Tony

The Mythical Track of Foxton and the lost city of Atlantis

Recommended Posts

I read often on this site about this mythical track of Foxton that exists and I would have to compare it to the lost city of Atlantis. The reason I compare these two is when you look at the facts Foxton does not appear to be as fantastic as people believe or are lead to believe.

Foxton Track actually has a worse record in the last two years than the New Plymouth Track for cancelations and postponements. At least five Trials Meetings have either been postponed or cancelled at Foxton in this period. And these are Trials with six horse fields not full race fields.

Have a look at the Heats from the last Foxton Trials which had been postponed a week due to the Track conditions and you will see that by the 3rd heat it was a scramble to the outside rail. Very reminiscent of watching Wanganui Races.

For a Track that has only 30 horses working there and some days down to single figures you would think that it should be in tremendous order. 

But is it. Today no grass tracks open and all grass tracks apparently closed all week. Last Thursday was the same.

People bag the shite out of Awapuni but their course proper was open today for gallops and was open last Thursday.

Now before all you patriots jump down my throat, these are facts not fiction. If NZTR were to give Foxton a Race Meeting in the Winter time and it went ahead, the horses would be lining up to race down the outside rail.

If the Foxton Track is as chronically bad as the Track Manager and President are telling Trainers then Foxton is not an option for the future and NZTR will have been watching the cancelations and postponements and can not be blamed for putting Trials on the Synthetic when it opens instead of the grass at Foxton..

It is a shame that it is not utilised to its potential as a Training Track. Thirty horses a day doesn't pay the wages and it would be hard to encourage new Trainers to a Training Track that is closed so often or only has an under water plough to work on.

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/14/2022 at 1:54 PM, Tony said:

I read often on this site about this mythical track of Foxton that exists and I would have to compare it to the lost city of Atlantis. The reason I compare these two is when you look at the facts Foxton does not appear to be as fantastic as people believe or are lead to believe.

Foxton Track actually has a worse record in the last two years than the New Plymouth Track for cancelations and postponements. At least five Trials Meetings have either been postponed or cancelled at Foxton in this period. And these are Trials with six horse fields not full race fields.

Have a look at the Heats from the last Foxton Trials which had been postponed a week due to the Track conditions and you will see that by the 3rd heat it was a scramble to the outside rail. Very reminiscent of watching Wanganui Races.

For a Track that has only 30 horses working there and some days down to single figures you would think that it should be in tremendous order. 

But is it. Today no grass tracks open and all grass tracks apparently closed all week. Last Thursday was the same.

People bag the shite out of Awapuni but their course proper was open today for gallops and was open last Thursday.

Now before all you patriots jump down my throat, these are facts not fiction. If NZTR were to give Foxton a Race Meeting in the Winter time and it went ahead, the horses would be lining up to race down the outside rail.

If the Foxton Track is as chronically bad as the Track Manager and President are telling Trainers then Foxton is not an option for the future and NZTR will have been watching the cancelations and postponements and can not be blamed for putting Trials on the Synthetic when it opens instead of the grass at Foxton..

It is a shame that it is not utilised to its potential as a Training Track. Thirty horses a day doesn't pay the wages and it would be hard to encourage new Trainers to a Training Track that is closed so often or only has an under water plough to work on.

 

 

Surely you would have a grass gallop 3 days a week as you have an inside grass as well to use or are  the track staff  too tapped out

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Surprisingly no grass at all. I would have thought the outside of the course proper would have been ok, but no. The Number 1 Grass was also closed along with the number 2 Grass. Even the 2 year old grass was out of bounds for even a baby to trot on.

I am informed by some admin people at Foxton that the track is affected by the sea tides. If this is right and we believe in Global warming and sea levels rising this water logged track can only get worse as sea levels rise .

Mean while 10 minutes down the road at the Levin Track,  grass tracks were open every day last week for gallops.

When you see this happening  you start to understand why Foxton is a Racing Club that had a $60,000 Cash loss in the last financial year and Levin has a Million Dollars in the bank. Two Clubs with completely different outlooks on how a business is run.

Foxton was designated as a Training Track in the Messara Report. This is where NZTR should be stepping in and implementing the terms of the Messara report or else close these tracks down and take their money before the lot is blown. Thirty horses is not enough to pay a Gap man, Track Manager, Track Managers assistant, and pay for all the machinery (Tractors, Mowers etc) required to maintain a Track and the grounds. 

NZTR would have to move quickly if they were wanting to take the Clubs Funds as they have posted a combined Cash Loss of 100K over the last 3 years. This Club is heading in one direction and they just don't seem to want Trainers money for Track fees.

 

Share this post


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

Surprisingly no grass at all. I would have thought the outside of the course proper would have been ok, but no. The Number 1 Grass was also closed along with the number 2 Grass. Even the 2 year old grass was out of bounds for even a baby to trot on.

I am informed by some admin people at Foxton that the track is affected by the sea tides. If this is right and we believe in Global warming and sea levels rising this water logged track can only get worse as sea levels rise .

Mean while 10 minutes down the road at the Levin Track,  grass tracks were open every day last week for gallops.

When you see this happening  you start to understand why Foxton is a Racing Club that had a $60,000 Cash loss in the last financial year and Levin has a Million Dollars in the bank. Two Clubs with completely different outlooks on how a business is run.

Foxton was designated as a Training Track in the Messara Report. This is where NZTR should be stepping in and implementing the terms of the Messara report or else close these tracks down and take their money before the lot is blown. Thirty horses is not enough to pay a Gap man, Track Manager, Track Managers assistant, and pay for all the machinery (Tractors, Mowers etc) required to maintain a Track and the grounds. 

NZTR would have to move quickly if they were wanting to take the Clubs Funds as they have posted a combined Cash Loss of 100K over the last 3 years. This Club is heading in one direction and they just don't seem to want Trainers money for Track fees.

 

Definitely agree, why piss all your money away. Sell up, move on, invest wisely and run your meetings somewhere else.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
6 hours ago, Tony said:

Surprisingly no grass at all. I would have thought the outside of the course proper would have been ok, but no. The Number 1 Grass was also closed along with the number 2 Grass. Even the 2 year old grass was out of bounds for even a baby to trot on.

I am informed by some admin people at Foxton that the track is affected by the sea tides. If this is right and we believe in Global warming and sea levels rising this water logged track can only get worse as sea levels rise .

Mean while 10 minutes down the road at the Levin Track,  grass tracks were open every day last week for gallops.

When you see this happening  you start to understand why Foxton is a Racing Club that had a $60,000 Cash loss in the last financial year and Levin has a Million Dollars in the bank. Two Clubs with completely different outlooks on how a business is run.

Foxton was designated as a Training Track in the Messara Report. This is where NZTR should be stepping in and implementing the terms of the Messara report or else close these tracks down and take their money before the lot is blown. Thirty horses is not enough to pay a Gap man, Track Manager, Track Managers assistant, and pay for all the machinery (Tractors, Mowers etc) required to maintain a Track and the grounds. 

NZTR would have to move quickly if they were wanting to take the Clubs Funds as they have posted a combined Cash Loss of 100K over the last 3 years. This Club is heading in one direction and they just don't seem to want Trainers money for Track fees.

 

Honestly as they have the monopoly on trials in the CD they should be in the profit margin surely as they would only be paying a perpetual lease being domain board land which in turn is given back for upgrades on the grounds. Track fees would never pay the cost of running track but still no excuse not to have tracks available to train your horses as they are what keeps the industry going especially this time of the year. If the track is affected by the sea tides why is the water full of iron and not salt

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
9 minutes ago, Aaron Bidlake said:

Certainly hope not but there is those rumors, such a useful place for the jumpouts they run. 

They could go to Foxton to help them out then the track manger would have something to moan about like work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

tony why complain on here if chrissy wasn't allowed to gallop on course proper?

I presume you are tony bambry judging by your previous posts.

Didn't the area get 150 mls of rain last week?

And awapuni only have the course proper open because of the synthetic track going in isn't that correct?

I heard it was that bad to gallop on some trainers took there horses down to Foxton to gallop on Foxtons plough 

which is ironic you are complaining about foxton and saying how awapuni is better.

Nztr should be racing on Foxton still a better track than most around the country.

Is levin getting shut down? I hope that is incorrect

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I heard from a good source that many trainers refuse to gallop on the grass at Awapuni and some of the jockeys won't ride on it either....I saw a photo of it in an article on the new synthetic track and it looks completely Donald Ducked...JMO they won't be racing there for some time.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tony, I have trained one or two at Foxton on and off for the last 20 years and although it is a well draining track, every few years, the water table gets up to a level that means the track drainage has nowhere to go. This is particularly so when the Manawatu River floodgates are opened at Moutoa.and worsened when that meets high tides. http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/5/40353 If it weren't for that, Palmerston North would be flooded and you  probably wouldn't even be able to get to Awapuni. Foxton and Foxton Beach in particular pay the price for that. You have the beach as a work around at those times for training purposes.

Clearly, the club's training operations are not financially viable on their own (never have been) with the trial business and volunteerism creating most of the club's revenue now there is no racing there.The course proper needs to be managed for that as a priority. You'll have the AWT at Awapuni to work on shortly and presumably most of the trial and jumpout business will shift to that venue when Levin closes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, Leggy said:

Tony, I have trained one or two at Foxton on and off for the last 20 years and although it is a well draining track, every few years, the water table gets up to a level that means the track drainage has nowhere to go. This is particularly so when the Manawatu River floodgates are opened at Moutoa.and worsened when that meets high tides. http://www.voxy.co.nz/national/5/40353 If it weren't for that, Palmerston North would be flooded and you  probably wouldn't even be able to get to Awapuni. Foxton and Foxton Beach in particular pay the price for that. 

Most people do not understand how much moisture is under the ground surface, especially in vallleys closely surrounded by hills (Trentham comes to mind) with their runoff. Also areas close to the sea after major rain events when the said moisture makes it's way to the ocean.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Contentious said:

Most people do not understand how much moisture is under the ground surface, especially in vallleys closely surrounded by hills (Trentham comes to mind) with their runoff. Also areas close to the sea after major rain events when the said moisture makes it's way to the ocean.

What a quote here must be a rocket scientist funny not many valleys in Foxton but agree water table does rise in winter but at the end of the day this post is about one thing "where can I work my horse so I can take to races'  surely it wouldn't take much to achieve this with a horse population of 30 odd

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Crow, I'm not sure if some of your comments here are serious or not. On the day mentioned by Tony the plough was open for galloping. They have a trial meeting there next week and need to look after the course proper in preparation for that. A couple of weeks earlier when I was there on a Saturday they were galloping on the course proper on decent footing. That was the same day that Trentham was abandoned because it was underwater. This was an extreme weather event.

Again I am not sure if it is a serious question but above you asked "If the track is affected by the sea tides why is the water full of iron and not salt?"

I'm not prone to explain but you have to understand that water doesn't run uphill. I own a property a few blocks from Foxton racecourse on the Manawatu river loop. If you watch the water levels there, they rise and fall with the tide levels. That's not because the sea water runs back to there but because the river water backs up to the level of the tide. Same thing happens with the subsurface water that is running to the sea so the water table rises and falls with the tide. The sea water doesn't run uphill to Foxton.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/19/2022 at 4:47 PM, Snapper said:

Have herd that the Levin track will be sold is that correct ?

Don't know if it's been sold but logically Levins Days are numbered ,  Awapuni Synthetic Track Update see Love racing for update , it seems trials and jump outs are likely to be held before the end of this winter at Awapuni , regular jump outs at Awapuni will be a big money saver for Awapuni owners and trainers and this will badly effect Levin revenue  so survival for Levin will be difficult if not impossible .

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
12 hours ago, Leggy said:

Crow, I'm not sure if some of your comments here are serious or not. On the day mentioned by Tony the plough was open for galloping. They have a trial meeting there next week and need to look after the course proper in preparation for that. A couple of weeks earlier when I was there on a Saturday they were galloping on the course proper on decent footing. That was the same day that Trentham was abandoned because it was underwater. This was an extreme weather event.

Again I am not sure if it is a serious question but above you asked "If the track is affected by the sea tides why is the water full of iron and not salt?"

I'm not prone to explain but you have to understand that water doesn't run uphill. I own a property a few blocks from Foxton racecourse on the Manawatu river loop. If you watch the water levels there, they rise and fall with the tide levels. That's not because the sea water runs back to there but because the river water backs up to the level of the tide. Same thing happens with the subsurface water that is running to the sea so the water table rises and falls with the tide. The sea water doesn't run uphill to Foxton.

As a former trainer as stated you don't train your horse just one day a week do you so I think Tony's  post is a general occurrence as to weekly activity.  Another one  "water doesn't run up hill" fascinating comment, I did hear of the fencing contractor in Foxton he would go out in the morning to dig his post holes but the tide came in and filled his holes with water but as  the tide turned he went out again he he got them rammed in that evening,

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
15 minutes ago, Crow said:

 I did hear of the fencing contractor in Foxton he would go out in the morning to dig his post holes but the tide came in and filled his holes with water but as  the tide turned he went out again he he got them rammed in that evening,

That's very true around here! Exactly the issue at Foxton when the water table is high.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Leggy said:

That's very true around here! Exactly the issue at Foxton when the water table is high.

Maybe they should do trackwork on low tide this time of the year then or ride around on the high side of the track or just go to beach and watch the tide go in and out. Only in Foxton funny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 6/19/2022 at 9:02 PM, nstrip said:

heard it was that bad to gallop on some trainers took there horses down to Foxton to gallop on Foxtons plough 

which is ironic you are complaining about foxton and saying how awapuni is better.

Nztr should be racing on Foxton still a better track than most around the country.

Is levin getting shut down? I hope that is incorrect

Nstrip ,I never said that the Awapuni grass was better. I said it was open and Foxton closed. Levin who had at least as much rain if not more had grass tracks open all week. 

I never seen any Awapuni Trainers there on Tuesday galloping on the plough. I know that RACE has offered to pay the Transport costs for Awapuni horses to travel down to Foxton to gallop on the grass while the Synthetic is being built. I'm not sure why those Trainers haven't been coming down to Foxton. Maybe they are happy enough with the Awapuni surfaces and with the uncertainty of the availability of tracks at Foxton it's to hard to plan for. 

Foxton once had 200 horses working there and I'm told there was always a grass track open.

Track fees even only a few years ago made up 2/3rds of the Clubs income. This figure is ever decreasing but the Committee seen unperturbed by the diminishing returns.  

I'm not sure how you can say that NZTR should be racing at Foxton when the Foxton Track is the CD and possibly the NZ title holder for the past 2 years as having the most cancellations and postponements.

I'm sure that Foxton Track will make a miraculous recovery and be in pristine condition for Trials next Tuesday.

I don't agree with Leggy that "it's the Moatua Flood gates" that is causing the grass tracks to be closed. I think it more being affected by an energy crisis in the area.

On Levin I'm sure it will still be there for many years to come. It is managed by passionate people with plenty of business sense.  

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Firstly, I do not want to suggest that Tony's original comment was not a fair one. I would also expect that there would be a grass gallop available there on a Saturday morning. It is very frustrating to get there in the morning, be wandering out to the track, look up at the board and see that the track you were expecting to work on is closed with no reasonable alternative available. If one is there every day, it probably can be confirmed what will be open the next day. If not, it would be nice if this was available the day before on a website or the facebook page for example. My original comment was only intended to explain that in my experience, there is periodically a drainage issue at Foxton due to high water tables and tides which affects available  tracks.

While I am here, I'd like to correct some of the numbers that are floating around in this thread. For starters, it is a very long time since there were 200 in work at Foxton. Certainly, that was the case in 2001 when I moved here. Chris Waller even had a team of 20 odd here still though he was already building his Sydney operation. Last year's audited accounts reported the number varying between 65 and 140 depending on the time of year. There has been little variance in track fee revenue the last 3 years. FY19'-53k; FY20 - 51k; FY21 - 55k. In each of those years gross revenue from trials and jumpouts has been about double that from track fees.

It is also a very long time since track fees made up 2/3 of the club's revenue if they ever did.

FY19 - 28%; FY20 - 25%; FY21 - 25%.

The club had a net (deficit) surplus - before depreciation - of  ($9,283.00) FY 21 and a $5167.00 surplus the year before. Obviously, there are some covid related impacts in that.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Leggy said:

Firstly, I do not want to suggest that Tony's original comment was not a fair one. I would also expect that there would be a grass gallop available there on a Saturday morning. It is very frustrating to get there in the morning, be wandering out to the track, look up at the board and see that the track you were expecting to work on is closed with no reasonable alternative available. If one is there every day, it probably can be confirmed what will be open the next day. If not, it would be nice if this was available the day before on a website or the facebook page for example. My original comment was only intended to explain that in my experience, there is periodically a drainage issue at Foxton due to high water tables and tides which affects available  tracks.

While I am here, I'd like to correct some of the numbers that are floating around in this thread. For starters, it is a very long time since there were 200 in work at Foxton. Certainly, that was the case in 2001 when I moved here. Chris Waller even had a team of 20 odd here still though he was already building his Sydney operation. Last year's audited accounts reported the number varying between 65 and 140 depending on the time of year. There has been little variance in track fee revenue the last 3 years. FY19'-53k; FY20 - 51k; FY21 - 55k. In each of those years gross revenue from trials and jumpouts has been about double that from track fees.

It is also a very long time since track fees made up 2/3 of the club's revenue if they ever did.

FY19 - 28%; FY20 - 25%; FY21 - 25%.

The club had a net (deficit) surplus - before depreciation - of  ($9,283.00) FY 21 and a $5167.00 surplus the year before. Obviously, there are some covid related impacts in that.

Yes Leggy would think you would have to go back to Busuttin  Enright days to have 200 odd even then I would doubt, If most tracks relied on track fees to survive they would have gone broke years ago.  Of note why don't  nstrip ( Daryl)   and Tony have a discussion at the track re guarding the issue lol

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Leggy have a look at the accounts properly and not the Presidents report that was written by one of Jacinda's press writers.

The accounts show a 60K cash Loss, 90+ revenue from Trials but 60K+ expenses from holding the 13 sets of Trials. I think I worked out an average of $2500 profit per Trial. 30K is the amount gained from Trials. Track fees at 55K far exceed Trials income.

You come to the track and you are believing that up to 140 horses train there on one day. 65 on one day would be a rear occasion.

Thirty horses at the moment would be a good day.

Being a local and long time member you might be able to inform us where the 800K Grandstand Fire Insurance pay out is hidden up. There only appears to be around 200K left in the Bank now.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
10 hours ago, Tony said:

Leggy have a look at the accounts properly and not the Presidents report that was written by one of Jacinda's press writers.

The accounts show a 60K cash Loss, 90+ revenue from Trials but 60K+ expenses from holding the 13 sets of Trials. I think I worked out an average of $2500 profit per Trial. 30K is the amount gained from Trials. Track fees at 55K far exceed Trials income.

You come to the track and you are believing that up to 140 horses train there on one day. 65 on one day would be a rear occasion.

Thirty horses at the moment would be a good day.

Being a local and long time member you might be able to inform us where the 800K Grandstand Fire Insurance pay out is hidden up. There only appears to be around 200K left in the Bank now.

I'm looking at the filed audited accounts Tony. I don't have the President's report.

You are mixing up the gross revenue for one with the gross surplus of the other. If you take the FY21 accounts, there was a gross surplus from trial operations of 38k. There was a gross deficit from training operations of 80k. In other words the trial business is subsidising the training business. 56k from other revenue makes up the rest of the training operation deficit. This has always been the case in the last 20 years even when there were 200 horses in work there, though when the club was racing it was the racing that was subsidising the training business. The trial business is a more recent addition since the racing was canned.  If it were any normal commercial business, the training shop would have been long since closed. It continues because it is an objective of the club and is essentially a gift to the industry and participants from the club and Foxton community.

You are correct about the 60k figure but that is NOT a cash loss. As I said, the operating/cash loss was $9,283.00, near enough to break even. Your 60k figure includes 48k of depreciation.

I didn't say that 140 horses train there on a given day. I know you probably have horses that only work at the track once a week or so. That is the number on the books but as I pointed out, there is little change in gross training revenue in recent years.

As to the disappearing 800k. Yes, that was one of the main reasons that I ran for and did a stint on the committee. Most of it had gone to subsidising the training operation once there was no racing there to do that and before the trial business picked up that slack. Then and since, the finances have been stabilised with cash expenditures not going to operations, though a further considerable amount has gone to investment in stand and other building renovation, new plastic rail, the club's own trial gates etc.

What will happen once most of the trials are moved to the AWT I don't know. Hard to see how the training operation can be sustained unless some other source of revenue can be found to subsidise that.

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.