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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Sunday, January 29 2017

Thoroughbred racing leaders discussed the industry's problems at Ellerslie on Sunday.

Thoroughbred racing leaders discussed the industry's problems at Ellerslie on Sunday.

Leaders of the country's thoroughbred racing industry were singing from the same song sheet after a meeting at Ellerslie on Sunday called because of increasing frustration over New Zealand Racing Board's direction.

The meeting was closed to the media, but discussed a number of issues, including the status of race field legislation, fixed odds betting and other important strategic opportunities.

"There was clear alignment between all present about the importance of the race field legislation currently in progress and the financial and strategic benefits of this legislation will bring the industry," said New Zealand Racing Board chairwoman Glenda Hughes.

"We will be continuing to work with Government officials to progress this legislation, which will require overseas bookmakers to pay a fee for taking bets on New Zealand race events," she said.

During the meeting Racing Board chief executive John Allen outlined his full confidence that the current management strategy will produce an additional $45 million of code distributions in 2018/19, growing to $60m in the 2019/20 season, from the implementation of race field legislation, automation of a fixed odds betting systems, and customer and channels improvements.

Allen and Hughes heard the concerns of industry stakeholders, and recognised the need for increased industry support in the short term until the initiatives start to deliver returns to ensure the sustainability of participation and investment in New Zealand racing.

New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing chairman Alan Jackson said it was a constructive meeting. "We were pleased to hear of the willingness of the NZRB chair to continue constructive dialogue with NZTR and consider any additional options to increase racing code distributions in the short term," Jackson said.

Hughes assured the group that these issues will be discussed by the NZRB Board at its meeting on March 28.

"Finding the best way forward that benefits the entire New Zealand racing industry is of utmost importance to all of us, and we will only be able to do this by working together and ensuring we are finding the best outcomes," Hughes said.

Representatives from the Auckland Racing Club, Canterbury Jockey Club, Waikato Racing Club, Hawkes Bay Racing, New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders Association, New Zealand Trainers Association, New Zealand Racehorse Owners Federation and the New Zealand Jockeys Association also attended the meeting.

Participants agreed it was a progressive meeting and hoped it would lead to improvements.

National Jockeys Association president Dave Taylor felt it was a "progressive" meeting and Trainers Association president Tony Pike felt "it was a good beginning".

"The meeting was a good starting point so long as we see some progress from here," Pike said.

Posted by: AT 01:21 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email