau to help and did an excellent job, under a bit of pressure too

the Head Honcho of Parking does an amazing job slotting all the cars in........well done LJ

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Agree Aaron.  Real pity that our new CEO of NZTR has announced that he is going to lead the selling of assets and closure of tracks. The strength of racing over the ditch is built on every tin pot town across the country having their own racecourse and their big day in the sun, something that is gradually disappearing on our side of the ditch.  Closure of tracks in not the big issue over there, on the contrary, country racing is being encouraged.   Pity our leaders can't see this. 

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Unfortunately it has been forgotten in this country that horses are an animal and are part of the rural make up of things and it is rural people that fall in love with the horse by attending there local home town races. No one falls in love with racing by watching it on a TV screen and i'm afraid the more tracks you take away from people the less people will follow. It would  be an interesting survey of those people in places like Blenheim, Gisbourne ect that have had there tracks closed in recent years how many have made the effort to go to any race meetings since. I know myself from a town that the track closed to race about 35 years ago how few people follow racing from my age(40) and younger.

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Yeah Greystone went a nice race in his first start for me and bunch of new owners, we have him to try as a jumper and looks pretty smart at that game in what we have asked of him so far. Think a couple of my others that went around also worth following when we finally get some wet tracks.

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11 hours ago, Stoyd said:

Agree Aaron.  Real pity that our new CEO of NZTR has announced that he is going to lead the selling of assets and closure of tracks. The strength of racing over the ditch is built on every tin pot town across the country having their own racecourse and their big day in the sun, something that is gradually disappearing on our side of the ditch.  Closure of tracks in not the big issue over there, on the contrary, country racing is being encouraged.   Pity our leaders can't see this. 

Comparing us with Australia will drive you nuts. If you do ,somehow factor in the the extra population the ingrained racing/betting DNA in Aussies if you can but at least allow for the fact that many of the once a year tracks there are picnic meetings and/or Country meetings which often aren't catered for by the TAB /Trackside.

What is to stop NZ clubs running these or as the UK does for jumpers ,run Point to Point for jumpers etc. Or more beach races....run an equaliser ,get the kids up and close to the horses !

Sadly  some NZ towns have sat by for the last 50 years and let the community racing 'heart & soul' just drift away. And some sturdy community buildings and infrastucture just rot away.

How can NZTR or HRNZ be blamed for this ?

As a lad our town was a huge horse training centre...dozens of trainers , hundreds of horses . At least 3 x champion stallions over 2 x decades , a big stud . Iconic races a jumping extension on the track etc etc Now its a mere shadow of what it was ! Racehorses used to go to a blacksmith in main street for shoeing ! Champion jockeys lived in the area.We went to Point to Points on farms !

That was the South Island......I moved to another area ,and the same thing had basically happened in that town too. Harness also crumbled in my original town..... now gone !

In the North Island Woodville was one of the main galloping centres in NZ......I believe over 400 hundred horses in work. Close to many big studs , and there was at least one main race meeting within 90 min drive every week , more on public holidays. A great base to work from.

Champion horse people like trainers Eric Ropiha , Syd Brown , Bruce Marsh ,SMarsh , the famous Harris family, Murray Baker BBaker , NConnors , FFinnigan and even some Harness. 

In recent years I see horses in training down to low 20's and less than 20 now ! A far cry from 400 !

And in 1964Polo Prince popped over and won the Melbourne Cup , Eric Ropiha had placings in the race and Caulfield Cup too [ my favourite trainer]. RBMarsh rode a Melbourne Cup winner NGHarris nearly. Syd Brown raided Aussie races !

Really folks what really went down in Woodville ?

Little wonder the Club been stuck with bad dates...Easter Monday in 2022 excepted ,mostly its been unwanted Thursdays in recent times. Up to 20 years ago they had an early January date and a WFA race which attracted top horses incl Good Lord and La Mer from memory.

Old time locals must think.....what the hell happened there !

They had it good !

 

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6 hours ago, Insider said:

You’re surly joking?

Joking about what? Woodville being retired? That's been in the venue plan for yonks.

Woodville-Pahiatua RC would cease to be granted licences to race at its Woodville venue from the 2024/25 season as part of a rationalisation of venues in the Central Region assuming the proposed synthetic track at Awapuni is built and available for racing by then. The Club does not have irrigation, which has been an issue for its summer meetings, and would be surplus to requirements in the Central Districts when racing commences on the proposed synthetic track at Awapuni.

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53 minutes ago, Leggy said:

Joking about what? Woodville being retired? That's been in the venue plan for yonks.

Woodville-Pahiatua RC would cease to be granted licences to race at its Woodville venue from the 2024/25 season as part of a rationalisation of venues in the Central Region assuming the proposed synthetic track at Awapuni is built and available for racing by then. The Club does not have irrigation, which has been an issue for its summer meetings, and would be surplus to requirements in the Central Districts when racing commences on the proposed synthetic track at Awapuni.

This is where NZ racing has gone wrong.

The clubs should be much more assertive and instead of begging to be allowed to race, they should be telling NZTR when they want to race and setting up the fixture list in conjunction with the owners, trainers and jockeys (I just love the word "hoop", ridiculous) and holding NZTR by the gonads and telling them this is when racing is going to happen.

The two could easily work out a programme of races and fixtures which would work in terms of betting.

It's time the Clubs realised they have the power, they own the product and should be negotiating a media rights deal with TAB not allowing NZTR to walk over them. 

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9 hours ago, Aaron Bidlake said:

Yeah Greystone went a nice race in his first start for me and bunch of new owners, we have him to try as a jumper and looks pretty smart at that game in what we have asked of him so far. Think a couple of my others that went around also worth following when we finally get some wet 

Good luck, maybe a few flats races in him yet on that run, i like to follow horses when they change stables, can sometimes work the oracle, also good to see them get another chance.

 

 

 

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6 hours ago, stodge said:

This is where NZ racing has gone wrong.

The clubs should be much more assertive and instead of begging to be allowed to race, they should be telling NZTR when they want to race and setting up the fixture list in conjunction with the owners, trainers and jockeys (I just love the word "hoop", ridiculous) and holding NZTR by the gonads and telling them this is when racing is going to happen.

The two could easily work out a programme of races and fixtures which would work in terms of betting.

It's time the Clubs realised they have the power, they own the product and should be negotiating a media rights deal with TAB not allowing NZTR to walk over them. 

If the track was sold and owned privately could it hold races under an equaliser licence with stakes under a sponsorship scheme without involvement of NZR.  Also holding quarter horse racing etc. Afterall stakes are not great in NZ and racing similar to picnic racing in Aust could be a possibility. I for one would love to give that a go if a possibility and come back to NZ to promote such an idea.Woodville would be the perfect track for such a promotion and country family fun.

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On 4/19/2022 at 6:35 AM, L.J.Shannon said:

An awesome crowd turned up for the Woodville-Pahiatua races yesterday(Post Covid lets get out again crowd) , Great to see the carpark was full (Video attached) , Some reasonably good times were run 1.09s for 1200m 1.23 for 1400m 1.35 for a couple of the 1600m races on a good 3 track that seem to give everybody a chance .

Seemed to be lots of young children running around everywhere having a good time , that was great to see

Was 1 slight issue about midway through programme as the beer supply started to run low, but a couple committee cars down to local bottle stores replenished supplies.

I congratulate all of the Woodville Racing club committee(all unpaid volunteers) for the enormous amount  work they did leading up to the raceday  and a fantastic effort on the day , I spoke to several of the committee later in the day that said they were that busy they didn't have time during the day to even see A race  , That's what I call commitment to the industry. 

Next Raceday "MOTHERS DAY"  Sunday 8th May , the club has a huge day planned for the public starting with a CHAMPAGNE BREAKFAST (Bring Mum Along)

Following that the FIELDING JOCKEY CLUB  will  be running their meeting here at Woodville in early june

I think Ellerslie [ sorry - Auckland Thoroughbred Racing ] will be pleasntly surprised at the crowds that they will get at Pukekohe this seaso.

How cool , Melbourne Cup Day and Boxing Day raced out in the country !!

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14 hours ago, Leggy said:

Joking about what? Woodville being retired? That's been in the venue plan for yonks.

Woodville-Pahiatua RC would cease to be granted licences to race at its Woodville venue from the 2024/25 season as part of a rationalisation of venues in the Central Region assuming the proposed synthetic track at Awapuni is built and available for racing by then. The Club does not have irrigation, which has been an issue for its summer meetings, and would be surplus to requirements in the Central Districts when racing commences on the proposed synthetic track at Awapuni.

Leggy, in my opinion the track will never be suitable for racing as it's too tight.

All it will be useful for, will be training. Trainers in time will even dodge it for trials, which most up north {Cambridge] are trying to do except they have now run out of grass trial tracks!

 

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48 minutes ago, Insider said:

Leggy, in my opinion the track will never be suitable for racing as it's too tight.

All it will be useful for, will be training. Trainers in time will even dodge it for trials, which most up north {Cambridge] are trying to do except they have now run out of grass trial tracks!

 

Woodville track is 1806m circumference with a 375m straight a lot bigger than Kyneton in Aust which is 1600  with a 250m straight. 

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46 minutes ago, jeepers said:

Woodville track is 1806m circumference with a 375m straight a lot bigger than Kyneton in Aust which is 1600  with a 250m straight. 

I think Insider is talking about the Awapuni AWT, not Woodville?

Already issues in Canterbury with the lack of grass track trials. Be interesting to see how that AWT races next month.

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8 hours ago, tasman man said:

Comparing us with Australia will drive you nuts. If you do ,somehow factor in the the extra population the ingrained racing/betting DNA in Aussies if you can but at least allow for the fact that many of the once a year tracks there are picnic meetings and/or Country meetings which often aren't catered for by the TAB /Trackside.

What is to stop NZ clubs running these or as the UK does for jumpers ,run Point to Point for jumpers etc. Or more beach races....run an equaliser ,get the kids up and close to the horses !

Sadly  some NZ towns have sat by for the last 50 years and let the community racing 'heart & soul' just drift away. And some sturdy community buildings and infrastucture just rot away.

How can NZTR or HRNZ be blamed for this ?

As a lad our town was a huge horse training centre...dozens of trainers , hundreds of horses . At least 3 x champion stallions over 2 x decades , a big stud . Iconic races a jumping extension on the track etc etc Now its a mere shadow of what it was ! Racehorses used to go to a blacksmith in main street for shoeing ! Champion jockeys lived in the area.We went to Point to Points on farms !

That was the South Island......I moved to another area ,and the same thing had basically happened in that town too. Harness also crumbled in my original town..... now gone !

In the North Island Woodville was one of the main galloping centres in NZ......I believe over 400 hundred horses in work. Close to many big studs , and there was at least one main race meeting within 90 min drive every week , more on public holidays. A great base to work from.

Champion horse people like trainers Eric Ropiha , Syd Brown , Bruce Marsh ,SMarsh , the famous Harris family, Murray Baker BBaker , NConnors , FFinnigan and even some Harness. 

In recent years I see horses in training down to low 20's and less than 20 now ! A far cry from 400 !

And in 1964Polo Prince popped over and won the Melbourne Cup , Eric Ropiha had placings in the race and Caulfield Cup too [ my favourite trainer]. RBMarsh rode a Melbourne Cup winner NGHarris nearly. Syd Brown raided Aussie races !

Really folks what really went down in Woodville ?

Little wonder the Club been stuck with bad dates...Easter Monday in 2022 excepted ,mostly its been unwanted Thursdays in recent times. Up to 20 years ago they had an early January date and a WFA race which attracted top horses incl Good Lord and La Mer from memory.

Old time locals must think.....what the hell happened there !

They had it good !

 

I don't think its fair to blame locals their is a lot of reasons for the drop off in training and the racing dates situation , On the  training side of things I think if you look around all the CD major training tracks have had a major drop in numbers , I would be pretty sure their wouldn't be many Racing Clubs in the CD where there  training tracks operations would even get close to breaking even . One of the major causes of Woodville losing trainers is Staff , or lack of it . I ve heard trainers complaining bitterly of losing staff and not being able to attract staff  to Woodville , Woodville being a very rural area had over the last few decades has had probably 5 Meat Works within 30 minutes , a couple of major dairy factories, breweries and the manufacturing Hub of Palmerston North and Dannevirke within commuting distance where workers could earn a lot better money and better hours and conditions . 

Over the last few years Woodville has had some outstanding racedays , but the following year those dates would be taken off them by the Overpaid "shiny arsed Suits " sitting at the top of the pyramid .

Woodville still has in my opinion got one of the best racing surfaces around, they can run some very good times , and I've seen racedays where they have had a heap of rain leading upto a meeting but they still race between the rail and 4 or 5 wide  all day   , No irrigation means that we have an amazing root structure which probably goes down 12 plus inches with the root structure holding the turf together in the wet and keeping the dirt fractured in summer so its not a hard pan like on a lot of  irrigated tracks the roots are just under the surface and a couple of inches further down forms a hard pan which gives you the "mat on a varnished floor " effect , which appears to be a problem with a lot of our racetracks when we get some rain on them , they cut up and become very shifty

 

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