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Bit Of A Yarn

Auckland Cup Downgraded.


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The Melbourne and Sydney Cups will be the only 3200-metre Group 1 races in Australasia next year with the New Zealand Pattern Committee downgrading the Auckland Cup.

The Auckland Cup was one of three races downgraded upon review of New Zealand's pattern following the 2020/21 season.

The Auckland Cup will carry Group 2 status, maintain prizemoney of NZ$500,000 but return to handicap conditions rather than set weights and penalties as per recent years to attract higher quality stayers.

Last season's Auckland Cup was won by Ocean Billy ahead of Our Charles Road, Sound and Platinum Invador – the latter trio all boasting experience in Australian stakes company.

Other races downgraded were the Easter Handicap (1600m) from Group 2 to Group 3 and the Rotorua Cup (2200m) from Group 3 to Listed.

New Zealand held 150 stakes races last season with 56 races not meeting the minimum race rating expectations to retain status. Stakes races that don't achieve the minimum race rating over three consecutive seasons are eligible for downgrade.

New Zealand's Group 1 races are a point of concern, with just four of the 21 races not reaching the minimum mark, including all seven two and three-year-old Group 1s.

Consequently, first warnings otherwise known as 'Alerts' have been placed against six Group 1s including cherished age-restricted races such as New Zealand Derby, NZ 1000 Guineas, NZ 2000 Guineas, Levin Classic and Manawatu Sires' Produce.

Race ratings are gained by averaging the first four placegetters, using their peak performance during the season according to World Best Racehorse Rankings (WBRR).

The New Zealand Pattern Committee (NZPC) may also choose to consider the average rating of the four highest rated starters in the race if it considers circumstances appropriate. The NZPC believes the current ratings based assessment is disadvantaging how local two and three-year-old races are treated.

"The NZPC continues to have a degree of concern with the WBRR ratings assigned to some New Zealand two-year-old and three-year-old races," read the report of the NZPC.

"As a starting point, these ratings tend to be at the bottom end of global norms unless the horses perform well overseas in the same season. Further, many NZ horses are exported following their 3yo season and at times achieve markedly higher ratings as older horses.

"This is problematic in that the rating does not carry back through ratings of races that the horses contested in their earlier careers in NZ. Statistical evidence lends some support to this being an issue and it will continue to be pursued."

The findings in New Zealand sparks further intrigue on the health of Australia's stakes races with several high prizemoney, non-black type races such as the Everest, Golden Eagle and All-Star Mile introduced in recent years.

 
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There will be plenty of other downgrades to come over the next few seasons . 

This race in particular lost it's gloss when moved from NY day . The ARC thought they were more important than everybody else and didn't like the fact that the Auckland Cup was always considered the ideal lead up for the real 2 miler at Trentham and wanted to show that they were buddy big balls . All they managed to do was Feck up 2 great races . They have continued down this path with the Karaka Millions , shitting all over the Wgtn Carnival , and achieved nothing but stuffing up they're own NY's carnival along with the Wgtn cup meeting .

But they will keep the stake the same , fricken joke , when the industry is bleeding , we are going to keep throwing 500k at a glorified Jumpers flat .

Same with the Easter , which amazingly isn't even run at Easter .

The Derby was the one good move , helped the 3yo's and fitted in better with Aus . But as our quality is dropping so will this race's grading . Has been the one genuine G1 we have had up until the last 3/4 years .

I can see the point where we don't have any G1's left and our best races will be G3's at best , and rightly so , they should be measured by world standards , and by world standards we are well short of the quality required .

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7 hours ago, nomates said:

The Derby was the one good move , helped the 3yo's and fitted in better with Aus . But as our quality is dropping so will this race's grading . Has been the one genuine G1 we have had up until the last 3/4 years .

Hope they can Always Keep the NZ Derby as a Group 1 level ?? . surely the pinnacle for young stayers to reach. 

Occasionally the Victoria Derby has just nice progressive types , that don't win often at all. The last one (Derby last Nov) was won by an old AFL coach turned trainer , so something that all Trainers can aspire too. And still has enormous PRESTIGE.

I can really understand the demand for 3200m at Auckland Cup level falling away. There's Just not enough two mile stayers around to support the race as a Group 1. I draw it in comparison with the time-honoured Brisbane Cup.

I loved going every Queens Birthday holiday Monday for years every June to the 3200m Brisbane Cup. But as numbers dropped to compete in it , they dropped it back to Group 2 and only 2400m in 2007, and then ran it Stradbroke Day as an 'extra'. It Lost the PRESTIGE after that. very sadly.

This year the Brisbane Cup went back to the 3200m to try and grab some Prestige back,, and it flopped again. only six starters!!!. Of course the IRISH staying import that was in it, won it very easily. Many of the big players in Oz (like Llyod Williams ) have destroyed much of the local hopes of breeding/owning a MC winner. Vow and Declare sneaked in one year for the locals by chance this century , but local 2 milers like Castletown, Empire Rose, Kiwi etc,,,  just a distant memory now. 

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Think issue re staying horses unless quality is top grade then 3200m cups in NZ and Aust, bar Melbourne cup dropped. That be quality of best of Europe turning up for Melbourne Cup. Cause some them staying going in likes of Sydney Cup etc. Plus of course, a number of 2500-3200m staying races in Melbourne, which some started sending good horses for. Making NZ cup races, NZ cup, Wellington and Auckland lose quality runners. But hey, if stakes are better why would not have a go!

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The purist in me doesn't agree that Grp 1's should be handicaps anyway.

But the writing has been on the wall for so long, and breeders have to take a fair bit of the blame, chasing the faster type of stallion and eschewing the type that made NZ [ not effing Aotearoa ]  the go-to for quality middle-distance and staying horses.

I can recall watching Adrian Clark on the Ford Report, interviewing a very well known studmaster.   I would hate to be a young studmaster now, said the icon.   Those stallions we used to have, wouldn't get a look in now.  This is the sort of horse we need, now, he said - as a certain stallion was paraded for the camera, one which was confidently expected to throw a faster and earlier-maturing progeny.   

I said to myself  [ while berating myself for having the temerity to question such a well known identity ] you silly old fool, those are the horses that made our fortune and helped keep NZ at the forefront.  This bloody animal won't.   And it didn't.  But he wasn't the only stud that left our traditional base, and and tried to beat the Aussies at their own game.  

 

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I've just been looking at the nom's for the " Great Northern " meeting at Te Aroha , and i i realised there was no buzz thinking "Great Northern " time , great , and i just thought how sad it is that they have made such a fecking meal of what used to be a fantastic weekend of racing . 

We are left with this poor imitation , the ARC has a lot to answer for in stuffing up a large portion of our calendar , but by christ they have right royally made a complete shambles of their own calendar , NZ's mega club , YEAH RIGHT .

And Aucklanders wonder why the rest of the country take the piss .

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6 hours ago, nomates said:

I've just been looking at the nom's for the " Great Northern " meeting at Te Aroha , and i i realised there was no buzz thinking "Great Northern " time , great , and i just thought how sad it is that they have made such a fecking meal of what used to be a fantastic weekend of racing . 

We are left with this poor imitation , the ARC has a lot to answer for in stuffing up a large portion of our calendar , but by christ they have right royally made a complete shambles of their own calendar , NZ's mega club , YEAH RIGHT .

And Aucklanders wonder why the rest of the country take the piss .

Auckland's big thing was that they were jealous of Cup Week in Chch, so they tried to set up their own cup week in Auckland. To do so they moved many of their major races away from where they had traditionally been. The exercise has been a total disaster, but no one is prepared to admit that.

At the same time they have tried to fit the Karaka races into the schedule, which once again has destroyed their own racing schedule as well as the rest of the country's racing pattern. 

Auckland has been trying to destroy the Wgtn Cup carnival for about 40 years by taking over that last week in January, and gradually with ineffectual leadership (or lack thereof) from NZTR they have been allowed to do so. NZTR even helped them out by subsidising a sweepstake race: too stupid for words really. You couldn't make some of this up.

Of course with the Wgtn RC being the National Party of the racing industry it hasn't been all that hard to push them aside.

One lesson from all this, other than the fact that Auckland doesn't give a stuff about the rest of the country, is that tradition does have some value. Auckland doesn't care about tradition as we have seen from the Derby, the Auckland Cup, The Easter, the Great Northerns, the old Air NZ Stakes (I have no idea where that is or what it's called these days) and many of their other races.

Sadly, while Auckland continues to shoot themselves in the foot, they continue to drag the rest of the industry down with them.

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1 hour ago, Doomed said:

Of course with the Wgtn RC being the National Party of the racing industry it hasn't been all that hard to push them aside.

 

The way they have allowed themselves to pushed around to their detriment is just plain embarrassing , their current position is deserved because of their lack of fortitude .

 

1 hour ago, Doomed said:

One lesson from all this, other than the fact that Auckland doesn't give a stuff about the rest of the country, is that tradition does have some value. Auckland doesn't care about tradition as we have seen from the Derby, the Auckland Cup, The Easter, the Great Northerns, the old Air NZ Stakes (I have no idea where that is or what it's called these days) and many of their other races.

Sadly, while Auckland continues to shoot themselves in the foot, they continue to drag the rest of the industry down with them.

They don't care because no one stands up to them and as the industry shrinks they know they are positioned to be the power broker of the industry and basically call the shots to suit themselves . They will be last big man standing and will simply rule over any clubs that can survive in what ever shape that may be . 

But many of the big players left seem happy with the scenario playing out so they will have no one to blame but themselves when they're opportunities are limited .

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