Bernard's Blog - 8 November

Bernard Saundry
8 November 2019

There has been plenty of good news in the past week when it comes to numbers.  The digital reach of our LOVERACING.NZ brand continues to grow, with our October figures extremely impressive when compared with the previous year.

Our total number of individual users was up 13.38% to 75,785, while our Facebook reach surpassed 400,000, up almost 50% on last year.

Interestingly, the top two Facebook posts centred around our female jockeys, with the 16 October post Ride Like a Kiwi Girl number one, followed by The girls dominate at Tauherenikau. Both positive stories highlighting the achievements of our women jockeys.

We have also had a big week in wagering – especially on the thoroughbred domestic front.  For the week ending 3 November turnover was up 36% while gross betting revenue was up 9.4%.  This is a great sign as we head into what is one of the biggest weeks of the year, and the New Zealand Cup carnival at Riccarton Park.  Commencing on Saturday with the running of the Group One Al Basti Equiworld New Zealand 2000 Guineas; featuring the Group Two Couplands Bakeries Mile on Wednesday; and wrapping up next Saturday with the 1000 Guineas (Gr1) and the Group Three Christchurch Casino 156th New Zealand Cup it is a massive three days for our code.

It is not just the racing industry which benefits from the carnival, as 30,000 racing attendees across the three days all manage to contribute significantly to the local economy.

Still on the numbers theme the TAB reported that Melbourne Cup day remains the biggest day on the calendar with New Zealanders betting more than $23.4 million on Cup day, with turnover on the Cup itself just under $10 million.  Locally it was great to see good crowds turning out to enjoy racing at Ellerslie and Wingatui on Tuesday.

Finally, there is one number that we simply must acknowledge and that is the number 10, that is how many Group One races the wonderful mare Melody Belle clocked when she took out the Empire Rose Stakes at Flemington last weekend.  Just take a moment and think about that achievement and where it places Melody Belle in terms of the truly great horses of the turf.

We extend our congratulations to her wonderful team of owners and John Galvin from Fortuna Syndications; to her talented young trainer Jamie Richards; her masterful jockey Opie Bosson; her devoted strapper Mette Mosebo; and, to Te Akau’s David Ellis who proved his judgement was, once again, spot-on when purchasing her at Karaka.  There should also be an acknowledgement of Marie Leicester who achieved every breeder’s dream when breeding a mare who has amassed such an impressive Group One winning record.  We wish all connections the very best as they gun for Group One number 11 in tomorrow’s McKinnon Stakes.

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