2013 NZTR Pattern Review Submissions received    Schedule of Contents: 

 2013 NZTR Pattern Review Submissions received Schedule of Contents: Submissions: One: from Andrew Castle, Director of Racing, Auckland Racing Club 2‐7 Two: from Canterbury Jockey Club 8‐ 13 Three: from Bruce Perry 14‐15 16‐17 Five: from Darin Balcombe, RACE Group 18‐20 Four: from Roger Hills, Racing Tauranga Six: from Brent Wall & Bruce McCarrison, RACE Group & Levin RC Pages: 21‐23 Seven: from Russell Warwick 24‐32 Eight: from Roger Sugrue 33‐35 Nine: from Jen Evans, TRAC Group 36 1 1: from Andrew Castle, Auckland Racing Club The Chairman NZ Pattern Review Committee C/o NZTR PO Box 48899 Wellington Mail Centre Dear Sir On behalf of the Auckland Racing Club thank you for the opportunity to make comment in regards Pattern racing in New Zealand. We will make initial comments in relation to the points 1‐8 as outlined in the terms of reference. Point 1 Looking at the spread of Group 1 and 2 races it’s important that these are “target” races so ultimately they are the culmination of a programme of races to bring horses into these high profile events in the best possible form. Looking at the different categories of horses we would make the following observations. 2 year olds This pattern works well with the Group 1 events run 3 weeks apart and the distance rising from 1200m to 1400m from Ellerslie to Awapuni. The lead up races at Matamata 2 weeks before the Haunui Farm Diamond Stakes at Ellerslie provides an ideal step into the first of the Group 1s. The emergence of the Karaka Million in late January as a target race for eligible 2yo’s appears to fit this pattern with the opportunity for horses to be freshened up with 6 weeks between the KM and the Diamond Stakes. 3 year olds There are five 3yo Group 1 target races during the season. To run three 1600m Group 1’s in the space of 3 weeks doesn’t appear to be the best use of these races. We believe there needs to be debate as to whether Christchurch is the right place to ask 3yo’s to travel to early in their season. Obviously the 1000 and 2000 Guineas being run at Riccarton is historic and is a reflection of times when there was a much stronger South Island racing/breeding industry than is the case at present. To ask up to 75% of the participants to travel all the way to Christchurch 2 and back for these Group 1 features(8/31 or 25.8% of the runners in the 2012 1000/2000 Guineas were South Island trained) comes at significant cost. The Levin Classic appears to be not ideally placed just 2 and 3 weeks after the running of the Riccarton Guineas races. While Southern Lord showed both could be done this season in our view it would be better placed to capture a wider spread of high class 3yos in the summer as the 3yo’s start to build toward the Derby/Oaks. The pattern of racing towards the Derby/Oaks is in our opinion very good. There is a natural progression in distances for both males and females to participate in the 2400m features. WFA The HB Spring series is ideally placed for high class NZ gallopers to prepare for feature events both here and in Australia. We have seen many times in the past that the Makfi is early enough to afford those that want the opportunity to head to Melbourne every chance to be successful. The natural progression in distance form 1400m/1600m/2040m with the 3 week/2 week spacing is ideal for those horses choosing to remain in NZ. The other WFA races are spread throughout the season at varying distances and times which appear to cater to the horse population. As an observation it would appear that we continue to lose horses that might have been in the past considered horses that would underpin WFA racing. Many of our top 3yo’s are sold or exported to race off shore after successful 3yo years and therefore the numbers of horses considered WFA class by connections is dwindling. The use of SW&P conditions on some races e.g. Eagle Technology Stakes and Awapuni Gold Cup has seen races previously struggling as WFA contests drawing fields with much more depth under these new conditions. Stayers The pattern of racing through the Summer Cups caters for the stayers with the Counties/Waikato/Manawatu and City of Auckland Cups all serving as quality lead in’s to the 2400m Wellington Cup. The Avondale Cup at 2400m 18 days before the running of the Group 1 3200m Barfoot & Thompson Auckland Cup is ideally positioned to provide most Auckland Cup contenders with their final lead up. Sprinters NZ’s two Group 1 1200m sprints are run in the summer as feature races of their respective carnivals. The Sistema Railway Stakes suffered badly when the Telegraph Handicap was one of the Racing Ministers $1 million events during the 2009‐11 seasons. Faced with a likely downgrade to Group 2 status the ARC changed the conditions of the race to SW&P in the hope of attracting some of the quality gallopers that were by passing it as a handicap to run fresh up in the Telegraph. It may well be a reflection of the available horse population but attracting a field of Group 1 quality continues to be a challenge even with the 2013 featuring the 4 highest rated runners in the race as the first 4 home. I am not sure there is another time of the year where the Railway would be better 3 placed as the Darley Plate run during our March Cup Week at 1200m is some way off Group 1 quality. F&M The only Group 1 solely for F&M is the NZTBA Stakes 1600m on the first Saturday of April. It has benefitted by the repositioning of the Cuddle Stakes and the emergence of the Westbury Classic in recent years. The race is now an ideal target for the fairer sex and provides the opportunity for them to back up a week later in the Manco Easter Handicap or travel to the Sydney Autumn Carnival. Milers Both of the Group 1’s in this category being handicaps tend to lend themselves to drawing capacity fields. The Easter is well positioned as a late season target and has some clearly defined lead ups in place including the Group 1 Breeders Stakes the week before while the Thorndon Mile is 4 weeks after the running of the Group 2 Rich Hill Mile on New Year’s Day which often serves as the main form reference. Point 2 In our opinion the carnivals are well positioned throughout the calendar and we see very little benefit in repositioning them. HB Spring Carnival While not a true carnival in the sense of multiple meetings in the period of a week this combination of 3 Saturday meetings during the early spring certainly provides a focus for the industry as horses return to racing. The location is ideal in that the track is generally better than other regions and HB is well positioned to capture both Northern and Central District horses. As alluded to earlier the spacing of 3 weeks and then 2 weeks as the Group 1 races progress from 1400m/1600m and then 2040m appears ideal. If anything there has been talk that the carnival may start a week too early but to provide the option of fitting in with the WFA programme in Melbourne as Ocean Park did this season it would seem the current positioning is the right one. Christchurch Show Week There is no doubt that this week is a real carnival as it ties in with harness racing to provide a week of equine excellence. The only question we raise is the 3YO Group 1 races for the reasons set out above. The week provides 3 days of quality racing and with it coming on the back of Melbourne Cup Week it is well positioned to capitalise on the increased awareness of racing at this time of year. Auckland Christmas Boxing Day is still by far the Auckland Racing Clubs biggest day of the year. The success of the new March carnival was always going to be measured by how much of the Boxing Day crowd could be retained without the NZ Derby as the feature race. While it took a few years to bounce back the 2011 crowd (2012 was a wet day) gave every indication that the crowds had returned to pre March 4 carnival type levels. New Year’s Day is a fantastic card of black type racing while the middle day provides a lesser class of horse the opportunity to race at Ellerslie. Wellington Cup Based around Wellington Anniversary day this carnival provides a focus for racing in our capital city. While the sales moved from Trentham decades ago it still appears well placed as a summer entertainment option. Auckland March The move of the NZ Derby and Auckland Cup to form the cornerstone of a new March carnival is one that has been debated at length ever since it was first mooted. There is no doubt the NZ Derby in March provides a better build up for 3 yo’s rather than having to have them ready to run 2400m on Boxing Day. The Auckland Cup being run on the Wednesday is important to the financial success of the carnival. Running the Cup on the Wednesday provides the vast Auckland corporate market with a viable mid week entertainment option. The March carnival provides extra revenue opportunities for the ARC and enables the New Zealand industry with another opportunity to showcase thoroughbred racing. Stakeholders compete for more than $2 million in prizemoney over 3 days . This carnival initiated feature races such as Westbury Classic, McKee Family Sunline Vase and Mr Tiz Trophy. Point 3 Confining Group 1 racing to 8 venues is in our view not far away from having that right. If we agree with HB as the best place to run our early season WFA contests and that Ellerslie, Te Rapa, Awapuni, Trentham and Riccarton are other key venues worthy of Group 1 racing then it leaves just Otaki and Te Aroha as Group 1 venues needing consideration. Would the reallocation of these races to another venue provide a better result for the industry? It could be argued that better positioning in the calendar of the Levin Classic would help that race while the other 2 Group 1’s are in our opinion well positioned in the pattern. It’s an interesting argument as to the “ownership” of these Group 1 features and one which NZTR would be well advised to have clarified before looking to reallocate Group 1 races to different venues. Points 4/5 We have chosen to look at these two points together. We believe there is a clear need to look at the opportunities for 3yo’s at 1600m and less after the Ellerslie Christmas Carnival. There is a real lack of sprinting opportunities for 3 year olds throughout the season with a particular emphasis on the autumn. NZTR have a clearly stated aim of improving the participation levels of fillies and mares. It follows that this is an area in which future black type opportunities could be targeted. 5 The ARC has enjoyed success growing both the Westbury Classic and Sunline Vase to Group 3 level over the past 5 years and I am sure that there are further opportunities for mares races in particular. Listed races are regional events and as such we find it more than acceptable they are run at a wide range of venues. In fact we would see it as extremely important to the health of racing in a region like Northland that Ruakaka continue to have the opportunity to run a black type race. It is important that Group 1 and to a lesser extent Group 2 races are run at venues that provide adequate facilities (both horse and human) for races at this level. Point 6 It’s imperative that the NZ Pattern of Racing offers the opportunity for horses to compete in Australia after coming through target races, in particular Group 1’s in NZ. We have shown examples above of how the current pattern provides for this with the likes of Ocean Park coming out of the HB Spring into the WFA races of the Melbourne Spring. Christchurch Cup Week is on the back of the Melbourne Spring Carnival and with no carnival to target in Australia in early January after the Auckland Christmas carnival it is really the Auckland March Carnival that offers the best springboard into a major Australian carnival, Sydney autumn. In 2013 each of the Auckland Cup Week Group 1 winners Habibi, Sangster, Ruud Awakening and Ocean Park embarked on an international campaign after winning at Ellerslie. The Brisbane Winter Carnival has always been a popular target for NZ gallopers and the Cambridge Premier Meeting in late April provides a number of races from which NZ trained gallopers can bounce out of into a Brisbane Winter Carnival campaign. The question of providing opportunities for NZ trained horses to qualify for the Melbourne Cup is an interesting one. The VRC have again changed the qualifying rules for the 2013 Cup with the main focus on prizemoney in races that meet the first qualifying clause which is a Listed win or a Group win or placing in a race at 2300m or further. This means the first 3 home in races like the NZ Derby, NZ Oaks, NZ Cup, Wellington Cup, Auckland Cup, Waikato Cup and City of Auckland Cup all meet the first ballot clause as long as the performance is after 1 February 2012. Given that a race needs to be run for at least $1 million AUD and be within 21 days of the Melbourne Cup (with the exception of the Lexus) to be granted ballot exempt status this is not an option. We believe given the significant number of races staged in Australia (both NSW and Victoria) in the Spring as lead up races for those trying to gain a start in the Melbourne Cup we are better to concentrate on making sure the aforementioned races are run for as much money as possible to aid NZ trained horses in their pursuit of accumulating as much prizemoney as possible in races 2300m and further. Point 7 This was a process we undertook 4 years ago in regard to the Railway when it was on a 2nd warning in regards its Group 1 status. The shift to SW&P conditions have seen it rate higher in the last couple of years but it is still in jeopardy of losing the Group 1 status. As pointed out earlier in this document we are not of the belief a move to the March Carnival will help the race. The Auckland Cup is a race that long term could come under threat as it had struggled in the 4 years before the 2012 renewal that saw Shez Sinsational victorious. The follow up form of Sangster in Sydney will have helped the rating of this year’s renewal but we believe it is imperative that NZ continues to stage a Group 1 3200m handicap. This goes to the issues raised in the previous point 6 about providing clearly defined options for NZ trained horses to meet Melbourne Cup qualifying criteria. Looking at the last 5 years of ratings the 2000 Guineas hasn’t been able to meet the required threshold of 110 to meet the requirements of a Group 1 race. The win of Sacred Falls and his subsequent Doncaster win may help this but we believe it is imperative to have a Group 1 1600m target for both 3yo males and females. It is important the placement of both the 1000 and 2000 Guineas be considered with a view to making sure they have the best possible opportunity going forward to retain their Group 1 status. Point 8 One point that we would like to raise with the committee is the importance of retaining a pattern of racing through March and April that doesn’t change with Easter. It is a much better flow of dates that sees races retain their place in the calendar regardless of where Easter falls. We have the situation here where our Easter Handicap is only occasionally run on the actual Easter weekend but it is a far better option than it shifting each year and upsetting the flow of races through this period. Sydney have now embraced this concept with an established pattern of Golden Slipper/Derby/Doncaster/Cup on April Saturdays regardless of where Easter falls. Thank you for the opportunity to comment and we look forward to further dialogue with you as the process develops. A Castles Director of Racing 7 2: from Canterbury Jockey Club
The Canterbury Jockey Club (‘CJC’) wishes to make the following submissions to the Pattern Review Committee appointed by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (‘NZTR’). The Current Structure of the New Zealand Racing Carnivals 1. This issue appears to have two interpretations: 1.1. The timing of the Carnivals within the calendar year and how they relate to each other. And 1.2. The programming of races within the Carnivals at the time of year as they currently exist. Timing of Carnivals within the calendar year 2. The first point that the CJC would make is that Carnivals are about participation and attendance by ‘race goers’, ‘fans’ and ‘punters’; most importantly live oncourse but also offcourse through the various racing media streams. 2.1. As such the review must not lose sight of the fact that race day is an entertainment event. 3. The quality of fields at Carnivals is the catalyst to that attendance as the quality horses by association bring the best jockeys, trainers and owners to Carnivals. 4. Sometimes it is necessary and desirable for the ‘Circus has to come to town’, so to speak, to achieve that participation and attendance , which is critical to the health of the sport/industry 5. We often hear calls from other sports as to player preferences for the time, or day, of play but in the end games are scheduled for when the fans can participate whether that is through TV channels at a convenient hour or on a Saturday night as opposed to Saturday afternoon. 6. Racing is no different – There are times when it is advantageous for the promotion, attendance and development of the sport/industry for participants to have to travel to provide the show for people. 7. This review could easily get caught up in the purest issues and lose sight of the fact that race days must maximise the opportunity for people to participate. 8. Carnivals and the feature races (in most cases group and listed races) which make those days attractive must be provided at the times of year and on the days which the majority of people can participate. 9. This has to be provided on both a regional and national basis. 10. NZTR must recognise that it is in the business of promoting thoroughbred racing in New Zealand and has to ensure that it provides racing opportunities throughout the country which encourage people in those areas to participate. 11. A simple way of doing so is to ensure a pattern of feature racing with high stake opportunities which generate excitement and involvement. 8 12. Most other sports look to strengthen the weaker areas or to develop their sport where it is not established. 12.1. Obviously factors such as population, wealth, chance of success etc have a bearing on any strategic direction of this nature. e.g. The Australian Rugby League, for instance, has developed teams in non established areas such as Melbourne and in feeder areas such as North Queensland and Newcastle. 12.2. All Black rugby tests are taken to places such as New Plymouth, not all are held in the biggest cities. 12.3. NZTR must acknowledge that thoroughbred racing is not number one in some parts of the country and must do all it can in the first instance not to weaken it further and secondly to develop the industry in those areas. 13. There are factors over and above the pure programming of races which dictate the best time of year to conduct Carnivals, this is particularly so if it is accepted that Carnivals are about public attendance. 14. The most obvious example is the Carnivals which sit alongside Christmas and New Years Day. The Review Committee does not need to be told that this is New Zealand’s most significant holiday period when a large percentage of the population is on holiday and looking for entertainment. 15. The Racing Industry cannot change the dates of the observance of these holidays so shifting a Carnival away from these dates would be detrimental to its success. 16. Similarly the CJC New Zealand Cup Carnival sits alongside the Canterbury Anniversary holiday and is intertwined with two other key components the New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club “Cup Meeting” and the “Royal A&P Show”. As a consequence of its evolution and popularity it vies each year to provide the most heavily attended raceday in New Zealand and receives the greatest City Council support of any Club in New Zealand. Such strong support in fact that the observance of ‘Show Day’ was changed to avoid a clash with Melbourne Cup week and ensure that Christchurch holds its position as providing New Zealand’s most popular week of racing and agriculture. 17. Carnivals need to be spaced at regular intervals through‐out the season to maximise participation by all stakeholders, to prevent ‘cannibalisation’ of each other and to maximise their potential to showcase and present the sport/industry in the best light to the most people and to provide a springboard for their interest in racing. 18. These factors indicate that moving the New Zealand Cup Meeting away from its November ‘time‐
slot’ would hold no advantages. Programming of races within a Carnival 19. With regards to the programming of races within a Carnival the CJC is open to suggestion. 19.1.The CJC has previously accepted recommendations in a positive manner and made changes to the order of races on the recommendation of the previous Pattern Review Committee in 2004. New Carnival 20. The Review Committee may identify the potential for the development of new carnivals which whilst they may not be associated with holiday periods may become instrumental in strengthening existing Group and listed races, encourage the ‘Circus come to town’ concept that thereby develop attendance and participation. 21. The Canterbury Jockey Club currently conduct seven (7) Group and Listed races in the autumn months of March, April and May spread over four racemeetings held between one to three weeks apart depending on the fall of Easter. 9 22. This pattern evolved in conjunction the 2004 Review recommendation to adopt the philosophy that Easter Saturday is ignored in the dates calendar and in conjunction with the allocation of dates and Premier licences around New Zealand. This is particularly relevant to the fourth day of the carnival being a premier meeting as this was the only Saturday date available nationally to carry a premier licence. 23. The scheduling of these Group and Listed races also has to fit with the scheduling of a significant number of like races held throughout New Zealand in March and April. 24. Whilst this provides an adequate racing pattern it does not provide a true carnival with a national focus in the manner of the Grand National and New Zealand Cup Meetings. 25. The Canterbury Jockey Club submits that in any review of the carnival structure the southern region be considered for the scheduling of a two day autumn (March/April) carnival on consecutive Saturdays built around premier (or their successor) racedays. 26. This would provide a racing focus in Christchurch in the eight (8) month period from November to August and flow on from the Wingatui premier day in February. Review the venues at which existing Group 1 and 2 races are conducted 27. The CJC conducts just three (3) races designated Group 1 or Group 2: 27.1. Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas Group 1 27.2. New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas Group 1 27.3. Coupland’s Bakeries Mile Group 2 28. As stated above the quality of the races are the catalyst to the success of Carnivals. Any recommendation with respect to what races are what run at what Carnivals has to be viewed in a bigger picture that a narrow and clinical interpretation as to what might be easiest for the racing participant. To repeat above – At times it is for the betterment of the industry as a whole that ‘The Circus comes to Town”. Ownership 29. This issue also raises the ‘elephant in the room’ which is the ownership of races. 29.1. The CJC believes that it is quite clear that races are ‘owned’ by the Club which has conducted, promoted and developed them over the years, decades and century. 29.2. The CJC does not accept that NZTR has the arbitrary right to take a race off a Club. 29.3. Any decision to move a race to another venue has to be done with the negotiated agreement of the ownership club. 30. The 2004 Strategic Review of the Pattern of Racing made a recommendation that was endorsed by the NZTR Board to adopt a philosophy that Group 1 and 2 races are regarded as national targets. Not nationally owned but simply national targets. 30.1. In fact all reports, decisions and correspondence from NZTR and the Pattern (Graded Stakes) Committee to Clubs both before and since 2004 clearly takes the position that they are addressing owners of races. 31. Furthermore the July 2007 Pattern of Racing Annual Review states in its Executive Summary point 7 “The Committee recommends that NZTR confirms the principle that clubs hold ownership of Black Type races” 10 32. The CJC requests that the Review Committee takes into account the negative impact on the Sport/Industry of any recommended change in venue which will result in a degeneration of the appeal of Carnivals and ability to successfully promote Carnivals Weather and track conditions 33. It is important to make use of the best weather and track conditions when programming the two Group 1 Guineas races to ensure that the very best horses can compete on good going. 34. Canterbury provides this in November for the two Group 1 Classics the Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas and New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas. 34.1. In the combined 80 runnings of these two races only one has been run on heavy ground, four have been run on soft ground and six on easy ground. Sixty‐nine runnings have been on firm or fast going. 34.1.1. The list of previous winners, and those which filled the minor placings, clearly shows that the best three‐year‐olds do compete in Christchurch and regularly extend that form into their future racing. 34.2. An analysis of feature meetings at other Strategic venues over the same period clearly show a significantly higher propensity for rain affected going. 34.3. This factor leads to the simple conclusion that Canterbury is the correct place to hold these feature races to ensure horses compete on the best going. Travel 35. Travel is at times cited as a reason for not holding one or both of the Guineas races in Christchurch. 36. For every person who has presented this view to the CJC there have been more who have indicated that travel is both educational and beneficial to the development of the horse and its ability to compete in the future . 37. In this day and age of regular travel to Carnivals throughout Australasia, if not further afield, the ‘Travel Argument’ carries less weight than ever, in fact one can turn it around to say that it strengthens the “beneficial argument”. Coupland’s Bakeries Mile 38. The Group 2 Coupland’s Bakeries Mile (Registered name: Churchill Stakes) is a race that has been developed by the CJC in conjunction with sponsor Coupland’s Bakeries. 38.1. The race is run for a stake close to three times the minim for a Group 2 race and has been developed from a relatively non‐descript Group 3 race into a race verging on Group 1 status in only eight runnings. 38.2. It was elevated to Group 2 by the then Graded Stakes Committee in 2006 with the comment “...has established itself as a quality event on the New Zealand calendar”. 38.3. The CJC can see no reason why the venue for this race would be questioned. 11 Review the number, timing and location of pattern races in a number of specific race categories – Two‐year‐olds; Three‐year‐olds; Fillies and Mares; Weight‐for‐age and Handicap. 39. The CJC would like to make comment in respect of the timing of the Levin Turf Classic a race that is currently held within two to three weeks of the completion of the New Zealand Cup Meeting and the running of the Group 1 Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas and New Zealand Bloodstock 1000 Guineas. 40. To have all three Group 1 1600 metre races for three‐year‐olds held within three weeks of each other does not provide the best use of resources for this type of race and age group. 41. Given the development of the New Zealand Derby and New Zealand Oaks as late summer/autumn races over 2400 metres there appears to be a real opportunity to provide a Group 1 three‐year‐old race over the 1600 metre distance at that time of year. 42. An establishment of a Levin Racing Club licence in the late summer or spring to enable the running of the Levin Turf Classic at this time will in all probability strengthen the quality of all three races. 43. Fillies will be proved greater encouragement to run in both Guineas races at Riccarton Park and colts and geldings will not provided with the alternative of running at Otaki should they be looking for Group 1 benefits in the spring. 44. The Southern Regional Programming Committee has established a clear and logical path of three‐year‐old events leading into the Guineas races at the New Zealand Cup Meeting. 
New Zealand Bloodstock Canterbury Belle Stakes 1200 metres at Riccarton Park. o one week 
3yo 1200 metre race at Wingatui. o one week 
3yo 1400 metre race at Riccarton Park o two weeks 
Ray Coupland Stakes 1400 metres at Ashburton o one week 
Canterbury Stakes 1600 metres at Riccarton Park o one week 
3yo 1400 at Motukarara o one week 
Sothys New Zealand 2000 Guineas 1600 metres at Riccarton Park o one week  New Zealand 1000 Guineas 1600 metres at Riccarton Park 45. The CJC is working with a business and sponsor new to Christchurch and the Club to develop the Canterbury Stakes into a ‘real’ lead‐up race to the two Guineas races. 45.1. The intention is that the race be $70,000 this year and $100,000 the year after. 46. Further to point 38 above the CJC can see no reason why the timing or location for the Coupland’s Bakeries Mile would be questioned. 12 Consider the relationship between pattern races in New Zealand and the major carnivals in Australia. 47. The Canterbury Jockey Club acknowledges that it is important to link pattern races in New Zealand into the major carnivals in Australia but would submit that the committee not lose sight that local racing must remain attractive to local owners, punters and racing fans. The local racing scene must have races allocated to each Saturday that ensure that the appeal of New Zealand racing is not overlooked in the eyes of these key stakeholders. 48. The linking of pattern races into the main Australian carnivals reinforces that the Canterbury Jockey Club New Zealand Cup Meeting is the correct timing for the New Zealand 1000 Guineas and New Zealand 2000 Guineas. 49. The major Australian Carnival in the first half of November is the Melbourne Cup Carnival at Flemington where the Group 1 three‐year‐old races step up to the distance of 2500 metres in the VRC Oaks and Derby. Whilst there will be New Zealand trained horse that are encouraged to step out to that extreme distance in November history has shown that the majority of New Zealand three‐year‐olds continue to see 1600 metres as the ultimate spring distance. 13 3: from Bruce Perry
Submission regarding the review of New Zealand Pattern Racing 3YO Fillies: For a thoroughbred industry that has built its international reputation on breeding staying horses, I find it odd that the last blacktype race open to only 3yo fillies in the North Island is the NZ Oaks over 2400m. This is historically run mid March which is at a time when many of our 3yo's are just starting to mature. There are two blacktype options available in the South Island but these are $50,000 Listed races. The Manawatu Classic in late March is an option but this is open to all colts and geldings as well. Perhaps a northern option should be considered. The present structure seems to pressure owners and trainers into having to peak their fillies during February yet physically April would suit them better. The current pattern offers owners and trainers no real incentive to retain these fillies to race locally at a time when they should be reaching their peak. 3YO Colts & Geldings: A similar issue faces the colts and geldings ‐ in fact it is probably worse. Once again we breed a large number of slightly later maturing and staying orientated horses yet the only two blacktype 3yo races open to colts and geldings over a distance further than 1200m from the 1st of March onward are the Derby (2400m) and the Manawatu Classic (2000m). For the last five months of the season the only blacktype race for 3yo colts and geldings is the 1200m Cambridge Breeders Stakes. So what do you do with a good middle distance later developing 3yo horse ‐ options include push it early and sell, race once or twice and sell, trial and sell or go to Australia. An example is a horse I manage "Ambitious Champion". Owned in Hong Kong, the intention was to send him up there however his form suggested he may be a potential cups horse. He won a $20,000 open 3yo race (previously a $40,000 race) at Te Rapa impressively. The decision was made to give him an opportunity to get to Melbourne in the Spring as a possible Cups hope. Unfortunately there were no options available locally so we have sent him to Brisbane for the Derby with the Grand Prix as the lead up. Even though he had raced 6 times for 4 seconds and then 2 wins at his last two starts inc a open 3yo win, he will struggle to get a run in either race due to the low stake money he has won. As a result he will have no chance of qualifying for any of the Cups. He will therefore more than likely head to HK instead of racing here and Australia in the Spring. Black type handicap races: I believe too many Black type races are run as handicaps ‐ especially at the Gr1 & Gr2 level. Personally I don't believe any Gr1's should be Handicaps. Blacktype racing was implemented to allow Breeders to internationally identify superior racehorses. Why should the best horses be handicapped at this elite level? As an industry we need to encourage the best horses to race here. Lumping them with 60kgs and running them against horses of similar age with a weight of 53kgs in the better races is wrong. Seeing Champion gallopers winning Group races in a row is what excites the racing public ‐ not watching some light weight galloper with no public appeal win because of a significant weight advantage. To retain New Zealand's blacktype creditability internationally we need to ensure the best quality horses are winning our blacktype races. Blacktype races were not designed for clubs to encourage field sizes or for the TAB to encourage betting. They were set up to highlight quality gallopers. Champion gallopers create awareness and in turn get bums on seats and product growth. While others may be reluctant to run against them, that 14 is not necessarily a bad thing. Small fields of outstanding gallopers are often a far better spectacle. This years Gr1 Haunui Farm Gr1 WFA Classic at Otaki was a prime example. Qualification for Major Australasian Cups: While this may fall outside the current scope of the Pattern Review, it is becoming increasingly difficult to qualify NZ racehorses for the major Australian carnival races and we are at a distinct disadvantage compared with our European counterparts. As a result owners with such aspirations are forced to head to Australia well in advance in an effort to qualify their horses. This is affecting the depth of our own races as hit and runs are increasingly difficult as our horses struggle to make the fields. Diademe is a current example ‐ just sent over to Brisbane for a crack at decent races yet she will struggle to make a Gr3 race this Saturday in Brisbane even though she has a high rating. She hasn't won enough prizemoney yet her NZ record is: 12 starts for 4 wins at 1400m, 1600m in 2012‐
13, $112,610 ARC Westbury Classic, Gr.3, BOP RC Pace Project Management H., 2d Waikato RC Cal Isuzu S., Gr.2, 3d Te Aroha JC New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders' S., Gr.1, ARC Rich Hill Mile, Gr.2. A horse that wins two Saturday races in Sydney or Melbourne immediately gets in ahead of her when selection is based on prizemoney. l believe these issues need to be looked at as part of the review. Good performances in Australian Blacktype races by NZ based horses increase the International ratings of any races these horses have performed well in here. International Recognition of NZ Black Type Races: This is vital for a vibrant local breeding industry. Black type was instigated by the International Thoroughbred Breeders, not racing clubs wanting to market their racedays or attract sponsors. We need to encourage the best horses to race in our blacktype races and looking ahead this will become increasingly difficult due to the massive stakes increases in Australia. It is important that our blacktype races have significant levels of prize money. At the last Members Council meeting for first time the trainers representative acknowledged we need races/days with significantly higher stakes than normal (even at the expense of others) in order to encourage owners and trainers to retain their better horses in NZ. In the past they wanted higher minimum stakes for low tier races at the expense of our better races. This is not to suggest we need million dollar races but days where the minimum stakes may for example be $50,000 or better and blacktype ones significantly more. With regards to sponsorship, the most marketable races for clubs are those with blacktype. They attract better horses and increased media attention. Consequently they are the easiest to attract sponsorship for, yet in very few cases do we see that sponsorship result in blacktype races carrying stakes above the minimum level (fully funded by NZTR) for their Group or Listed status. I accept most clubs are financially hamstrung but there must be a better model resulting in an increase of stakes for blacktype races ‐ e.g. NZTR funding dollar for dollar over a certain level. Yours sincerely, Bruce Perry 15 4: from Roger Hills, Racing Tauranga NZTR REVIEW ON BLACK TYPE RACES - SUBMISSION OF RACING TAURANGA
Why Tauranga?
There have been few changes in the pattern of Racing for decades. Perhaps one of the few
significant changes has been the moving of the Auckland Carnival. Tauranga has however changed.
In the last 30 years the population of Tauranga has gone from 48,000 to the present population of
114,000, an increase of around 110%. The quality of Racing has not however moved with the
explosive population growth.
Tauranga in the last 10 years has upgraded facilities spending nearly $2,000,000 of funds to arrive at
a venue with facilities which are equal to the best in New Zealand. Apart from the upgrade, the track
was relaid with extensive drainage to offer a very good racing surface. BOP Racing Club has the
facilities to handle quality racing.
Current program
Racing Tauranga currently has two Premier days. Both of these days could well be lost.
We have three group or listed races as set out:November
Group 3 - Weight for Age - 1600 metres
Group 2 - Japan trophy - 1600 metres
Listed - Tauranga Classic three-year-old fillies and mares - 1400 - metres
How does Tauranga rate compared to other clubs?
When looking at other clubs, the lack of good quality races in Tauranga becomes obvious.
Hawkes Bay Racing Club have three Group 1 races, one Group 2 race and four Group 3 races. The
population is very similar when Napier and Hastings are combined.
Manawatu Racing Club have one Group 1, one Group 2, five Group 3 and 2 listed races. This
excludes races from other race clubs
Waikato Racing Club have two Group 1, five Group 2, two Group 3 and three listed races for a
population which is slightly larger.
Rotorua has one group 3 and three listed races for a club that has a smaller betting population.
Levin has one Group 1 and two listed races.
Tauranga Performance
When looking at our race days, our turnovers have not been exceptional. It is the opinion of our
board that there are however reasons for this. The timing of races is vitally important, every bit as
16 much as the programming of races on the day. It is essential that clubs provide opportunities for all
horses in the various grades of different distances at regular intervals.
Our November meeting is on the third day of the Canterbury Carnival. We run a Group 3 Weight for
Age 1600 metre race three days after the Couplands 1600 metres. A look at the fields will show that
we had a better quality of horse racing in spite of a considerably reduced stake. The last race was
won by Zennista from Veyron with Muffasa in the race. The field was however very small and as you
will be aware, the larger the field the better the betting.
Our March meeting comes two weeks after the large Ellerslie Carnival. Betting overall was down with
only 85 starters racing on the day. This meeting has obviously been affected by the movement of the
Ellerslie Carnival and programming issues.
Our June meeting runs the Kiwifruit Cup. Generally betting has been reasonable but it was down last
year when we moved our Punter of the Year contest. It has been reinstated for the current year.
Once again, betting on winter racing throughout New Zealand appears to deteriorate and as a winter
meeting, the betting on this day is similar or superior to the likes of the Te Rapa and Ellerslie winter
It is a challenge for NZTR to retain good horses to race in New Zealand over the winter period.
Instead of downgrading races over the winter period perhaps we should be looking at a Winter Series
involving the Rotorua Cup, the Cornwall at Ellerslie, the Kiwifriut Cup at Tauranga and the
Parliamentary at Wellington.
Overall, our performance has only been average on those days programmed for Racing Tauranga
and in our opinion, much of this has been as a result of programming.
Good betting requires good quality fields. The higher the stakes, the better quality of racing we have
and this reflects considerably higher betting. At present our larger punters spend more on Australia
Racing than they do on New Zealand Racing which in our opinion is largely result of quality horses.
To that extent, for Tauranga the stakes for our three major days were $202,500, $300,000 and
$260,000 respectively. This is considerably less than major race days for other clubs.
Racing Tauranga would like to develop good quality races. The board is committed to developing a
race which we would hope we could take on to reach Group status. The difficulty we have is finding
such a race in the current program.
We would ask the Review Committee to consider the following.
1. Tauranga is a growing city and the amount of quality racing has not been commensurate with
the growth of the city.
2. When looking at other clubs and areas of a similar size Tauranga largely misses out on
quality races at the top end.
3. The race days Tauranga have either coincided with a major Carnival, or are shortly after a
major Carnival when the horse numbers are down, or in the middle of winter.
4. The board of Racing Tauranga would like to lift the standard of racing in Tauranga which is
best done by developing a Group Race.
5. Is there an area of Racing where there is a gap that Tauranga can fill?
Roger Hills (Pres)
17 5: from RACE GROUP – Wellington RC NZ Pattern Review Submission As a sport the Domestic Racing Market will only thrive if we can get prospective owners interested in Horse Racing and have a Healthy and sustainable Club Structure. The Backbone of any Pattern Review should be the current Racing Carnivals as these are the largest attendance days in racing, and a good percentage of these people first time race goers. Any Pattern Review needs to take into account when we can achieve attendance at the races as to be a relevant and healthy sport we need the domestic product to be strong. One of the Key Objectives of the NZTR Business Plan is “Promoting the Sport of Thoroughbred Racing”. If we conduct a Pattern Review in isolation without taking into account the Carnivals as a base point we believe that we could find ourselves isolated from the general public and hasten the current annual slide for the industry regardless of how strong the Racing Product maybe. The Carnivals are the lifeblood of the industry with this season the big three thoroughbred attendance days Boxing Day at Ellerslie, NZ Cup at Riccarton and Wellington Cup Day at Trentham having 49,000 attendee’s, this accounts for 27% of the total attendance for the 46 Premier Racedays showing the extreme importance of their success to the industry. NZ only currently have 1 other thoroughbred raceday that attracts over 10,000 people, these dates should definitely not be tampered with during any Pattern Review unless the review is to strengthen the Race Card on those days to enhance turnovers, the 5‐10,000 people days we need to be aiming to build above that 10,000 person mark. To do this we need quality on those days, both in Racing and the event surrounding the day. The pattern needs to take into account building days that attract a strong domestic attendance, in conjunction with the racing pattern. It is quite clear that on these large attendance Racedays a median of 15% of these race goers are having their first experience of a Racemeeting. They need to come the first time to become regular Race Patrons, future owners and participants. If we take this as a sample over the three days of the Wellington Cup Carnival we are exposing over 4,000 people to the Live Racing Product for the first time which is invaluable in growing the Racing Enthusiast Base which has been in Steady Decline both given the increasing average age of Racing Participants and through the greater prevalence of competing events. A very high percentage of Race Attendee’s have attended the events before which in the current year sat around 92% of all people surveyed, which promotes the fact that the Carnivals do work and most importantly participants are returning, the key then is to turn the once a Year Racegoer into a regular participant. Therein lies the challenge and revitalizing the Racecourse Infrastructure will go a long way to achieving this objective. 18 Over the past three years of the Wellington Cup Carnival the IER surveys have shown the following demographic when it comes to first time and Repeat Attendance. Q. Is this the first time you have attended a Raceday. (Answer – Yes) Year Telegraph Day Family Day Wellington Cup Day 2011 13% 15% 13% 2012 11% 18% 22% 2013 11% 15% 15% Q. Is this the first time you have attended this event. (Answer‐ No) Year Telegraph Day Family Day Wellington Cup Day 2011 61% 70% 61% 2012 59% 58% 76% 2013 92% 92% 91% The last Economic Impact Report compiled for the Wellington Cup Carnival noted that the economic benefit to the region is more than $8.6 million in gross regional product. More than 42% of the Non‐
Local visitors to the Cup carnival indicated that this was the primary reason they had come to Wellington. The Wellington Cup Carnival is one of the best known Carnivals in New Zealand. It blends itself with exciting Group One Racing along with huge public support while positioning itself an important component in New Zealand racing. As the Capital of New Zealand it draws on big crowds over the three days and caters for all age groups with Family Day very popular on the Anniversary Monday being a key component to the overall success of the Carnival. In recent times the Wellington Cup Carnival has faced extra pressure from the Karaka Millions night being the day after the Wellington Cup. While appreciative of this promotion of NZ Racing to the wider worldwide audience in Auckland for the Sales, we would not like to see any further strengthening on this day as we believe the right balance currently exists. From a Racing viewpoint the carnival is an iatrical part of the fabric of NZ Racing. The First Day of the Carnival really is one of NZ’s best racing days with 5 Black Type Races (G1, G2, 2 x G3, Listed) with the focal point being the Telegraph Handicap (1200m Hcp) which continues to be New Zealand best performing sprint race, rating 107.5 last year and often sees it winners go on to compete with success in Sydney and Melbourne in the Autumn. We would also ask for consideration to move the Group One Levin Classic (3YO 1600m) to this day. The Levin Racing Club and RACE are united in this view and have recently applied for this change. The recommendations of the “Pattern of Racing Annual Review – August 2009” state “The committee recognizes the timing of the Levin Classic is less than ideal. While this race may benefit from the swap of the 1000 and 2000 guinea’s it may in fact be better situated later in the season, such as in late January.” The race has continued to struggle in its current late November date and a swap with the Wellington Stakes currently run on Telegraph Day is proposed, recent winners of this race in its current position, are stars like Jimmy Choux and Ocean Park. If the change was to occur this would result in two powerful Group Ones on the opening day of the carnival. Whilst the Levin Classic has strengthened since the 2000 Guinea’s $1m stake has reverted back, rating 109 last season, it is felt that a switch will be beneficial to the race which is currently under 2nd warning and further enhance its value as part of the Wellington Cup Carnival and in doing that continue to build the first day of the Carnival into a “Super Saturday” for the racing purist. 19 The 2nd day of the Carnival held on Wellington Anniversary Monday was severely hamstrung this year with a reduction in the Days licence from Feature level and a return of the Feature licence would see this day a very strong performer. Anniversary Day at the races is a Family Tradition similar to Boxing Day at Awapuni and this year the first day in three with good weather saw a very large crowd but due to the downgrade, very poor fields. With a return to a Feature licence the day will once again be a very strong performer turnover wise on what is a very important promotional day for the industry. Wellington Cup Day continues to produce some of New Zealand’s best racing. While the Wellington Cup has recently lost its Group One status its attraction to the public has not wavered. The distance reduction has seen a significant improvement in the quality of the field. We note that the Cup this year met the required APR conditions, rating 108.5 (with the 5 point buffer in operation) this is a significant improvement from 2007/08 when run at 3200m when the Cup rated 99.8. The current placement allows for the Wellington Cup to be a very good lead up to the Group One Auckland Cup, this being a very similar scenario to the Caulfield Cup leading to the Melbourne Cup. The Group 1 Thorndon Mile is run Cup Day and boasts a rich history of being taken out by some of New Zealand’s top milers. Wellington Cup Day is a rite of passage for the young people of the City, and this for many is their first taste of racing, we need to further grow these sort of traditions as days of this magnitude are few and far between in our industry, there are only 3 out of over 300 days, they need to be the base of any review. For the RACE Group Wellington Cup Carnival is over 22% of our total $2.175m racing income for the season, making it essential to the sustainability of our current business model. For the past two seasons the Cup Carnival has returned a profit of just under $500,000 and we feel that there is significant growth to be achieved here, this figure does not take into account the significant Catering and Bar Income that is also derived from the event which gives a total profit for the Carnival of around $600,000. The current placing of the Carnival also works well with other significant events in the region the Wings over Wairarapa and Wellington 7’s, and it is essential that it continues to coincide with Anniversary Monday. In conclusion as discussed earlier the Carnivals are the Lifeblood of the Industry and really do underpin a clubs financial survival they need to be used as the base for any Pattern Review as the industry cannot afford to lose the public support that these Carnivals generate. We need to move away from a Product based (Internal) focus to a more customer led (External) focus so the industry can get back into growth. There are only four Thoroughbred Racedays in NZ per season that generate an attendance of over 10,000 we need to look to build more of these but we can start by not putting at risk the Carnivals and Major Racedays that are currently already at this level, the key is enhancing the next level down to further build the base of the industry and grow the current 6% of the population that currently are interested in NZ Racing. Darin Balcombe Brent Wall General Manager Group Racing Manager 20 6: from RACE GROUP/LEVIN RACING CLUB Pattern Review Committee c/‐ NZTR PO Box 38 386 Wellington Mail Centre 5045 RE: LEVIN CLASSIC and WELLINGTON STAKES SWAP I write the following submission on behalf of both the Levin Racing Club and RACE Group of Clubs who administer the Wellington Racing Club. As you are aware the Levin Classic is a Group One three year old race that has been staged at the end of November since its inception in 1981. The race has been very successful in its time slot over the years but has seen a steep decline in its recent performances to where it now has its second warning maintained. This appears to have been due to two reasons. The first of those was a $1M Two Thousand Guineas being run at Riccarton at the start of November from 2008‐2010. This saw many trainers make this there main early target with there three year olds and they were reluctant to back up three weeks later. The second and main reason was the moving of the Auckland Cup Carnival from December to March in 2006. This saw the movement of the NZ Derby and general reshaping of the timeline of 3YO black type races in New Zealand. This has lengthened the 3 year olds season and made trainers reluctant to go to Riccarton to compete in a Group One and return to line up in the Levin Classic less than two/three weeks later. For the upcoming season the following pattern exists: Saturday Nov 9th Group 1 Two Thousand Guineas 1600m Saturday Nov 16th Group 1 One Thousand Guineas 1600m Fillies Group 1 Levin Classic 1600m Friday Nov 29th Saturday Dec 14th Group 3 Eulogy Stakes 1600m Fillies Thursday Dec 26th Group 2 Eight Carat Stakes 1600m Fillies Thursday Dec 26th Group 3 Great Northern Guineas 1600m Therefore in New Zealand, three Group One opportunities will be run in the space of twenty days (Nov 9th – Nov 29th), between the North and South Island. It has become evident in the last five years that trainers are reluctant to compete in both. The NZ Pattern review of August 2009 recognised in its summary of findings & recommendations that “ the Committee recognizes the timing of the Levin Classic is less than ideal. While this race may benefit from the swap of the 1000 and 2000 Guineas dates, it may in fact be better situated later in the season, such as in late January”. The statistics show in the last five years fifteen horses have competed in either the One or Two Thousand Guineas and then the Levin Classic from a total of 211 horses (7.1%). It appears trainers are now only willing to attempt the one Group One race in the November (or back up at Riccarton) with a view to making sure there horses get through to March for the Derby/Oaks. 21 G1 One Thousand G1 Two Thousand G1 Levin Classic 2012 Soriano Southern Lord Soriano Southern Lord Field Size 18 13 15 2011 Shangai Bund Shangai Bund Field Size 14 11 16 2010 We Can Say It Now Jimmy Choux Jimmy Choux Hammer Down Hammer Down Cellarmaster Cellarmaster We Can Say It Now Field Size 14 17 15 2009 Eileen Dubh Eileen Dubh Comme Tu Veux Comme Tu Veux St Germaine St Germaine Field Size 18 15 15 2008 Daffodil Altered Image Altered Image Izonit Izonit Minstrel Court Mistrel Court Daffodil Field Size 16 14 15 Total Starters (5 Years) 80 70 76 The RACE Group Of Clubs have held talks with the Levin RC over the future of the Levin Classic. It has become apparent that its current position will see the race lose its Group One status which is not desirable to the Club or the Central Districts region as this is only one of two Group One 3YO races run in the region. A race which has shown considerable depth in recent years has been the Group Three Wellington Stakes held on the first day of the Wellington Cup Carnival. Recent results show that some of New Zealand best three year olds have competed in the race: 2013 Wesimuller (1st), Lucky Country (2nd), Sam Mesi (3rd) 2012 Ocean Park (1st), Nashville (2nd), Burgundy (3rd) 2011 Jimmy Choux (1st), Jetset Lad (2nd), He’s Remarkable (3rd) st
2010 Joey Massino (1 ), Handsome Zulu (2 ), November Rain (2rd) 2009 Shanzero (1st), Six Star (2nd), The Meista (3rd) 2008 Alamosa (1st), Mission Critical (2nd), Bruxaar (3rd) A look at the ratings on each race shows that in only one of the five years from 2007 to 2012 has the Group One Levin Classic out rated the Group Three Wellington Stakes, which given the dramatic stake differential does show the popularity of the Wellington Stakes in January 22 Wellington Stakes 11/12 104.8 10/11 107 09/10 104 08/09 102.75 07/08 104 Levin Classic 109 107 102 101.8 99 Therefore we wish to put forward the following proposal. We believe the Wellington Stakes a Group Three 1600m three year race held on the first day of the Wellington Cup Carnival should be transferred to the Levin Racing Club day on November 29th2013 and held at Otaki Racecourse. We believe the Levin Classic should be transferred to the Wellington Racing Club on January 18th 2014 and run at Trentham. This would result have the resultant flow in 3YO races in the Spring/Summer: Saturday Nov 9th Group 1 Two Thousand Guineas 1600m Saturday Nov 16th Group 1 One Thousand Guineas 1600m Fillies Friday Nov 29th Group 3 Wellington Stakes 1600m Group 3 Eulogy Stakes 1600m Fillies Saturday Dec 14th Thursday Dec 26th Group 2 Eight Carat Stakes 1600m Fillies Thursday Dec 26th Group 3 Great Northern Guineas 1600m Wednesday Jan 1st G2 Royal Stakes 2000m Fillies Wednesday Jan 1st G2 Championship Stakes 2000m Group 1 Levin Classic 1600m Saturday Jan 18th Saturday Jan 25th G3 Desert Gold Stakes 1600m Fillies Sunday Jan 26th RL Karaka 3YO 1600m Saturday Feb 1st G2 Waikato Guineas 2000m Saturday Feb 8th G2 Sir Tristram Classic 2000m Fillies Saturday Feb 22nd G2 Avondale Guineas 2100m st
Saturday Mar 1 Group 1 NZ Derby 2400m Both the Wellington RC and Levin RC have held talks over such a shift and have drawn up a memorandum of understanding to make this shift a ‘win’ for both Clubs. The change in dates will address the findings of the 2009 Pattern Review Report and hopefully strengthen a flagging Group One. It will still provide a black type opportunity for three year olds at the end of November and be a path to Group Ones held later in the season. For the Central Region it will maintain one of the ten Group Ones held in the area which is of vital importance to those stakeholders in the lower half of the North Island. We therefore feel this move will help the pattern of racing in New Zealand as well as strengthening a Group One in New Zealand. If possible the Clubs would be keen for the shift to take place for the upcoming 2013/14 season. We have made this submission also to the New Zealand Pattern Review Committee. We look forward to your response. Yours Sincerely Brent Wall RACING MANAGER ‐ RACE Bruce McCarrison PRESIDENT – LEVIN RC 23 7: from Russell Warwick PATTERN REVIEW SUBMISSION
By Russell Warwick
I applaud the decision by New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing to instigate a complete review of the
existing racing pattern and I would like to provide the following submission for your consideration
during the process. This opinion is gathered from my experience as a stud master, racing club
administrator, sponsor, and member of the NZ Pattern Review Committee, in addition I have held
both a New Zealand Trainer’s license and an Amateur Rider’s license – but most importantly I am a
person with passion and great enthusiasm for our industry, and one who has been employed in the
industry for more than thirty-five years.
My appreciation of the racing industry stems back to the late sixties and early seventies, with the likes
of household names such as Game, Sailing Home, La Mer, Showgate, Grey Way, Balmerino and
company - through to “superstars” such as Kiwi, Rough Habit, Horlicks, Bonecrusher, Sunline,
Mufhasa, Ocean Park, and the likes of It’s A Dundeel which have graced our tracks in more recent
times and many a good horse in between.
New Zealand is a country renowned internationally for a number of its primary industries (of which
the Dairy, Wine, and Tourism Industries are at the forefront) with each of these businesses providing
the government with a high level of revenue from export earnings in addition to the large scale of
employment each offers to everyday New Zealanders. The success of these industries internationally
has been established as a result of developing strong relationships with government, using sound
business principles based around well thought out strategies, and a clear vision for the future. These
industries have applied creative marketing plans to align with their strategies enabling them to take
their product to a broader base of customer.
The restructuring of the Dairy and Wine industries in recent years has seen the reputation of these
businesses flourish beyond belief, and they are now recognized as world leaders in their respective
fields. There are some very close synergies between the basic issues of these industries and the Racing
Industry – particularly the rationalization which has occurred within the Dairy Industry.
24 There is a clear message from stakeholders that the New Zealand Racing Industry is in desperate need
of a new direction, and to enable this change to be effected, it is imperative we develop a strong
working relationship with government. For the industry to gain the confidence and support of the
government, we need to be businesslike with our vision, and adopt a similar approach to that
employed by the Dairy and Wine industries - developing a business/strategic plan for the future that
considers a complete overhaul of the racing business and has the ability to steer us into the next
twenty years with some newborn enthusiasm and confidence creating growth and investment within
the industry.
While we don’t have a ‘crystal ball’ to guide us through every turn, the opportunity exists to develop a
‘skeleton’ which will enable those who come behind us to add to as time goes on, without
‘reinventing the wheel’ and in preference to wasting further industry funds by returning to the
beginning. New Zealand Racing needs to have a long term target and use short term strategies
(designed to align with the long term target) to take us in the right direction; stakeholders need to have
confidence in the direction in which we are heading if they are to continue to invest in the future of
the industry.
To gain the financial support of the government it is essential we develop an innovative (and quite
likely a radical) approach to restructuring the Racing Industry. I believe the pattern of our black type
racing is just one piece of the puzzle in developing an acceptable strategic plan for the future of New
Zealand racing, the strategy needs to include the topics of venues, funding, and marketing as the
remaining pieces of the puzzle.
The Pattern
While there have been some moderate changes to the black type pattern over the past twenty-five
years, the industry has failed to take an approach towards a total restructure of New Zealand racing to
bring our pattern in line with the modern era. The industry has failed to address the challenges which
have evolved in the business in recent years making the need for change imperative if we are to arrest
the state of the industry. A number of reports and reviews have been instigated by our governing
bodies over a long period of time but they have either been ‘shelved’ or struggled to have any impact
in arresting the decline of the industry.
to promote New Zealand racing to the rest of the world, not only bringing new investment to
New Zealand, but working towards creating a demand for and further enhancing the New
25 Ibelievethereisoneopportunity duringtheyear whichexistsforNewZealandtohostand
entice international competition to our shores – this is around our National Yearling Sales at
If we could create an effective carnival around the sales it would open up an opportunity to
access support from organisations such as New Zealand Tourism and Auckland City Council.
The current is inadequate and could be used far more effectively to showcase New Zealand
Under the existing schedule, it is difficult to retain purchasers/visitors here for any length of
time with a raceday made up of predominantly lower class events, as its opener, and the
of the industry and restore a formula which was lost when the National Yearling Sales were
It seems quite amazing that the industry leaders have not recognized in 25 years that a
in Australasia. The Trentham sales and racing carnival were always a highlight for
to vendors and purchasers alike, and now sees New Zealand recognized as having one of the
make an ‘event’ around this event the sales , at the one time we have the attention of the
Common sense would suggest a two‐day carnival book‐ending the first 4‐5 days of the sales,
around the New Zealand Yearling Sales. This carnival would need to have a selection of black
26 typeracesoneachdaywithprizemoneyofferedatahealthylevel,attractingnotonlythebest
New Zealand based horses, but also appealing to the connections of some well performed
enticedtobringtheirhorsesandownerstothecarnival inadditiontotheirownpresence in
New Zealand for the yearling sales, which would be a win/win for both our racing and our
The four carnivals which sit outside the National Carnival carry the prestige of our domestic
view this is due to the separation of the sales away from the carnival – formerly a three‐day
27 Oneview intherevisedpatternchanges wouldbetoreduceWellingtontoaone‐dayeventin
January for the future, conducting races which would be valuable lead ups to the proposed
Arevitalizedtwo orthree dayMarchcarnivalwouldenabletheopportunityforWellingtonto
can capitalize on an improved pattern from the National Carnival. A well thought out carnival
would provide strategic lead up races for horses competing in the latter part of the Sydney
New Zealand horses to compete in Australian feature races. The introduction of International
Ratings as the barometer to our black type system for the future and holding the viability of
ourbreedingindustryinitshands makesitimperativethatourhorseshavetheopportunityto
of the New Zealand horses and substantiate their ratings against internationally recognized
programs of New Zealand horses and their connections to ensure that there are pathways in
of venues in the country, and the reality is that we cannot hope to make any substantial
improvement to the business if we cannot develop and progress a venue strategy which
going to reach the “end goal” or the desired target we have in mind, these influences cannot
hinderthevisionorstepswhichyourcommittee andfuturecommittees comeupwithtosee
28 As it has been with the Dairy and Wine industries, there have been winners and losers in the
process of restructuring as progress unfolds. To achieve the success our racing/breeding
It can be safely assured that the government will not align themselves with a half‐hearted
approach to restructuring the industry. Without their buy‐in we cannot hope to succeed in
I believe a venue strategy must explore and understand what the requirements are for the
it is paramount we have a greater understanding towards the utilization of venues for non‐
racing industry within New Zealand, while others have a role to play in the communities, and
Should the number of venues be reduced according to the recommendation of the pattern
view to developing some consistency at our feature tracks and ensuring the racing product is
29 The success of the future –and getting the government involved – comes down to one word
for the future, with a need to understand how we can entice stakeholders sponsors, owners,
trainers,breeders,andindustrysuppliers tocontinuetoinvestinthefuturewithsomesurety
Stagethree ofthestrategicplanwouldbethedevelopmentofafundingpolicywhichinspires
new investment and attracts the better performers towards the best races and venues. The
investors owners,sponsors,labour,etc tothebusiness.
–afactorwhichcurrentlyseesalargenumberofourskilledlabour andgiftedhorsepeople movetooverseasjurisdictionstoattaingreaterrewards.
It is important that an improved funding policy sits beside the revised pattern and the
accompanying venue strategy as discussed earlier – but unless they are all activated
simultaneously and according to the strategic plan the effect will be minimal. Implementing
30 MarketingPlan
developing a buy‐in from existing and new stakeholders towards the new vision for New
At the moment we have different factions within the industry looking to promote and market
to both our domestic market, as well as the very important overseas markets. To gain the
pattern/venue/funding , as it will prove to be a poor use of valuable marketing dollars on a
Insummary,thePatternReviewisacriticalprocessinthesurvival andfuturegrowth ofNew
venue strategy, a modernized and businesslike funding policy and accompanied by a prudent
marketing plan to promote the New Zealand industry both our domestic and international
thoroughbreds, but we can become the mecca of educating young people looking to establish
apprentices and other horse‐related staff coming to New Zealand to further their experience
We have an opportunity to develop apprentice academies and school/practical operations
31 TheNewZealandhorseman/horsewomanarehighlythoughtofinternationally,andonceagain
we have an opportunity to create a tertiary education program for the industry which we are
the merits of the bloodstock industry and the potential which exists in so many areas
entertainment, wagering, marketing, administration, training, riding, breeding, owning, turf
management etc . A renewed structure in racing/breeding could open up a number of
opportunities for the New Zealand Tourism business with events and carnivals strategically
TheoutcomeofthePatternReview andthedirectionourgoverning bodiestakeusfromhere
will play a vital part in the restructure of our racing/breeding industry, while any further
decline will cast a bleak outlook for the health or future viability of the industry. We are in
has occurred in the past. To believe we can tinker with a small piece of the business the
pattern andallwillbefixed‐isnaivetyatitsbest!
Going forward it is absolutely critical that the industry is made aware of the strategic plan,
needed and to attract new investors to the business. To date, there has been no vision or
task and wishing you every success with addressing the challenges ahead as you make
32 8: from Roger Sugrue, Palmerston North Submission to the Pattern Review Committee
from Roger Sugrue, R D 10, Palmerston North
The Spring 3yo’s Classics programme is a joke
There is no pattern to the Pattern
The beginning of a new season brings with it, anticipation , ambition and aspiration
and yet connections have to navigate both a poorly programmed hotch potch Pattern
of Black Type Races and the inevitable wet spring tracks – making the job mission
impossible and on many occasions we see 3yo’s not at their peak for the 1000/2000
There are a number of Black Type races in the Spring (which are feature races for
an individual Club to build an attractive raceday programme around ) but have no
logic in the athletic development and progress of the prospective Classic Horse
itself !
Wanganui Guineas and Fillies Listed – 8 September – is way too early – a 3 yo
needing a run to prepare for this will have to race in August
( mid winter !! )
And why is the Guineas run at 1340m – when 1200m at this stage of the year is far
Colts / Geldings Hawkes Bay Guineas @ 1400 – 22 September – way too early
especially at 1400 metres – most 3 yos are only trialling at this stage !!
So after the HB Guineas there is a 5 week gap till the Guineas at Trentham – how
the hell does a trainer hold that horse at that level with a 5 week break !! - and then
ask it to run 1500 metres
Fillies Black type races – From Wanganui 8 September ( 1200 m), Hawkes Bay on
22 September (1200m) then a 7 week gap from Hawkes Bay till the 1000 Guineas
(1600m) - ridiculous
Yes, I haven’t considered the North but the creation of the Bonecrusher Stakes (
relatively recently ) and the recent upgrading of the Labour Day Sarten at Waikato
are attempts to provide lead ups to the 1000/2000
They are one – off attempts by Clubs to create something or fill a hole.
Sitting above the Clubs should be a Pattern Committee which oversees ‘the
Pattern” and therefore racedates
And the ‘Pattern Committee” surely would ensure there are
a) Grandfinals – being the 1000/2000 Guineas in the Spring (and the Derby /
Oaks in the autumn)
33 b) Semi finals – being the Labour Weekend - Sarten @ Waikato , Guineas, 1400
m, at Trentham and introducing a brand new race ( perhaps listed) fillies race, 1400
metres, at Trentham
c) Quarter finals – being separate races for fillies and colts/geldings on the last
day at Hawkes Bay ( both 1300 metres)
And they should be run at 2 or 3 week intervals – for obvious reasons What you do with Wanganui I’m not sure – (just like I’m not sure what you do with
the Levin Classic)
An obvious suggestion would be to have the Wanganui listed races (run at 1200
metres) 3 weeks before the final Hawkes Bay Day ( presently 4 weeks beforehand)
– but then you get into Dates shuffling and that is a can of worms !
OR it can stay where it is and it becomes an intermediary between the 30 July Ryder
@ Otaki and the HB Guineas
OR do you delete it altogether and transfer this to another “ pattern”
I think the important thing to do is to construct the Pattern first
2 yo’s - - 2 Pools of horses
To my mind there are 2 pools of 2 yo’s
Those that run early and peak at the Sires Produce
Those that run later contesting black type races at Ellerslie (2), Riccarton
and Foxton
The latter pool should be able to have a spell and still get to the 1000/2000
Guineas – presently they can’t ( or it’s very difficult) because the Wanganui /
Hawkes Bay races come round too quickly. Push those Races back a few weeks
and they can probably get there.
So by having 1300 metre races on the last day of the Hawkes Bay Carnival this is
one month later than Wanganui is presently – this would enable the majority of the
3yo pool to be prepared for these races rather than the minority which applies at
Just a thought - why not bring the 3 day Hawkes Bay Carnival back a week – that
means there are fortnightly intervals between 2nd day @ Hawkes Bay, last day @
Hawkes Bay . Labour Weekend Trentham/Te Rapa , then Riccarton
3 yo ‘Sprinters’
So if these dates and distances were to be adopted then it would present an
opportunity for those 3 yo ‘Sprinters”
At the moment if you have a 3 yo sprinter and you aren’t up and running at the
beginning of September then your season is virtually over before the season begins
34 What do you do with a 3 yo sprinter from October onwards ? – there is the odd
blacktype race here and there at Carnivals – but no pathway culminating in a
Most in the North Island are looking on very enviously at the South Island where
there is an after Xmas pattern of 3 races ( and if you are a filly – 5 races)
It’s quite simple isn’t it – replicate the South Island “Pattern” in the North Island –
after Xmas
It’s not hard – there is a 3yo sprint at the Auckland Cup carnival, and the Cambridge
Breeders Stakes in late April – simply fill in another 2 or 3 races at strategic times
and you will have an excellent Series of competitive and meaningful races
Best of luck – change in the Racing Industry is hard work !
35 9: from TRAC RACING TRAC Inc, PO Box 3076, TAURANGA 3142 David Jewell Racing and Operations Manager NZTR PO Box 38‐386 WELLINGTON MAIL CENTRE Dear David Re: Pattern Review TRAC has some concern for the opportunities for open class horses from the months April to August. In recent times we have seen winter handicaps like Cornwall Handicap and Kiwifruit Cup lose their listed status and as a result stake levels have been reduced. Downgrading further races during this period will see stake money reduced and less opportunities in New Zealand for owners and trainers. As a consequence trainers will be more inclined to take their horses to race in Queensland during the winter period. As a suggestion to retain these horses and create a pattern of racing to provide regular opportunities we suggest that a Winter Series needs to be established with support funding for these races even though they do not have listed status, similar to what has been provided to support the continuation of jumps racing. A suggestion would be that the following races are included in a Winter Series: Hawkes Bay Cup, followed by the Rotorua Cup, Cornwall Handicap, Kiwifruit Cup and Parliamentary Handicap. If you require any further discussion, please do not hesitate to phone either myself or Dave Taylor on 0274 930 653. Yours sincerely Jen Evans General Manager TRAC 36