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Riccarton All Weather Track - Q & A Forum 16 September 2020 - PLEASE READ.


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19 minutes ago, Pitman said:

You are right maintenance is $50 to $60 k that’s an average wage for one person that’s all

don't think your other figures and time frame are correct

It will take one full time person just to pick up the shit every day before the track can be groomed. Where the hell is the due diligence on these costings?

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Fair comment. Yesterday I was thinking to myself how I would summarize racing's ills in a sentance Run by a bunch of people who vastly over-rate their own ability, vastly over-rate their own

Thats always been my attitude.  Utter waste of time.  Very rarely if ever have I attended one nor their monthly dial in BS sessions. And as for a free beer and a sausage roll - well that is one of the

Lets think about AWT racing at Riccarton and the spectator experience Well two things - every time I go there it is invariably freezing cold with the nor-easter blowing straight into your face an

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Can they not read or research anything there?

Dundalk announce full replacement of Polytrack racing surface next year

Wed 24 Jul 2019

Dundalk Stadium's Polytrack racing surface is to be replaced over a three-month-period next year. The work is scheduled to begin in April.

As recommended by track consultants, and as an additional measure intended to add further body and elasticity to the existing surface, some 54 tonnes of extra fibre will be added to the track in time for the recommencement of this year's racing programme on September 20.

Polytrack pioneers Martin Collins Enterprises will manufacture and supply the synthetic surface and carry out the track replacement and fibre replenishment work.

Stressing that the overarching objective influencing every aspect of the project was to ensure that Dundalk Stadium retains its position as one of Europe’s premier All-weather horse-racing venues, its Chairman, Leo McCauley commented: "Our goal throughout has been to provide an artificial surface that, on completion, will be amongst the finest in the world."Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive, Horse Racing Ireland, added: “Dundalk plays a vital role in Irish Racing, staging a variety of races and staging a varied programme of Flat racing, including through the winter"Horse Racing Ireland welcomes this announcement as we have been encouraging Dundalk to undertake this work.”
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This has all been pushed thru so quickly that there is no way NZTR or the clubs involved have done a full and proper feasibility study or costings into the full ongoing maintenance and replenishment requirements for the A/W's . If they had you can be sure they would have thrown them out there to uphold their argument for them .

This is before we even talk about whether they can bring about the increases in revenue that not only support their installation but increase revenue to start improving returns to participants .

If as Mr Pitman states that they are only looking at 12 meetings a year at Riccarton to take the pressure of the grass track then they are nothing more than white elephants and taxpayers have every right to ask some serious questions about value for money .

So far there is nothing more than opinion suggesting that these tracks are the salve to start healing racings ills .

They have not provided any projections around how they expect these tracks to improve revenue , season on season , which suggests they are just hoping they do the trick . Another hit and hope .

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30 minutes ago, curious said:

Can they not read or research anything there?

Dundalk announce full replacement of Polytrack racing surface next year

Wed 24 Jul 2019

Dundalk Stadium's Polytrack racing surface is to be replaced over a three-month-period next year. The work is scheduled to begin in April.

As recommended by track consultants, and as an additional measure intended to add further body and elasticity to the existing surface, some 54 tonnes of extra fibre will be added to the track in time for the recommencement of this year's racing programme on September 20.

Polytrack pioneers Martin Collins Enterprises will manufacture and supply the synthetic surface and carry out the track replacement and fibre replenishment work.

Stressing that the overarching objective influencing every aspect of the project was to ensure that Dundalk Stadium retains its position as one of Europe’s premier All-weather horse-racing venues, its Chairman, Leo McCauley commented: "Our goal throughout has been to provide an artificial surface that, on completion, will be amongst the finest in the world."Brian Kavanagh, Chief Executive, Horse Racing Ireland, added: “Dundalk plays a vital role in Irish Racing, staging a variety of races and staging a varied programme of Flat racing, including through the winter"Horse Racing Ireland welcomes this announcement as we have been encouraging Dundalk to undertake this work.”

Francis Carroll

August 03 2019 12:00 AM


The new track surface at Dundalk Stadium will be ready in time for the popular 12 July fixture next year.

The big holiday meetings on 'The Twelfth' and 15 August were lost this summer in anticipation of work taking place on replacing the Polytrack.

That didn't happen but last week it was announced that the replacement of the artificial horse racing surface will be carried out during the months of April, May and June, 2020, at a cost in excess of €2 million.

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I reckon Tim's costing estimate is about 10% of actual. Wouldn't want to be an owner or trainer there having to pay for that. Saundry's estimates are now probably on the low side especially if materials have to be sourced from Oz or Northland as they had to be at Cambridge.

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5 minutes ago, curious said:

if materials have to be sourced from Oz or Northland as they had to be at Cambridge.

My understanding is that the poly mix is made up in Darwin according to specifications unique to each track location.  The main variable being the type and quantity of wax.

Did they really source anything from Northland?  What port did the poly come through?

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20 minutes ago, nomates said:

This has all been pushed thru so quickly that there is no way NZTR or the clubs involved have done a full and proper feasibility study or costings into the full ongoing maintenance and replenishment requirements for the A/W's . If they had you can be sure they would have thrown them out there to uphold their argument for them .

This is before we even talk about whether they can bring about the increases in revenue that not only support their installation but increase revenue to start improving returns to participants .

If as Mr Pitman states that they are only looking at 12 meetings a year at Riccarton to take the pressure of the grass track then they are nothing more than white elephants and taxpayers have every right to ask some serious questions about value for money .

So far there is nothing more than opinion suggesting that these tracks are the salve to start healing racings ills .

They have not provided any projections around how they expect these tracks to improve revenue , season on season , which suggests they are just hoping they do the trick . Another hit and hope .

And we all know where the extra money will come from to do all they can in an attempt to make them work. 

How can any sane person support this without a proper commercial analysis being completed and submitted for review? 

And we are supposed to wonder why stakes are so poor with decision making like this. 

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4 minutes ago, curious said:

I reckon Tim's costing estimate is about 10% of actual. Wouldn't want to be an owner or trainer there having to pay for that.

Well if even if initial cost of annual maintenance is correct at 50k per annum , they need to find another 50k a year to cover for the 5 year upgrade , so that's now 100k they have to find over and above their present track costs , a lot of money in a struggling industry . So are track fees going to double or owners only charged if their horse uses the A/W , lots of unanswered questions .

These are questions that they should have answers to but as usual they are all flying by the seat of their pants .

This is the kind of shit that has got the industry into the position it currently finds itself . 

Where are all the big names asking prudent financial questions ? Thinking how great it will be next winter .

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2 minutes ago, nomates said:

So are track fees going to double or owners only charged if their horse uses the A/W , lots of unanswered questions .

From what Freda has told us trainers will have no option but to use the AWT due to the training surfaces it will be replacing.  Isnt it 16m wide?

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2 minutes ago, Chief Stipe said:

From what Freda has told us trainers will have no option but to use the AWT due to the training surfaces it will be replacing.  Isnt it 16m wide?

Wow so no choice , will that cost trainers horses if track fees skyrocket or will owners just suck it up . The road just seems to be getting narrower and narrower .

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3 minutes ago, nomates said:

Wow so no choice , will that cost trainers horses if track fees skyrocket or will owners just suck it up . The road just seems to be getting narrower and narrower .

I think I read where Pakenham charge $60 a gallop on their Polytrack.

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6 minutes ago, Chief Stipe said:

I think I read where Pakenham charge $60 a gallop on their Polytrack.

Have they got other choices , do they get charged for pacework ? These are the questions that trainers and owners are entitled to now .

I know that it costs to gallop on the main track at Cambridge , but they have  other options , are they going to have them at Riccarton ? 

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2 hours ago, curious said:

It will take one full time person just to pick up the shit every day before the track can be groomed. Where the hell is the due diligence on these costings?

I see Saundry has a disciple, he'll wash his feet next, what a load of rubbish, 50 to 60k a year for maintenance .......ask Laxon what the cost was up in SING to groom and maintain the poly, the costs of running the Al Bahathri at Newmarket is three times that, and they have real heavy snow to contend with so although it might up their costs the creative accountants at NZTR are doing what they do well........telling porkies......after all, it's other peoples money isn't it, like the tax payers of NZ?

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11 hours ago, curious said:

It will take one full time person just to pick up the shit every day before the track can be groomed. Where the hell is the due diligence on these costings?

What a load of crap!!

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My co-trainer attended the presentation.     As a former UK lad, employed at both Lambourn and Newmarket at different times, and also by the Bart Cummings stable at Randwick, he has had more experience with AWT's than most around this region - apart from the engineers, that is.

He was, after initially being very sceptical at the likely quality of management protocols, a little less anxious after listening;  however, he isn't particularly au fait with funding matters, likely returns/costs, and those sort of things.

There were promises that there will still be retained tracks in the middle during construction - a matter that has worried me greatly [ and my information came from the course manager whom I would expect to have all the facts.].   So, that is one concern eased a little.

One interesting point - there will be no additional water required.  [  ?  ]     Nature's efforts are all that is needed.

I am aware that Martin Collins enterprises have a world-wide reach - but how a loose substance is to be retained in the right place in a howling nor-wester in drought conditions is intriguing, to say the least.

 

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Another question - if the AWT's are so good surely the management of Awapuni and Riccarton have already done all the sums and feasibility studies?  The only constraint to implementation has been supposedly $15m? 

Which when you consider the value of the land (82 hectares) and buildings at Riccarton the $15m should have been a snip to raise.

So what we have now is a $10m "benefit gift" from Winnie that flies in the face of all the PGF rules, no feasibility study and a rush to get it done presumably before the money disappears!  I imagine there is a time limit on drawing the $10m down.  

Unless the RMA and ECAN involvement are completely rehashed in record time I would imagine there are a few consent hurdles to jump as well.  

17 months to go Pitty.

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1 hour ago, Pitman said:

What a load of crap!!

Indeed it is but it needs to be removed before any grooming or conditioning takes place.

They are either being totally naive, haven't done their homework, or are telling porkies.

Roughly speaking if Saundry is correct, the replenishment cost alone amounts to 50-80k a year. You then have another 3.5 million full replacement cost say every 10 years. So that's another 350k a year. An employee is another 50k or so. You need to buy or lease and maintain specialised conditioning equipment. If there are 250 horses using it year round, those owners will need to cough up a couple of grand each per horse to cover the half a million in costs.

I'd have thought the trainers' ssociation would be on the case here and making sure that the CJC provides accurate costings and analysis?

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1 hour ago, Freda said:

ne interesting point - there will be no additional water required.  [  ?  ]     Nature's efforts are all that is needed.

I am aware that Martin Collins enterprises have a world-wide reach - but how a loose substance is to be retained in the right place in a howling nor-wester in drought conditions is intriguing, to say the least.

 

That's certainly what Martin Collins claim. It may be that contemporary surface mixes do not require it but it has been reported elsewhere that it is required if you don't want the kick back flying over jockey's heads. See the Pakenham situation below for example.

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Hodge: We'll fix Pakenham Polytrack issue



CEO Michael Hodge is confident Pakenham Racing Club can remedy issues with the Racing.com Park Polytrack to allay concerns of leading trainers including David Hayes, who admitted he would reconsider sending his horses there 'if there is nothing done'.

The degree of kickback was noticeably more than usual at Sunday's meeting and both Hayes and Troy Corstens called for the situation to be addressed.

"If there is nothing done to fix the track I don't think I can send my horses there," Hayes said.

"The kickback should be about the height of the rail, [on Sunday] it was meters over the jockeys' heads.

"It's hard to run horses on a surface like that and to encourage betting.

"From experience it doesn't take much to fix it, but something needs to be done."

Corstens said: "The kickback was probably the worst that I've seen it, it's clear that something is not right.

"My horses really resented it. [Dream First in Race 5] raced with her head on the side and didn't handle it at all.

"You go into the races with good chances and there are expectations from your owners, and when they perform as badly as they did yesterday you have to start asking questions.

"I love the synthetic tracks and I love racing at Pakenham and Geelong, but if there is an issue, and it might not be anyone's fault, it just needs to be addressed and see if we can fix it."

Several jockeys who rode at the meeting also commented that the kickback was the worst they had experienced and subsequently made it hard for horses to make ground in the straight, and Hodge readily admitted there was an issue.

"We put our hand up, yesterday the synthetic track did not race to the usual high standard," Hodge explained.

"The surface did not perform to our expectation and we are disappointed about that.

"The prominent issue is the lack of moisture in the Polytrack, which is a consequence of a lack of rain and we will be addressing that as soon as possible with a likely strategy being irrigation.

"The club is confident it will remedy the situation in the lead up to our next synthetic meeting on July 9th."
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1 hour ago, curious said:

"The prominent issue is the lack of moisture in the Polytrack, which is a consequence of a lack of rain and we will be addressing that as soon as possible with a likely strategy being irrigation.

That's my understanding to.  I think Martin Collins are doing a great marketing job but the day-to-day management/maintenance can't be as easy as they proclaim.

Pakenham would have a similar climate to Riccarton.  Cold relatively dry winters and hot summers.

My understanding is that you can manipulate the "firmness" and kick back by the use of water and grooming machinery.  Which makes sense when the poly-fill has a wax component which the composition of changes relative to the prevailing climate.

As we all know the weather variation in a day let alone a week can be considerable in Canterbury.

Not uncommon to get a 15 degree change in temperature in an hour!

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2 hours ago, curious said:

Indeed it is but it needs to be removed before any grooming or conditioning takes place.

They are either being totally naive, haven't done their homework, or are telling porkies.

Roughly speaking if Saundry is correct, the replenishment cost alone amounts to 50-80k a year. You then have another 3.5 million full replacement cost say every 10 years. So that's another 350k a year. An employee is another 50k or so. You need to buy or lease and maintain specialised conditioning equipment. If there are 250 horses using it year round, those owners will need to cough up a couple of grand each per horse to cover the half a million in costs.

I'd have thought the trainers' ssociation would be on the case here and making sure that the CJC provides accurate costings and analysis?

Dear Sir, may I politely refer you to your second sentence, I believe you are correct in all three suggestions, summations, in fact the last suggestion would win the prize in all fairness. They have been known to openly tell porkies and then claim ignorance, which as we all know is no excuse in the eye of the law.

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