Message from Bruce Sharrock - What a weekend

Bruce Sharrock - NZTR
9 March 2023

A huge day of racing at Te Rapa on Saturday with the Auckland Thoroughbred Racing New Zealand Derby being run, seeing a stunning performance from hot favourite Sharp ‘N’ Smart to take out the 3YO classic.  A great turnout on a beautiful day and a huge congratulations to the Waikato Racing Club for the successful delivery of the event this season.

In the South we saw the final of the ODT Southern Mile with full fields once again and plenty of interest across the series.  The race stake for the final increased to $100,000 this season and was taken out by local mare Burgie, from the Brian and Shane Anderton stable – who also got the quinella with Mayor of Norwood.  Murray Acklin, Noelle Prince and all the team from the Otago Racing Club must be commended on the concept that was borne out of the NZTR Innovation Fund two years ago and already it appears to have cemented itself into the calendar.  We look forward to this series continuing to grow.

Over to Australia and in Sydney we saw a very brave performance from Imperatriz in the Gr.1 Canterbury Stakes at Randwick.  Then to top it off the talented Ken and Bev Kelso-trained filly Legarto overcame a tough run down the Flemington straight to deliver the first New Zealand triumph in the A$1 million Gr.1 Australian Guineas.  Yet another fantastic result for Rich Hill Stud.

This week we look forward to Barfoot and Thompson Auckland Cup Day which rounds out a fantastic summer of racing at Pukekohe Park.

I was pleased with the attendance and level of interest across the seven NZTR Roadshows completed recently at Karaka (NZB), Waikato (Te Rapa Racecourse), Taranaki (New Plymouth Raceway), Manawatu (RACE Awapuni), Christchurch (Riccarton Park), Dunedin (Wingatui Racecourse) and Invercargill (Ascot Park). We plan to hold a further meeting in Hawke’s Bay when practical.

The key emphasis was to clarify the misunderstandings around how the new structure operates following the introduction of the new Racing Act in July 2020.  The presentation showed the flow of funds and distribution of profits to the racing codes. This included a breakdown of all revenue sources to NZTR, including profits from the TAB and from race field entries.

A high-level overview of the current discussions and developments regarding race venues, and a conceptual outline of an industry fund and benefits to the entire industry was also outlined.

NZTR believe that this is possible if there is a coordinated industry-wide approach to consider how best to grow revenue and act in the best interests of the total industry.

With this premise, the presentation highlighted an operational update on licensing, pattern and programming, tracks and infrastructure, Single National System, education and recruitment, marketing and media.

There was much discussion at all meetings centred on the ongoing performance of the TAB and the future that includes a potential partnering agreement.

It was great to see some robust debate emanating from the presentations that provided insight and real clarity on the current issues, and more importantly, the exciting potential with a combined, coordinated and courageous approach.

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