Bernard's Blog - 14 February

Bernard Saundry
14 February 2020

The industry as a whole demonstrated significant unity this week with the chairs of the three codes joining together to present an oral submission on the Racing Bill to the Transport & Infrastructure Select Committee.

We have been liaising closely with the other codes as we have worked through our submission, recognising the need for an integrated industry approach.  There has been a strong sense of cooperation as we strive to land on common ground around the aspects of the legislation requiring change if we are to reach the outcome originally outlined by the Minister.

The members of the select committee had certainly done their homework and asked some searching questions, not only of the codes but also those who presented later in the day.  For those of you who did not watch the livestreaming of the submissions, they are still available on the Transport & Infrastructure Facebook page.

It was pleasing to see some agreement from presenters around the key issues of IP and governance.  If I am to single out any other comment from the day’s proceedings though, it would be Cambridge Stud’s Henry Plumptre who talked of the “paralysing parochialism” which has hindered industry progress over the years. 

If ever there was a time to be viewing the industry as a whole, without the blinkers of individual or regional interests, it is now.  We need to shake off that silo approach and view our industry as a whole and address the issues which have held us back for so long. 

The legislation is not perfect, but it is fixable and there does appear to be general agreement around which areas of the Bill require changes.  The process with select committee will continue over the coming weeks but while that is happening the business of racing continues.

Last weekend at Legends’ day at Te Rapa we saw some fabulous racing, capped off with Te Akau Shark taking out his first Group One win in the BCD Group Sprint.  Leading the field out for that race was a past two-time winner of the race, Start Wondering.  The nine-year-old known as Bart, is now enjoying his retirement learning the skills required of a sport horse in the capable hands of Gina Schick at Event Stars.

Great racing again this weekend with the Avondale Cup and Avondale Guineas at Ellerslie on Saturday.  Following on from the local Group Two races will be the much-awaited clash of Kiwi rising star Catalyst and Alligator Blood at Flemington in the CS Hayes Stakes (Gr3).  Plenty to look forward to!

You might also like