Day At The Track

Keeping Up With The Joneses

01:36 AM 28 Jun 2013 NZST
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Mark Jones
Mark Jones

In last week’s edition, Jones dished it up to Harness Racing New Zealand for the lack of coverage and support they gave David Butcher during his time competing in the World Drivers' Championship in France. This week however, Jones had some good things to say about racing hierarchy

That praise I speak of comes on the back of a proposal to make some radical changes to the North Island racing scene which includes merging the Thames, Manukau, Franklin and Kumeu racing clubs with the Auckland Trotting Club as well as a plan to set up a state of the art training facility at Pukekohe for young trainers starting out.

"The Auckland Trotting Club has always been a forward thinking club that lead the way, but with Dean McKenzie at Addington they are heading the right direction also."

"The key to ATC is their board are a mixture of racing people and local successful businessmen so they make smart and clever decisions in the best interests of everyone. They are also lucky as the racing side is only a part of their income as they have some smart investments along the way that the racing side of things benefits from."

"I believe HRNZ need to take the same approach with their board and cut numbers back and get mutual members on the board that can also make smart decisions."

"The ATC taking over all the clubs can only be a good thing, and bringing in income from other stream other than racing such as the sale of the small Kumeu training track is very smart, and will no doubt lead to stake increases.

"Turning Pukekohe into a state of the art training facility is a fantastic idea, as these days land anywhere in New Zealand, let alone Auckland, is too dear to buy to train from, so at least a training centre will give people, especially youth, a chance to start training without raking up a massive mortgage."

Jones believes it is vital that we follow suit in the south and also set up a training facility.

"We need to purchase some land and set it up as a training centre that in time can be the new Addington Raceway as the land there is becoming too valuable to race on, so they need to get things in place for the future."

"Addington also need to learn from the ATC and merge the clubs together with Addington, as it has the best facilities and is under used."

"It is important we learn from the ATC as they are a smart club with smart people who are making smart decisions. And they know how to get things done. So let's hope that Addington and HRNZ can follow and lastly a big congratulations to the ATC!

by Mitchell ROBERTSON

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