Are those at the top of racing trying to succeed in making the industry profitable, or are they trying to succeed in running the sport into the dirt? Now, I love a good afternoon of racing just as much as the next person, but three thoroughbred meetings in New Zealand on a Saturday is bordering on madness. Riccarton played the runt of the family last weekend behind the Great Northern meeting at Ellerslie and the Wanganui Guineas meeting in the central North Island. The on-course turnover was $45,000 and the off-course turnover $522,000 - half of what they did at Wanganui in both forms, and Auckland managed almost $250,000 on-course and $1.2 million off. Who is the big loser here? With a plethora of high-quality racing from across the Tasman each Saturday, there is no need for three meetings on our shores, two meetings is a squeeze as it is. Riccarton will have struggled to break even on the day, and for some clubs that is not an affordable option. Stick with the two meetings. One needs to always be a feature meeting with high-quality racing and the other can play second fiddle to help fill the early gaps in between races.
Best bet: Success again! As predicted, Electric Ollie was simply too good for his opposition last week. His victory netted us a cool $81 to take the kitty to over the $450 mark. We head back to Addington this week, and I'm pretty keen on the chances of the consistent, and reliable, Live The Dream early in the night. A good run last weekend behind the top trotters points to a good run here. $25 each-way on him leaving the balance at $401.
Quick quiz: It's been over a decade since a horse won the Hannon Memorial and then went on to win the New Zealand Trotting Cup. Back in 2001 it last happened, and the winner was driven by a horseman who will steer one of the favourites in this year's edition. Can you name the horse and driver?
By the numbers: Riccarton staff had a massive clean up job on their hands this week after the storm ripped through the South Island. In total five shelter sheds were demolished, 37 trees were uprooted, tiles were ripped off the roof of the Grand National Stand and various signs, fences and other objects were blown over.
Overseas watch: Top sprinter Buffering has delighted trainer Robert Heathcote with a dominant jump-out win during the week. Buffering won his heat by more than 10 lengths, recording a time that was more than four seconds faster than the next quickest for the session. Buffering will head to Melbourne in a fortnight where he will resume in the Group One A J Moir Stakes (1200m) at Moonee Valley on September 27.
Quick quiz answer: Kyms Girl. Colin DeFilippi.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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