New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) has announced a Net Profit before Distributions result of $146.7 million for the year ending 31 July 2016, and the commencement of a new, independent inquiry for greyhound racing in New Zealand at its Annual General Meeting today. "NZRB has continued to increase its support of racing and sports in New Zealand, distributing $136.7 million to the three racing Codes, making commission payments of $8.0 million to National Sporting Organisations, and applying a further $11.7 million to the racing industry and $3.0 million to grassroots sports from gaming," says NZRB Chief Executive Officer, John Allen. "Our initial distributions to the racing Codes of $135.3 million was boosted by a further $1.4 million which was approved by the Board in September from Net Profit after Distributions, demonstrating our commitment to the wider industry. "Removing the impact of gains on sale of our Petone building in 2014/15, and our Christchurch property in 2015/16, our Net Profit before distributions has increased year-on-year by $5.6 million, or 4.1%. Betting Net Profit was $137.3 million, consistent with prior year, while Gaming Net Profit increased by 20.1% to $15.1 million." says Allen. "We have also increased both turnover and revenue, with total turnover of $2.7 billion 11.9% up on 2014/15, and total revenue up 4.6% to $351.9 million. "Our focus on our customers has seen nearly 181,000 account customers placing a bet over the past year, up 9.6%, with our digital channels continuing to grow in popularity and accounting for 55.9% of betting activity and our TAB Mobile App up 214.4% on last year." says Allen. "Economic analysis has shown that the New Zealand racing industry is not self-sufficient and is dependant on international racing income to sustain it. This is simply not a tenable position and we are working to help build a long-term sustainable future for racing in New Zealand. "Since taking up the reins in March 2015, I have focussed on assembling my leadership team with the right skills and experience to ensure NZRB has the foundations and capability to return the industry to a state where it can grow and prosper." says Allen. "We have identified a number of strategic initiatives to achieve this, and have made good progress this year towards their achievement. These initiatives will improve long-term profitability by an estimated $50-55 million in annualised net profit per year once fully delivered, by improving our competitiveness, growing our customer base and lowering our cost base. "We are putting the customer at the centre of our actions, focussing our investment in fit for purpose systems and infrastructure where it will provide the greatest long-term benefit," says Allen. Other key focuses for the racing industry over the next period will be animal welfare, infrastructure, youth development and stakes money. "We are working on a series of pilot enhancement funds to help support and grow the industry by tactically boosting stakes to attract higher quality racing, investing in key infrastructure and helping build the next generation of racing by encouraging and incentivising the development of career paths into and through the industry," says Allen. The 2016 Annual Report, which can be found here. Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board m +64 21 994151 e Kate.Gourdie@nzrb.co.nz w www.nzracingboard.co.nz Level 1, 60 Stanley Street, Auckland, PO Box 37649, Parnell, Auckland 1151
The New Zealand Racing Board has today announced a Net Profit increase of $137.0 million for the financial year ending 31 July 2014. NZRB Chief Executive Officer (Acting) Stewart McRobie says it has been a mixed year for the NZ Racing Board, but the core business is strong, underpinned by solid year on year growth. "The NZ Racing Board achieved record breaking turnover results surpassing the $2 billion mark for the first time in the organisation's history. This was on the back of a highly successful Football World Cup tournament that was the TAB's biggest ever betting event with turnover of $32.3m. "Year on year we achieved growth in Betting and Gaming turnover of 6.8% and 6.5% respectively. Turnover growth from domestic customers is running over three times higher than the compound average of the last four years - a long term negative trend that is beginning to reverse," says Mr McRobie. Mr McRobie says rising Operating Expenses and other factors have meant that while Net Profit was marginally above the prior year result, and a record, it did not meet budget. "Some very positive improvements have been offset by the significant appreciation of the New Zealand dollar against the Australian dollar. Our key initiative projects - broadcasting and the mobile app have also cost more and taken longer to execute, but we expect to see benefits from these projects come through in future results," says Mr McRobie. The three Racing Codes – New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing, Harness Racing New Zealand and Greyhound Racing New Zealand – and the racing industry, received $137.4 million from NZRB’s operations, while $5.0 million was paid or provided for distribution to National Sporting Organisations, and a record $2.3 million to other sporting bodies from gaming activities. 2013/14 2012/131 % change Turnover $2.088b $1.957b +6.7% Net profit $137.0m $136.7m +0.2% Total Group distribution made from current year profit $137.4m $134.9m +1.8% Note: All figures comprise TAB betting and Class 4 gaming The audited financial statements have been completed. The 2013/14 results exclude the gain realised from the sale of the NZ Racing Board Head Office in Petone, as this transaction was completed early in the 2014/15 financial year. The NZ Racing Board's Statement of Intent is available on the NZ Racing Board website. The annual report, including the financial statements, will be available at the Annual General Meeting on November 24, 2014. Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board
From today Kiwi racing punters will be able to bet into Hong Kong's multimillion dollar pools following an agreement between the TAB and the Hong Kong Jockey Club. New Zealand Racing Board Wagering Consultant Martin Saunders says the TAB has joined a select group of international agencies approved to commingle into Hong Kong pools. "Our intention has always been to give our customers in New Zealand the opportunity to bet into 'native', or home field, pools and this allows us to do that. "We'll be commingling into win, place and quinella pools initially, then into other pools including trifecta from next year and, in time, the huge dividend-bearing Triple Trio," says Mr Saunders. TAB customers will reap the rewards of the deal, says Saunders. "Most importantly, it will reduce the volatility that can occur in smaller pools, skewing win and place dividends." The arrangement with Hong Kong follows a taxation law change by the region's Legislative Council allowing commingling with overseas operators. "Longer term, the goal is to have Hong Kong customers betting into New Zealand, which will be a real boost to liquidity of our domestic pools," says Saunders. The TAB will be commingling directly into Hong Kong via a hub arrangement with international partner Tabcorp. In addition, the TAB will commingle First4 and Quaddie pools on Hong Kong racing directly with Tabcorp. Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board
Just the four winners for the harness racing ringaround last week so we need improvement this week. Blair Orange, Tony Herlihy, Matthew Williamson and John Dunn all produced winners last week. The ringaround did pick four seconds and three thirds as well but we are expecting real improvement this week. There are four meetings this week to cover, they are Auckland and NZ Metropolitan on Friday, Gore on Saturday and Timaru on Sunday. Alexanrda Park - Frday Night Tony Herlihy - Keen on Red Sky Night this week. Thinks she can make it three-in-row, # 1 in race 4. Maurice McKendry - A good each way chance for Arms Of An Angel, # 1 in race eight. Scott Phelan - Le Lua Invasion is Scott's shots eye this week, # 10 in race five. Steven Reid - Easy On The Eye is on target for the Cup meeting will be hard to beat # 5 race six. Ray Green - Lincolns Megastar will be very hard to beat fresh up even from the draw. # 9 race one. Todd Macfarlane - Tarn went good last week and is on the improve. # 2 race three. Todd Mitchell - Cullect The Gold is much improved since his first run back and Todd expects a bold showing. # 8 race two. New Zealand Metropolitan - Friday Night John Dunn - Return To Sender has trained on good since its first up 4th. # 7 race four. Ricky May - Well you guessed it this week, its Terror To Love # 9 race seven. John Curtin (Harnesslink) - Rates Tokohoka as a great bet this week. # 10 race 10. Gerard O'Reilly - Thinks that Tiga Tara will be very hard to beat. # 7 race six. Matthew Williamson - Thinks that Yankee One can repeat this week # 5 race three. Steve Richadson (TAB) - Agrees with Ricky May that Terror To Love is the bet. # 9 race seven Colin DeFilippi - Stent will bounce back after his last start failure. # 8 race five. Gore - Saturday Dexter Dunn - No hesitation here with Dexter, Oneover is his bet of the week. # 6 race 10 Nathan Williamson - Aldan's Rocket having its first start back and can run a drum. # 4 race eight. Clark Barron - I believe Mass Invasion will be very hard to beat. # 4 race one.. Brad Williamson - The Silver Fox will start over the odds and be hard to beat. # 5 race three Shane Walkinshaw - Expects a bold first up run from Red Electric # 1 race five Timaru - Sunday Blair Orange - My best drive and bet of the week is Change Time # 1 race six Jim Curtin - Star Commando is my best chance this week # 14 in race one. Craig Thornley - All Delight was unlucky last start and will be hard to beat. # 7 race eight Robbie Holmes - Driving Nicaela and rates her as a good each way bet. # 1 race one. Harnesslink media
King Denny may have been beaten by his former stablemate Twentyten in last week’s Sires Stakes Championship but the All Stars team are confident that NZ Trotting Derby winner can once again turn the tables on him in the $80,000 Breckon Farms Trotting Derby at Alexandra Park on Friday. ”Dad (Mark Purdon) had someone go over him after last week and he was found to be really sore so he has had a lot of work done on him and seems back on track for this week,” advised Nathan Purdon. King Denny’s shot at dual Derby glory has been made a lot easier by the defection of Majestic Time, who was scratched from the Group One feature this morning after she failed to handle the Alexandra Park track last week. “She didn’t handle Alexandra Park right-handed track last week but she will be at the Jewels were the track will suit her a lot better,” trainer Michael Ward told HRNZ’S Michael Guerin. King Denny has been installed as a $3 favourite for the Derby by NZ TAB Bookmakers, while One Over Da Moon, who will race with a new bit and a pole on the outside on Friday, is the $3.20 second favourite. The Trotting Derby is just of six feature races the All Stars team will contest over the weekend. “Linda Lovegrace, Border Control, and Alta Orlando also look to have good chances in their respective features so with a bit of luck it could be a very good week,” said Purdon Jnr. By Mitchell Robertson
At the NZ Racing Board AGM, held at the Head Office in Wellington today, the NZ Racing Board reflected on a record-breaking financial year and outlined its ambitious vision and goals for the future. Financial achievements in 2013 included a record turnover of $1,956.8m, and record distributions of $147.7m to the racing industry and sporting organisations. Speaking at the AGM, NZ Racing Board Chair Glenda Hughes said the organisation and the industry still faced significant challenges, and ongoing transformation and a collaborative approach is key to further, sustained success for an industry that contributes almost 1% of GDP. “2013 was a year of rebuilding, but we were delighted to have delivered a record return for the industry at the same time. We are constantly driven by our core purpose, which includes promoting and enhancing the racing industry and generating long term profit for the industry. “Significant transformation has already occurred. This year a new leadership team was put in place, capability was increased across the organisation at all levels, clarity of accountability and focus was established, an aspirational vision was developed and a five-year corporate strategy was outlined.” Long term strategic organisational goals outlined at the AGM were to: · Achieve a surplus of $160-$180m · Grow stakes by 50% · Grow return to racing owners by 50% · Achieve 30% turnover from new markets and products · Reduce operational cost-to-income ratio to below 30% NZ Racing Board CEO Chris Bayliss said, “We now have a clear vision that gives us an aspirational focus – to be the best entertainment business for New Zealand. With our strategy now in place we have a robust plan to take this business forward, clear metrics for measuring our progress, and clear goals to enable us to achieve our vision for the industry. “We will continue to strive – through open dialogue, transparency and collaboration with the industry – to transform and succeed together,” said Mr Bayliss. Minister of Racing Hon Nathan Guy spoke at the AGM and congratulated the Board and Management on the financial results. Financial result increase 2012/13 2011/12 Turnover $1.957b $1.814b +7.9% Net profit $144.1m $127.3m +13.2% Distribution to Racing Industry $142.0m $135.5m +4.8% Total distribution made from current year profit: $142.4m $135.8m +4.9% Full information and financial statements will be in the NZ Racing Board’s 2013 Annual Report, which will be publically available online from 13 December. Presentations from the NZ Racing Board’s AGM were filmed for subsequent broadcast on the Trackside television channel at 3:00am on Saturday, 7 December and again at 1:00am on Sunday, 8 December 2013. Tom Judd Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board
Age? Gave an emphatic 'no comment' quicker than Ronnie Biggs did at his first police interview but did offer to supply the details to anyone interested in the name of a good 'face lift' surgeon he can personally guarantee. Did you play any sports? I was Captain of my schools hockey team and we won an under 14 Hatch Cup hockey tournament. We played seven games and won them all with a 69 for and 0 against goals record. I also played rugby and cricket throughout my schooling years. How did you become involved in harness racing? My uncles Bill and Colin McDonald were involved in harness racing with Colin racing Scottish Light & Cardinal Garrison (won Auckland Cup in the 1960's) and Bill raced a very good horse called Starship. My brother Ken has also raced many harness horse's which include Master Musician (finished 2nd in two NZ Cups) and is presently racing For A Reason in Australia which became the second fastest Australasian miler when winning in 1:49.4 at Menangle last week. What is your occupation? I am Director of the second largest recycling business (Resource Recycling) in NZ , Sims Pacific are the largest and they are great sponsors of NZ Harness Racing Best horses raced? Terror To Love, Tuherbs, Fellowship, In The Way & Stunin Cullen. Best racing performance seen? It was at Methven in the early 1950's and the driver on the horse that I backed fell out of the cart and was 130 metres behind the second to last horse when the driver somehow got back into the sulky. I had backed it to win plenty so said a few expletitive words and was ready to tear up my tickets. Amazingly the horse won and just to prove how good he was he went on to win the 1956 NZ Trotting Cup. He was trained by Cecil Devine & was called Thunder. How many horse do you presently own? Around 50 at the last count. Do you consider yourself a good punter? I have been punting all my life but would consider myself only average. The 'book' replied "you have been punting for decades and still your only average, what would you do if one of your horses had dozens of starts and is still only average?" The Methven Thunder expletives used on that day in the 1950's suddenly became a lot clearer. Outside racing - What are some of your other interests? I enjoy watching live sport and obviously backing up my judgement with a bet or two. Main sports I like betting on are rugby, netball, league & cricket. The 'book' asked netball, why??? Terry kindly offered to supply the details of his optician. Best collect ever? 1994 NZ Trotting Cup $10 worth of the trifecta for a $76,000 return - Bee Bee Cee, Master Musician & Mathew Lee. Are you superstious? I always carry a 1949 King George 6th NZ crown that my grandmother gave to me in 1949, she lived to 103 years. Also I will be wearing the same suit and shirt that I have worn on Cup day the last two years. What do you think of the NZ TAB fixed odds service? The best fixed odds service in the world and easily second to none. Just a great service to punters who want to get set a decent bet and it won't alter the odds like it would if the bet was placed on the tote. The harness 'book' staff are always courteous and obliging to deal with in a professional manner which doesn't make me feel so bad when they take my money (okay the last sentence the 'book' added but we know that's what he would have wanted to say). By Steve Richardson
From a starting field of 14 Challengers only two remain and the final three races at the Auckland Trotting Club on Friday night will determine the winner. The winner will receive a $2,500 each-way final field fixed odds bet on a runner in the NZ Trotting Cup. The winner will advise the harness ‘book’ by noon on Monday of their NZ Cup selection and this will be posted in the ‘News and Tips’ section on the NZ TAB web site. The two remaining survivors are Terry McDonald, who is representing the Christchurch Casino, and Ben Mcmillan representing www.harnesslink.com One is a self-confessed 'average' punter, and the other is a tipster for a harness site, so if we had to do a mock head to head market it would be $1.40 (Mcmillan) vs $2.80 (McDonald). If the $2.80 shot wins it will be regarded as the biggest upset since Able killed Cain. The 'book' created a mock market at the start of the Challenge - odds and comment on the two remaining survivors was: Terry McDonald $15 – Veteran punter and if his punting performed as well his horse ‘Terror To Love’ he would be a lot shorter in the market. Expected to make the final six but will struggle over the long distance of the Challenge. Ben McMillan $12 – another that is unknown but representing www.harnesslink.com and if he follows the tips on the site from the weekly round-up from trainers and drivers could surprise. Once we had sent out the mock market the 'book' said "wonder who will be the first one to ring and ask “I want a bet, how do I get on". We won't name him but it only took 20 minutes for one Challenger to phone asking for $2,000 on himself at such 'Stunin' odds. Form comment on Terry and Ben is below. Both met at the Cup trials on Tuesday, shook hands and wished each other well, as do the NZ TAB and the Christchurch Casino to both. Ben Mcmillan (interviwed by Harnesslink) How old are you? 29yrs young and not too far off the 30 How did you became interested in racing? Dad was always into the racing (and still is) and Mum was always having her gold coin on things (mum and dad actually turned down a stake in Ginger Man which turned into an on-going bad joke after it met with success on the race course) and I suppose when you see the racing on the tv all the time you get interested in it. I've always loved being on track and betting on the horses but I also love the breeding aspect of the sport. I like picking out the future stars from the sales book and picking a horse to win on condition. What do you currently do for a living? I work a merchandising job for Tourism radio and I'm also a partner in TIPSTAR.CO.NZ which provides selections for every New Zealand harness meeting along with providing subscribers with statistical information. Outside racing - What are some of your other interests? I'm a singer/songwriter who writes and records originals and plays the guitar. I hope to release my own material someday. I'm a keen golfer too, into the share-market, I also like reading non-fiction or the sales catalogue! You mentioned you are involved with the website Tip$tar... Can you please explain you're involvement with that site in a bit more depth? Jarred Mills offered me a share in the site some months ago and I agreed to go into a partnership with him. It's a great site that offers a "pick on merit" point of difference for subscribers. While other selections services pick multiple horses in each race we only pick horses we have truly followed and offer the best chances of making money for subscribers. In this way we're able to secure higher strike-rates of winners and place dividends at good average quotes. We also provide a weekly email with trial form and a full statistical breakdown of our selections and course statistics at the end of each month so subscribers have a transparent service and gain insights into how they can better their wagering in races TIPSTAR doesn't select horses in. Jarred selects meetings throughout the North Island and deep south while I cover meetings in the greater Canterbury region. It's an expanding business that I'm passionate about and it's great to get positive feedback from subscribers that enjoy the service we provide and turn a profit while doing so. A 1 week subscription to the site costs just $12.50, and 1 month costs $39. Terry McDonald (interviewed by the harness 'book') Age? Gave an emphatic 'no comment' quicker than Ronnie Biggs did at his first police interview but did offer to supply the details to anyone interested in the name of a good 'face lift' surgeon he can personally guarantee. Did you play any sports? I was Captain of my schools hockey team and we won an under 14 Hatch Cup hockey tournament. We played seven games and won them all with a 69 for and 0 against goals record. I also played rugby and cricket throughout my schooling years. How did you become involved in harness racing? My uncles Bill and Colin McDonald were involved in harness racing with Colin racing Scottish Light & Cardinal Garrison (won Auckland Cup in the 1960's) and Bill raced a very good horse called Starship. My brother Ken has also raced many harness horse's which include Master Musician (finished 2nd in two NZ Cups) and is presently racing For A Reason in Australia which became the second fastest Australasian miler when winning in 1:50.0 at Menangle last week. What is your occupation? I am Director of the second largest recycling business (Resource Recycling) in NZ , Sims Pacific are the largest and they are great sponsors of NZ Harness Racing Best horses raced? Terror To Love, Tuherbs, Fellowship, In The Way & Stunin Cullen. Best racing performance seen? It was at Methven in the early 1950's and the driver on the horse that I backed fell out of the cart and was 130 metres behind the second to last horse when the driver somehow got back into the sulky. I had backed it to win plenty so said a few expletitive words and was ready to tear up my tickets. Amazingly the horse won and just to prove how good he was he went on to win the 1956 NZ Trotting Cup. He was trained by Cecil Devine & was called Thunder. How many horse do you presently own? Around 50 at the last count. Do you consider yourself a good punter? I have been punting all my life but would consider myself only average. The 'book' replied "you have been punting for decades and still your only average, what would you do if one of your horses had dozens of starts and is still only average?" The Methven Thunder expletives used on that day in the 1950's suddenly became a lot clearer. Outside racing - What are some of your other interests? I enjoy watching live sport and obviously backing up my judgement with a bet or two. Main sports I like betting on are rugby, netball, league & cricket. The 'book' asked netball, why??? Terry kindly offered to supply the details of his optician. Best collect ever? 1994 NZ Trotting Cup $10 worth of the trifecta for a $76,000 return - Bee Bee Cee, Master Musician & Mathew Lee. Are you superstious? I always carry a 1949 King George 6th NZ crown that my grandmother gave to me in 1949, she lived to 103 years. Also I will be wearing the same suit and shirt that I have worn on Cup day the last two years. What do you think of the NZ TAB fixed odds service? The best fixed odds service in the world and easily second to none. Just a great service to punters who want to get set a decent bet and it won't alter the odds like it would if the bet was placed on the tote. The harness 'book' staff are always courteous and obliging to deal with in a professional manner which doesn't make me feel so bad when they take my money (okay the last sentence the 'book' added but we know that's what he would have wanted to say). By Steven Richardson and Mitchell Robertson
One of the few genuine challengers to Christen Me and Terror To Love’s domination of the New Zealand Trotting Cup may be clawing his way back into the race. Victoria Cup winner Caribbean Blaster looked a forlorn chance of making it to Christchurch for the Addington classic on November 12 after a low-grade virus last week robbed him of crucial lead-up racing. But now trainer Andy Gath says he is “confident” of Caribbean Blaster being there, which will add important depth to the race. Already Australia’s best pacer I’m Themightyquinn has pulled out of the $650,000 New Zealand Cup and when Caribbean Blaster’s campaign got the wobbles most observers saw the race as a straight shoot out between Christen Me and Terror To Love. So much so the New Zealand TAB has Christen Me at $2 with the Cup still three weeks away, and Terror To Love at $2.80. And that looks positively generous compared with the Australian TAB, who have Christen Me at $1.65, a price which if matched on Cup day would make him the hottest New Zealand Cup favourite since the introduction of decimal currency. So the betting markets need Caribbean Blaster as much as the race does to generate more co-mingling interest from his native Victoria. “I think he will be there,” said Gath. “He has recovered well from the virus and even though he misses two lead-up races he has had a good grounding at home and just needs tweaking. “After he works on Wednesday we will look at even nominating him for a race at Kimore this week and he could even race in Sydney the following Saturday as he has to head there to fly across. “He got a lot out of the NZ Cup trip last season so at this stage the trip is back on.” Caribbean Blaster has drifted out to $21 for the Cup after opening at $13 but if he is able to bounce back with a win in the next two weeks he has every chance of starting third favourite on the day. He will be joined in the Cup by fellow Australian rep Suave Stuey Lombo, who has arrived in Canterbury in good condition for trainer Shane Tritton. Suave Stuey Lombo has been outstanding for much of the last two months and is nominated for the $60,000 Flying Stakes at Ashburton on Monday. That race is a shadow New Zealand Cup field, with Christen Me and Terror To Love headlining a race that also contains Fly Like An Eagle, Franco Ledger, Besotted, Mah Sish and Easy On The Eye. The Ashburton meeting is usually the first great programme of the season and next Monday’s looks no different. Last season’s champion filly Adore Me will return in a mares mile while the Trotting Mile could include Stig, Stent, Vulan, Escapee, Dr Hook and a possible surprise first New Zealand start for former Scandinavian trotter Peak. The latter was a smart age group performer who won the Danish Derby and is part of a three-horse purchase from the region by clients of the Tim Butt stable. “They are all coming up well and Peak is the sharpest of them at this stage so we are looking forward to seeing how they go at the races,” says Butt. NZ TROTTING CUP NZ TAB market: $2, Christen Me; $2.80 Terror To Love; $21, Mah Sish, Bitobliss (unlikely), Fly Like An Eagle, Caribbean Blaster; $26, Besotted, Franco Ledger, Suave Stuey Lombo, Easy On The Eye; $51 or more the rest. By Michael Guerin (Courtesy of Harness Rac ing New Zealand)
Bookies now rate the New Zealand Trotting Cup a straight two-horse race. The disintegration of the Australian challenge this week, which has seen I’m Themightyquinn withdrawn and Caribbean Blaster improving but surely still doubtful, has bookies Australasia-wide giving only two pacers a chance in the classic. So much so that favourite Christen Me has got into a scarcely believable $1.70 to win the Cup with one Australian bookmaker, and even the New Zealand TAB has him paying just $2.20 even 25 days out from the race. Terror To Love’s punters can get a best price of $3, with the NZ TAB moving him into $2.80 after Aussie news broke. To have a New Zealand Cup market so dominated by two horses so far out from the race is extremely rare but the glamour pair have distance their rivals in their two starts so far this season. They clash again in the Flying Stakes at Ashburton on Monday week and trainer Cran Dalgety warns Christen Me will be better there than when he won at Addington last Friday. “I actually had to let up on him leading into last week because he was pretty screwed down,” said Dalgety. “So I eased up on him to let him body loosen off a bit so I was surprised he could win so well after working so hard. “But we are starting to step things up again and he will be sharper at Ashburton.” Dalgety says the superstar pacer is sound and healthy and he just hopes he can maintain that between now and November 12. “Those top Aussies not coming in a shame for the race but it probably helps us. “Still, we have a long way to go because they don’t just give the NZ Cup away. I know, because I’ve never won one.” By Michael Guerin (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)
Pacing’s wonderhorse may have the bookies running scared but this key rivals aren’t shaking in their boots yet. Christen Me continued his seemingly unstoppable march toward greatness with a ruthlessly efficient comeback win at Addington last Friday, downing two-time New Zealand Cup hero Terror To Love. The paired gapped their rivals, suggesting they are not only the best, but only realistic, Kiwi hopes in the New Zealand Cup on November 12. So much so the TAB has moved Christen Me into a scarcely believable $2.40 to win the Cup, with Terror To Love at $3.20, even though they will both races twice before the great race and it is still six weeks from today. A lot can go wrong in six weeks and even if Christen Me wins his other two lead-up races it is hard to imagine him starting any shorter than $2-$2.20 in the Cup, especially with Terror To Love to be joined by Australian superstars I’m Themightyquinn and Caribbean Blaster. Their near-certain involvement in the race would see plenty of Australian support in the co-mingled betting pools and suggests Christen Me’s $2.40 quote is anything but value, with Aussie bookies still having him $3.20 to win the Addington thriller. Still, the skinny odds may have been an attempt by the NZ TAB to put punters off any big bets on Christen Me until the hype over last Friday’s win calms down. Christen Me did allay one fear with his victory and that was his lack of standing start experience as he was one of the fastest out and it is becomingly increasingly hard to pick holes in his Cup credentials. But the man leading the Australian challenge isn’t getting carried away. “We all know he is a very good horse and the heir apparent,” says Im Themightyquinn’s trainer Gary Hall. “But I wouldn’t be getting too carried away by what we saw last Friday. “They jogged around and sprinted a half (800m) and the first pair were a lot better than the other horses. “I have always been a huge Christen Me fan but there are still some very good horses yet to turn up.” Hall is pleased with I’m Themightyquinn’s recent progress after a health scare six weeks weeks ago and he could race in the next fortnight before traveling from Perth to Christchurch, via Melbourne, around October 26. “He will probably only have one run here then one in the Kaikoura Cup over there before the Cup,” said Hall. It has been a case of out of sight, out of the market for I’m Themightyquinn, with the champion out to $7.50 with the TAB, remarkable odds for a three-time Interdom champion and two-time Auckland Cup winner, especially now he is confirmed as a Cup starter. Victoria Cup winner Caribbean Blaster is also definitely coming to Addington and races at Melton this Friday while NSW horseman Shane Tritton says Suave Stuey Lombo will still make the trip even after a dramatic failure after over-racing at Menangle last Saturday. The open class circus moves to Methven for their cup this Sunday before Christen Me and Terror To Love are likely to clash again at Addington on Friday week in a race that could also contain Spring Cup winner Easy On The Eye. By Michael Guerin (Courtesy of Harness Racing New Zealand)
New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc. - Addington Racway - Tuesday 12th November 2013 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup - Stakes $650,000 (Including $300,000 subsidy from HRNZ) The 37 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup nominations received by NZ Metropolitan TC officials wet the appetite for what promises to be an exciting and intriguing build-up to the great race on the second Tuesday in November. Of the 37 nominations received, 7 are from Australia. NZ TAB Bookmakers will release their initial market on Monday 2nd September. The first rankings will be released on Wednesday 4th September. 2012 victor Terror to Love will head those rankings. Age Horse H'Cap Wins Trainer Stakes Won 5h Cam Before The Storm 4 T Butt 68,503.00 5g Ellmer Hanover 5 T Butt 76,374.00 5g Besotted 6 R Green 144,012.00 7g Captain Peacock 6 D Taylor 245,840.00 6g Easy On The Eye 6 Reid & McMullan 236,577.00 5g Field Officer 6 P Bagrie 83,117.00 5g Kiwi Ideal 6 Reid & McMullan 56,902.00 5g Pass Them By 6 T Butt 96,637.00 5m Pemberton Shard 6 B Mowbray 101,310.00 6g Phantom Grin 6 M Brinsdon 71,171.00 6h River Black 6 D Taylor 128,084.00 5m Cheer The Lady 7 B Purdon 314,325.00 5m Elusive Chick 7 T Butt 316,026.00 6h Jarcullembra 7 G Small 199,665.00 5g Jimmy Johnstone 7 J Hay 72,277.00 5g Smiling Star 7 R Holmes 105,243.00 6m Better To Be Bad 8 S Ashton 74,571.00 8g Sleepy Tripp 8 R Dunn 751,640.00 5h Fly Like An Eagle 9 Purdon & Rasmussen 595,395.00 7h Four Starzzz Flash 9 K Chapman 205,387.00 7h Gomeo Romeo 9 G Small 340,193.00 5g Jason Rulz 9 G & N Hope 161,846.00 7g Choise Achiever 10 T Butt 591,079.00 7g Mach Banner 10 R Dunn 199,955.00 5m Light In Every Day (Aust) 11 S Tritton 118,480.00 6h Franco Ledger 12 A Hunter 276,649.00 5h Chancellor Cullen (Aust) 13 D Braun 280,202.00 8h Highview Tommy 13 G & N Hope 1,006,732.00 7g Mah Sish 13 T Butt 892,250.00 5g Christen Me 14 C Dalgety 486,281.00 6h Caribbean Blaster (Aust) 15 A Gath 527,547.00 6h Motu Crusader (Aust) 16 K Manning 240,856.00 9g Pembrook Benny 16 B Purdon 647,394.00 6h Terror To Love 18 G Court 1,544,667.00 6h Bitobliss (Aust) 19 S Stewart 363,295.00 6g Suave Stuey Lombo (Aust) 20 S Tritton 252,833.00 9g Themightyquinn (Aust) 45 G Hall 5,243,240.00 Harness Racing New Zealand
Changes to harness handicapping expected to provide a tougher challenge to punters. TAB bosses are hoping changes to the harness racing handicapping system will go some way to stem the demise of the code's Pick6 pools. Harness racing used to be the dream vehicle for Pick6, with its unchallenged Thursday and Friday night spots and regular $100,000 guaranteed pools. But those guarantees have shrunk to a standard $25,000 most Thursdays and just $40,000 on Friday nights. They have been affected to a small degree by the largely novelty Place6 but TAB spokesman Michael Dore says the lack of jackpots in harness racing is the real problem. And pressure on the code won't ease with the news the TAB will hold a special $500,000 turbo Pick6 on the Taumarunui Cup-Ryder Stakes meetings on Saturday week, July 27. That will get close to the $750,000 guaranteed Pick6s which have occurred four times in thoroughbred racing in the past 18 months, a figure harness racing punters can only dream of. Dore says the prevalence of short-priced favourites in harness racing is an issue. "To get decent Pick6 pools you need jackpots and we don't get enough of those in harness racing," said Dore. "How it works is when we have a new pool starting, we guarantee it at what we know will probably be a loss to us. "But we then under-guarantee it the next week if it jackpots, to secure some money for our reserve fund. "But when it keeps getting struck our reserve fund gets lower and lower." The ideal scenario is two or three weeks of Pick6 not being struck and reaching $250,000-$300,000 guaranteed, which creates interest in the entire meeting and often momentum for the following week. "That is why we hope the handicapping changes in harness racing help a little bit," says Dore, who used to work in harness racing before joining the TAB. "If the changes to the concessions for young horses mean less of those $1.10 favourite 3-year-olds that will be a good thing. "And we have found that Pick6 is a very good indicator of overall betting health in a code and I don't think the redhot favourites help." That is why winter thoroughbred racing, while it can be a minefield for punters, actually lends itself to huge Pick6 jackpots. The TAB regularly boosts Pick6 pools in all three codes in winter to try and drive interest at a time when racing struggles but Dore says they simply can't artificially boost pools to their old levels permanently. "Sure, we would love to guarantee Pick6 every Friday night to $75,000 but pretty soon we wouldn't have any money left in the reserve fund." Dore says that while the Place6 has its fans he does not see it is a major contributor to the dwindling Pick6 pools. "I don't think anybody expects to get rich off Place6 like they can get a huge collect off Pick6 and it probably doesn't get that exciting until the last couple of legs. "But it is a really good novelty product." Courtesy of Michael Guerin and the New Zealand Herald
The weather bomb dropped on New Zealand has forced a number of race meetings to be abandoned or rescheduled.
North Canterbury harness racing enthusiast Ray Carlson has opted for a $100 each way bet for winning the New Zealand TAB and Harnesslink's latest fixed odds betting competition.
He was only 0.1 of a second off the winning time but that was still good enough for North Canterbury harness racing enthusiast Ray Carlson to win our latest fixed odds betting competition.