Bernard's Blog - 28 February
I have just returned from South Africa and the 38th Asian Racing Conference where a wide range of topics were addressed. Some take outs from the conference include:
- International commingling will be key for the future development of racing as a global sport and, through this vehicle, we have the chance to really harvest the potential of our international racing. However, a next generation of commingling protocols, matching the best practice of stock exchanges, will be required.
- 5G is a game changer and presents wagering and racing with a plethora of opportunities to both widen our fan base and unlock the full potential of the value propositions that racing can offer sponsors.
- In a world in which confidence in public institutions is diminishing, public confidence in the integrity and fairness of sport is becoming increasingly valuable.
- Horse welfare and well-developed aftercare initiatives are the cornerstones of a healthy, modern racing industry with the Asian Racing Federation (ARF) committed to promoting the further strengthening of the industry’s horse welfare programmes and aftercare initiatives.
- The further work of the ARF Anti-Illegal Betting Task Force has enabled the ARF to articulate for both governments and law enforcement agencies the scale and complexity of the illegal markets, their connection to organised crime and the impact to integrity and the reputation of the sport. The ARF is committed to achieving a multi-agency coalition to fight this scourge.
- People and participant welfare amongst our racing fraternities still requires improvement and greater focus.
- The closing ceremony included the announcement that Melbourne would host the conference in February 2022.
Please feel free to contact me should you want to discuss any of the above as I am happy to expand further.
Over the past couple of weeks the Transport & Infrastructure select committee has continued to hear oral submissions. The concerns expressed by those presenting is following a similar pattern and will no doubt continue to do so when the select committee returns to Wellington next week.
This weekend we see some tremendous racing with our blue riband three-year-old event, the Vodafone Derby at Ellerslie on Saturday and a wonderful support card. It is great to see four of our top female jockeys with rides in the Derby as it is the one Group One event in New Zealand still to elude them. Could this be the year history is made?
Across the Tasman the Clayton Chipperfield trained Catalyst will be attempting to become the first NZ-trained winner of the Gr1 Australian Guineas when he looks to turn the tables on Alligator Blood at Flemington.
Meanwhile at Randwick, Probabeel will be lining up in the Surround Stakes, before her stablemate Te Akau Shark tackles the Chipping Norton Stakes, the pair looking to give jockey Opie Bosson and trainer Jamie Richards a memorable Group One double.
Certainly plenty to get excited about this weekend and a lot to look forward to over the coming weeks.