The Death Knell for Grass Track Racing???

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The Death Knell for Grass Track Racing??? Empty Re: The Death Knell for Grass Track Racing???

Post by barryf on Sat Feb 11, 2017 8:48 pm

I suspect the reason is one of economics. Presumably North Island clubs are required to pay a rental for use of the galloping owned tracks while with few horses trained in the country areas the clubs need the support of trainers from the Auckland and Cambridge areas.
Many trainers must be incurring substantial travelling costs when you take into account vehicle fuel and  maintenance costs, depreciation,  accommodation and labour costs.  I doubt as to whether the full costs are always passed on as trainers do not want to lose more owners.
Listening to Alan Sharrock today plus Lee Somervell last week it is clear that many galloping trainers are ready to pull the plug and move overseas or just retire.  I suspect harness trainers are in a similar position with many lucky to be earning the taxable average wage.

A sore point with the trainers would also be the 6 figure salaries being paid to Racing Board and RIU people, plus I suspect various media people,, while the main participants struggle to survive.

So centralisation is the way of the future, like it or not, if the industry has any future.


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The Death Knell for Grass Track Racing??? Empty The Death Knell for Grass Track Racing???

Post by ray the beancounter on Fri Feb 10, 2017 11:00 am

On the HRNZ website there is an article regarding a meeting held last night at Pukekohe between 40 horse people (trainers, etc) and Bruce Carter (ATC), Kevin Smith, John Green, and Rob Lawson (link: [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]  It was largely about the success or otherwise of the new handicapping system, but also discussed issues regarding grass track racing in the North Island.

I see grass track racing as essential as many "average" horses cannot compete at the likes of Alexandra Park where they regularly run 2 min 40 sec or faster over 2200 metres.  The head honcho's see things differently.....

"Chairman of HRNZ's Handicapping Sub Committee Rob Lawson said meetings would become more centralised, which led Frank Cooney to ask if in fact there was any future for grass track meetings.

“Are we going to see just three tracks – Alexandra Park, Cambridge, and Manawatu being used in the North island and the rest laying idle?” questioned Cooney.

Lawson replied:
“I think that is the way we are headed with perhaps the odd grass track meeting say like Tauranga being a novelty meeting. It’s not written in stone but the costs are high to use other tracks. I think centralisation is the way of the future,” Lawson said.

This does not bode well in an industry already struggling for horse numbers.
ray the beancounter
ray the beancounter

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