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Stratford RC submission to parliament on racing reforms delivered with 'real fury'

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Stratford RC submission to parliament on racing reforms delivered with 'real fury'

Mike Watson12:33, Feb 18 2020
Stratford Racing Club committee member Dr Murray Blue said the Government should be ashamed of proposals in the Racing Industry Bill.
STUFF
Stratford Racing Club committee member Dr Murray Blue said the Government should be ashamed of proposals in the Racing Industry Bill.

A vocal critic of proposed racing industry reforms remained upbeat after submitting to Parliament on proposals in the Racing Industry Bill.

Stratford equine veterinarian and Stratford Racing Club (SRC) committee member Murray Blue presented a submission to the Infrastructure and Transport Select Committee on behalf of the racing club and Stratford community.

"We had a good day in Wellington and there were some good vibes in the room from people," he said.

Stratford racecourse continued to be used as a community asset by local sports clubs and schools.
STUFF
Stratford racecourse continued to be used as a community asset by local sports clubs and schools.

"But the numbers are against us and we don't want to get our hopes up.

 

"It will depend on what recommendations come from the select committee."

 

The Stratford Racing Club had its licence revoked in 2019 and the club's annual Christmas meeting transferred to New Plymouth.
SIMON O'CONNOR/FAIRFAX NZ
The Stratford Racing Club had its licence revoked in 2019 and the club's annual Christmas meeting transferred to New Plymouth.

The Bill, based on recommendations from the Messara Report 2018 which called for the closure of 22 racing clubs including Stratford and Hawera, would be passed in July after the third and final reading.

The report, by Australian racing administrator John Messara, who described the racing industry as "deeply distressed", sought to reinvigorate it to make it more profitable and attractive.

Messara recommended outsourcing the TAB activities to international operators, reducing tracks and building synthetic tracks, and increasing stakes money to more than $100m a year.   

Blue said he made his feelings about the reforms strongly heard at the select committee hearing on Thursday.

The Government should be "ashamed of itself " to propose the Bill, he told the committee.

He said the government should be mandating for fair and equitable treatment for all participants in the industry, instead of "legalising the confiscation and theft of community assets", and ensure clubs are treated fairly by return of earnings. 

"It all stinks and I laid into them with real fury."

Blue said four of the Bill's proposals should be scrapped including the confiscation of club property, and club constitutions being transferred to New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR).

Club properties were community assets paid for by the community, not assets to be owned to the racing industry, he said.

"The Stratford Racing Club was started by a small group of local farmers and businessmen who acted as guarantors for a loan from the Bank of Australasia which was used to purchase a property to be developed as a racecourse on the edge of the town in the 1880s."

The proposal for NZTR to control SRC constitution was wrong when it was registered as an independent incorporated society, he said.

The SRC lost its racing licence to hold the Christmas annual meeting which was transferred to New Plymouth.

The club was one of the top commercially performing race courses for the TAB in off-course and fixed odds turnovers, he said.

On course turnover at the December 29 meeting in New Plymouth fell from $124,000 to $101,000, while total turnover was down 28.4 per cent from $1.31m to $940,000.

The Stratford community could not support underwriting its race meeting being held at another venue when local funds are transferred to another town, Blue said.

The SRC hoped it have the licence revocation reversed but would continue to use the facilities as a community asset for training horses, and for local schools and clubs, he said.

"I'm personally hopeful racing will be returned to Stratford."

 

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I heard that his submission was excellent.  I also heard that Jan Logie [ which will surprise a few ]  appeared very well informed, and asked good questions.

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Aaah good old Murray Blue!  Remember the time he had a court case against NZTR and he told rthe Court that they (NZTR) planned to take away the racing club and he was told "you're dreaming"!

Agreee with everything he said and there should be a long line of people hanging their heads in shame starting with Winnie.

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1 hour ago, Freda said:

I heard that his submission was excellent.  I also heard that Jan Logie [ which will surprise a few ]  appeared very well informed, and asked good questions.

Yes.

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Big issue for us small clubs is we do not have the time or the resources to travel up there to appear before the Select Committee.  NZTR, the NZRB/RITA, Thoroughbred Breeders and their cronies and the Big Clubs of course,  bloated by the huge level of industry funding provided to them(and given their over staffing probably having eff all else to do), will be appearing end masses.   Result the Select Committee are liable to think small clubs don't care.  We submitted but I am realistic we don't have a hope.

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2 hours ago, Freda said:

I heard that his submission was excellent.  I also heard that Jan Logie [ which will surprise a few ]  appeared very well informed, and asked good questions.

That's a shock. I dropped my choccy biscuit in my coffee.

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After watching that maybe (if those politicians listen) we might have a hope. Though I presume NZTR and their cronies are still to come?

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After watching that maybe (if those politicians listen) we might have a hope. Though I presume NZTR and their cronies are still to come?

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Repeat myself why don't I?  That was an interesting comment by Henry Plumtre re why Cambridge stopped sponsoring at Te Rapa.  Maybe all is not in 100% harmony among the hoi polloi in NZ Thoroughbred racing??

I must say for spending a million or thereabouts of industry funds and having arguably/supposedly the best horse NZ has seen in the last few years on show Te Rapa did a piss poor turnover oncourse $158k versus $160 last year.  And $2.5m off course versus $2.7m last year.  Someone has to realise this is not an acceptable or reasonable return on that level of industry funding.

 

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2 hours ago, Reefton said:

Big issue for us small clubs is we do not have the time or the resources to travel up there to appear before the Select Committee.  NZTR, the NZRB/RITA, Thoroughbred Breeders and their cronies and the Big Clubs of course,  bloated by the huge level of industry funding provided to them(and given their over staffing probably having eff all else to do), will be appearing end masses.   Result the Select Committee are liable to think small clubs don't care.  We submitted but I am realistic we don't have a hope.

This reminds me of nothing more than a company restructure , where they say they are restructuring and want to go thru a consultation process with staff and then once they have yawned their way thru listening to the plebs have their say , they go right ahead with what they intended to do right from the start . I have been through this process and my wife is presently going through it at the moment . Merely going through the motions , i will be stunned if they take on board anything from anybody below their lofty heights . Even if , and it's a big if in my book , they do get any cash out of sales of courses it will just be more money for them to piss up against the wall . So far the only idea they have got is synthetic tracks and getting money out of overseas bookies . What next guys . What else have you got to turn NZ racing around if /when these aren't the godsend you went all in for . NADA . The silence is deafening .  

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54 minutes ago, Reefton said:

Repeat myself why don't I?  That was an interesting comment by Henry Plumtre re why Cambridge stopped sponsoring at Te Rapa.  Maybe all is not in 100% harmony among the hoi polloi in NZ Thoroughbred racing??

I must say for spending a million or thereabouts of industry funds and having arguably/supposedly the best horse NZ has seen in the last few years on show Te Rapa did a piss poor turnover oncourse $158k versus $160 last year.  And $2.5m off course versus $2.7m last year.  Someone has to realise this is not an acceptable or reasonable return on that level of industry funding.

 

They haven't got an answer or a solution to any of it , if they had their ego's would have had them out there promoting it . Our leadership is as headless and clueless as any in our recent past . I would like someone to tell me one thing of any real relevance that Bernard Saundry has achieved during his tenure , and i mean something of real significance and has made a real difference for NZ thorobred racing . Waiting with baited breath .

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3 hours ago, curious said:

See here:

 

Thanks, C.

Almost makes me feel hopeful.

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1 hour ago, Reefton said:

Repeat myself why don't I?  That was an interesting comment by Henry Plumtre re why Cambridge stopped sponsoring at Te Rapa.  Maybe all is not in 100% harmony among the hoi polloi in NZ Thoroughbred racing??

I must say for spending a million or thereabouts of industry funds and having arguably/supposedly the best horse NZ has seen in the last few years on show Te Rapa did a piss poor turnover oncourse $158k versus $160 last year.  And $2.5m off course versus $2.7m last year.  Someone has to realise this is not an acceptable or reasonable return on that level of industry funding.

 

Shit their on course turnover was less than Tauherenikau's Waitangi Day on course turnover.

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If I was actively involved - And I'm not - I wouldn't be relying on the select committee process as it can be "managed" by interested parties but contacting every individual MP pointing out what a travesty this Bill is.

Quote

 

 

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12 hours ago, Reefton said:

Repeat myself why don't I?  That was an interesting comment by Henry Plumtre re why Cambridge stopped sponsoring at Te Rapa.  Maybe all is not in 100% harmony among the hoi polloi in NZ Thoroughbred racing??

 

 

Why did they stop sponsoring?  

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8 hours ago, Ashley said:

Why did they stop sponsoring?  

Apparently they were unhappy with the way the Club was being run.  He also mentioned the poor crowd there that day (3000 people according to Henry Plumtre).  Fairly poor turnout for a horse they are touting as a Champion but it explains the need for Te Akau to step up and sponsor that fillies race.

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27 minutes ago, Reefton said:

Apparently they were unhappy with the way the Club was being run.  He also mentioned the poor crowd there that day (3000 people according to Henry Plumtre).  Fairly poor turnout for a horse they are touting as a Champion but it explains the need for Te Akau to step up and sponsor that fillies race.

Just a personal passion of mine, but I do love clubs like Reefton, run by enthusiastic locals.,..rather than bigger clubs with full time staff, and then problems occur .

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56 minutes ago, Reefton said:

Apparently they were unhappy with the way the Club was being run.  He also mentioned the poor crowd there that day (3000 people according to Henry Plumtre).  Fairly poor turnout for a horse they are touting as a Champion but it explains the need for Te Akau to step up and sponsor that fillies race.

I enjoyed the racing on the day at Te Rapa but watching on Trackside, it looked like a Ghost Town. You would think that KFE and Co would know something about promotion.

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21 hours ago, nomates said:

This reminds me of nothing more than a company restructure , where they say they are restructuring and want to go thru a consultation process with staff and then once they have yawned their way thru listening to the plebs have their say , they go right ahead with what they intended to do right from the start . I have been through this process and my wife is presently going through it at the moment . Merely going through the motions , i will be stunned if they take on board anything from anybody below their lofty heights . Even if , and it's a big if in my book , they do get any cash out of sales of courses it will just be more money for them to piss up against the wall . So far the only idea they have got is synthetic tracks and getting money out of overseas bookies . What next guys . What else have you got to turn NZ racing around if /when these aren't the godsend you went all in for . NADA . The silence is deafening .  

Great analogy, unfortunately i think you're going right. 

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17 minutes ago, Bloke said:

I enjoyed the racing on the day at Te Rapa but watching on Trackside, it looked like a Ghost Town. You would think that KFE and Co would know something about promotion.

Like a few clubs in the NZ they need a complete shakeup ,for some reason Clubs performance is not for review, they are some of the worst performers in the industry .

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Now that Ken Rutherford has gone and Butch Castles is steering the ship it will  not be rudderless.The worse CEO on record,fact.

An aside issue, i listened to Michael Dore today on Trackside radio and he was asked if he had made any recommendations about the upgrade of the new betting platform,he answered that he made 3 and all 3 were ignored,just shows that a guy with years of experience on the in and outs of the TAB was given the one finger salute.

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On 19/02/2020 at 7:05 PM, Ludwig said:

Just a personal passion of mine, but I do love clubs like Reefton, run by enthusiastic locals.,..rather than bigger clubs with full time staff, and then problems occur .

We are nothing special Ludwig just a bunch of really enthusiastic Committee with a big mouth President. We are though typical of the one day clubs in that we are smashing our heads against a brick wall trying to work out how the rationale works of closing courses like ours that are attracting punters and horses, doing reasonable turnovers, at least holding our own financially and not costing the industry a cent.

Nobody has been able to adequately explain it and nobody has even tried.  All we get is 'the status quo is not an option'.  It might not be for the CJC or the other big clubs but they want to look at their own activities first not try to cannibalise those who have looked after their money and resources.

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