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    1. Bitofayarn News

      News about updates and new features on the forum.

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    2. Racing's Future for All Three Codes

      A forum for all Three Codes to debate the future of Racing in New Zealand.

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  • Blog Entries

    • By Chief Stipe in Cessation of The Informant Publication 15
      Today we have seen the only remaining truly independent racing industry publication "hang the bridle on the wall."  The Informant has ceased to publish.
      Why?
      In my opinion the blame lies firmly at the feet of the NZRB.  Over the next few days BOAY will be asking some very pertinent questions to those in charge.
      For example:
      How much is the NZRB funded Best Bets costing the industry?  Does it make a profit?  What is its circulation?  800?  Or more?  Does the Best Bets pay for its form feeds?  Was The Informant given the same deal?
      How much does the industry fund the NZ Racing Desk for its banal follow the corporate line journalism?
      Why were the "manager's at the door" when Dennis Ryan was talking to Peter Early?
      Where are the NZ TAB turnover figures?
      The Informant may be gone for the moment but the industry must continue to ask the hard questions.
       

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    • Posts

      • The June 4 Tiller Stakes at Belmont Park may only be an $80,000 race, but the return of New York racing has helped draw an accomplished field of older horses for the 1 3/8-mile event on the Widener Turf Course. View the full article
      • My research on the matter is probably not.  But certainly not for owners.  Although an owner may save on transport costs (if they are lucky to have their trainer training on the new AWT's) I'm picking that track fees will need to increase and/or more trainers relocating - the increase in track fees will be passed onto owners.  As for relocation there are limitations at all three sites for trainer relocation. I would say so AND the Broadcasting contract to the NEP Group that they are hooked into in an equally long contract.  Plus RITA has a $12m annual commitment to the RIU. You have to subtract $20m from the $72m as that is earmarked specifically for the AWT's and comes from the PGF.  So that leaves $52m.  Apparently $26m went straight out the door.  They also have a BIG problem looming April 2021 (next year) where the $45m from the revolving credit facility is due for payment.  Where the hell they are going to pull that from who knows! PS:  Just another tidbit of information I picked up recently was that the reason the NRL in Australia doesn't have games occasionally in provincial areas is because of the studio centralisation of "The Bunker" and the HD broadcasting infrastructure required.  Sound familiar?  Should do because the company that provides that service in Australia is.......the NEP Group!
      • 56 noms now and aiming at 6 races
      • A couple of points that I'd like clarified, if possible: The $17m annual fee for the website installation ( rip off ) which the previous RIB entered into-is that coming out of the $72m Peters announced? McKenzie, in his report 26 May said that consultation with the 'Executive Leadership Team' ( of the TAB ?) was starting yesterday...what is he talking about? More jobs gone or what. Just for the record, my view is that spending all that money on 3 artificial tracks is good...for trainers. Not racing. Why oh why common sense didn't prevail and a decent Strathayr installed at Ellerslie ( as at Mooney Valley) I'll never know. 
      • No - if you post something that I disagree with then I will respond.  That is the basic tenet of what a Forum is. In terms of the financial situation of RITA I'm quoting the last annual report for the year ending 31 July 2019.  The facts in that report are that RITA was trading beyond its means.  It was behind on contract payments, was $21m short of cash, needed to use the remaining $10m in revolving credit to continue trading AND when intangible assets were ignored the Equity position was -$21m. That was BEFORE Covid-19.  That position is not irrelevant - just follow your own advice and "ask any NZX listed company analyst."  Any analyst worth their salt would assess a company's position BEFORE Covid-19 treating the impact of Covid-19 as an extraordinary event i.e. the analyst would look at the fundamentals of the business.  If it wasn't solvent or profitable BEFORE Covid-19 then it sure as hell wasn't going to be afterwards unless of course they were in the business of PPE! As for RITA's half-yearly report for the year ending January 2020 it is important because it would have given the industry an insight into what steps had been taken to address the fundamental issues.  BUT that aside it is apparent that it took Covid-19 and a call from its creditors BEFORE the RITA Board took any action.  I'm guessing that they were winging it believing that the new wagering system and Racefields Legislation would be their saviour. Many astute industry commentators and posters on BOAY, including myself, were pointing out the above FACTS long before Covid-19. Then why did the Board sit on their hands for 10 months?  Why didn't they address the issues that they were aware of 18 MONTHS ago (the RITA Board was the Ministerial Working Group)?  Instead they continued to make promises about Stakes and essentially trade while insolvent.  McKenzie told us all (and you quote him) that RITA wasn't insolvent yet less than a week later the Minister tells us all that RITA's creditors had said enough and wanted to be paid within 3 days! Haven't you been following anything concerning the industry over the last two years?  The Ministerial Working Group and the commissioned Mesara Report came up with the Track closures scheme.  Mesara even went as far as recommending which ones!  RITA was tasked with implementing the Working Group/Messara Report recommendations!  Don't shift the buck! You have unconsciously highlighted the biggest problem - NONE of the current RITA Board or Executive have ANY experience in corporate restructuring!!!!!!!! It didn't take Air New Zealand long to lay off 4,000 employees nor IMMEDIATELY restructure their business due to Covid-19.  Even when they had a strong balance sheet!!!!
      • could they develop the houses themselves thereby maximising the return
      • Ill send you a PM to answer some of your questions when i get some time. Very busy with work at present.   Greg
      • JJ, do you think that RITA is on the right track? How much is Dean McKenzie being paid , or is that confidential? How much is Saville and his associates being paid now for doing very little? The new temporary CEO of HRNZ is Peter Holden, who I personally had never heard of! He comes to HRNZ with less than an impressive record from GRNZ and less than great reports from the greyhound participants! What is the point of putting someone in such an important position that has got no track record of success with every organisation he has been with by the look of it! You only have to look at where he has been to see that HRNZ haven’t got anyone of any real ability to lead harness out of the doldrums, unless you know otherwise?
      • Most important thing is that they are racing for $7k in some races!! How are you going to get people to stay racing horses at that level, bearing in mind their costs are much higher than down south! So much for the big stakes that they were going on about a couple of years ago! Auckland Harness Racing is knackered and they would be far better to sell off the track for housing, far better return!   They will need to reduce their management team as they are not doing the job!  
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