Twilight series targets wagering window

13 December 2021

A proposed schedule of twilight meetings, which was flagged in the NZTR Directions Paper released in October, will commence on Wednesday, 12 January 2022 at Matamata.

The licence time changes have been approved by TAB NZ and the full schedule, which runs through to 30 March, is listed below.

“NZTR had identified an opportunity to enhance our wagering footprint by broadcasting New Zealand thoroughbred races into Australia at this time of day,” NZTR CEO Bernard Saundry said.   “This was supported by advice from TAB NZ and our Australian wagering partners.”

“While the primary focus of the twilight series is to drive greater wagering, both domestically and internationally, NZTR clubs may also see the trial as an opportunity to create an on-course experience for customers, drive attendance and additional direct revenue,” he said.

TAB NZ estimates the twilight series could provide an uplift in domestic turnover of $2million, while NZTR’s Australian wagering partners estimate an increase of around 15% in turnover.

Recognising the fact that twilight meetings impact participants, specifically trainers with staff and horses having to travel back from meetings which finish after 7pm, NZTR has attempted to keep these meetings close to key training centres where possible.  For the purposes of this trial there are no twilight meetings in the South Island.

Submissions for the Directions paper closed at the end of November and were received from a wide cross-section of participants.  This included responses to questions regarding other twilight alternatives NZTR might consider and whether twilight meetings should be more widely spread; and whether there would be support for further changes to the calendar should the twilight series prove successful.

For the purposes of the trial, NZTR has worked with the meetings that were already set in the calendar for this season to avoid disruption. If the trial is successful, and considering feedback from the Directions paper, venues at which the twilight meetings would be held in future seasons could be revisited.

The full schedule is:

12 January, Matamata RC

19 January, Waikato RC

26 January, Matamata RC (moved from 24 January)

2 February, Waikato RC

9 February, Matamata RC

16 February, Racing Tauranga

23 February, Auckland [email protected] Pukekohe

2 March, Hawkes Bay RI

9 March, Otaki Maori RC

16 March, South Waikato RC (Matamata)

23 March, Auckland [email protected] Pukekohe

30 March, Matamata RC

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