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    • I thought that since the "flash" racing is virtually all done for the season it might be worth considering which of the stakes type innovations proved successful, and which ones weren't quite so successful. I must say, I thought the SI $350,000 gimmick race was probably the best of the lot. It attracted a really good field, turned into a very competitive race and provided a worthy reward for southern trained horses. If you were to offer me $350,000 to name one horse who raced in the other 3 gimmick races in the north I wouldn't be able to name a single horse, let alone the winners of any of the races. As to the biggest waste of money, and there were several contenders, I would suggest the $650,000 in bonuses for horses who placed in 3 or 4 nominated races. Legarto won the bulk of it running 2nd in the last event. I am really not sure what it achieved at all. Legarto proved uncompetitive in its two Aussie starts during the season so was probably always going to target those NZ races regardless of bonuses. Campionessa and Desert Lightning decided to head off to Aussie anyhow, despite earning enough points early on to be contenders. The last two races only attracted fields of 10 and 11, so hardly capacity considering the total stakes on offer. It will be interesting to see if NZTR analyse the success or otherwise of all the initiatives, and decide to abandon or revamp any that didn't work so well. Although I think they are just rolling them all over to next season as is. Obviously they consider everything they did was 100% successful. Certainly an impressive result for any business.
    • Not to mention that if they redirected the money from boosting the top tier races and the novelty races they could probably run $25,000 minimum races all year keeping horses in the game longer to feed higher rated races.  But who cares about Open Handicap racing anymore...the suits obviously don't.
    • I don't understand why SAFE don't protest outside French Bulldog breeders and owners homes?
    • Very interesting. I can remember living in ChCh in the late 70s and having to move to the car during the night to listen to the Auckland trots. Who would bother going to that trouble these days. Listening to the Auckland trots, let alone having to sit in the car in the middle of the night to do so.
    • Yes, reducing basic stakes for about 5 months of the year just because they don't have of any of their over hyped $1m races during that period is a disgrace.  I'm not sure if people realise, but if they had run those stupid twilight meetings at the normal $18,500 rather than $25,000 per race there would have been enough money available to retain the $18,500 minimum all year round. In face they could have run winter races for a $20,000 minimum with the money saved. Nobody has explained the rationale behind those twilight meetings. Basically, an extra $52,000 to $58,500 per meeting for exactly the same fields as you get for a $18,500 meeting, just because they start an hour later than normal. Weird.
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