Winning Ways important

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2 months 2 weeks ago #751276 by Dave Scott
Dave Scott created the topic: Winning Ways important
I discussed with James the other day and its vital to SA racing to get on level playing fields to be on an upwing (this has now been going on for years and you have to imagine what a nightmare it has been for MDK and others)


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2 months 2 weeks ago - 2 months 2 weeks ago #751281 by Garrick
Garrick replied the topic: Winning Ways important
I am happy to concede that I must be really thick but I fail to see many benefits to local racing if export protocols become 'normalised'.

I am not suggesting that we embrace a 'laager' mentality but local buyers are likely to be further marginalised.

My take is as follows :

1.) The best bloodstock ( or best perceived bloodstock ) will be out of the country in a flash.
2.) Local buyers will have to compete forlornly against buyers with hard currency ( refer recent CTS sale ).

The only benefits that I can see are :

1.) International horses can raid our big features. ( I am not sure that everyone will regard this as a 'benefit' ).
2.) Breeders will be happy

As usual the punter does not figure at all. He/she will simply be left to 'make do' and bet on a vastly reduced quality of horse. A sort of 'permanent Durban polyrack' type of racing.

I am one of an allegedly relatively small group that participates only in overseas racing; largely UK fare. Turnover figures suggest that the majority still prefer local racing. Fair enough. But how do you grow the sport when even the blind turkeys eventually work out that they are only getting the 'D division' stuff.

Don't be surprised when we look identical to New Zealand as a racing jurisdiction.
Last Edit: 2 months 2 weeks ago by Garrick.
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2 months 2 weeks ago #751282 by LSU
LSU replied the topic: Winning Ways important
Garrick makes very valid arguments as usual but I have another possible scenario that might play out if this becomes a reality.
Some good horses will undeniably be lost to the local market as is already the case but the upside could include:
- Better stallions/broodmares imported to further improve local blood lines and stock for a better export quality
- Local top races are prestigious enough to still offer a relatively good proving ground for a horse prior to a potential sale
- Would be reasonably affordable for overseas owners to own and race horses here and then sell on easier once quality is proven which will help local trainers
- Improved stock would create more interest in South African horses and should lead to an improvement in quality of average horses
Off course Garrick''s scenario might play out but I don't believe that this is the worst thing that can happen to our market.
The longer term solution for our local market is still heavily dependent on creating new punting markets for increased funding of racing so that ownership for a local owner would again make sense at some point via much improved stakes.
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2 months 2 weeks ago #751283 by Dave Scott
Dave Scott replied the topic: Winning Ways important
My take would be that SA horses are under priced on the world market.
Considering we have fair stock at a huge disadvantage when they do make the effort to travel.
My understanding is that it would boost the breeding industry to have more overseas buyers and hopefully have a rippling effect on SA racing.
I do see it possibly having a negative effect on the quality of horses local to punt but on the other hand if we have more well bred horses, it might just give us enough stock to cover both requirements?
I probably wont be around long enough to witness this, but one thing for sure is we need something to change or inject into SA racing.

Good punting and breeding

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2 months 2 weeks ago #751286 by Muhtiman
Muhtiman replied the topic: Winning Ways important
.....yeah poor New Zealand.....anything with an inkling of talent is snapped up and has over the years of uncontrolled export..... left them with very mediocre horses.... they have nothing of any talent to field in top races and even the Ozzies raid their better group races with horses that cannot compete at these levels back in Ozz....:(

My idea of "help from above" is a sniper on the roof
and a higher power is a hell fire missile armed drone.

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2 months 2 weeks ago #751313 by Garrick
Garrick replied the topic: Winning Ways important

Dave Scott wrote: My take would be that SA horses are under priced on the world market.
Considering we have fair stock at a huge disadvantage when they do make the effort to travel.
My understanding is that it would boost the breeding industry to have more overseas buyers and hopefully have a rippling effect on SA racing.
I do see it possibly having a negative effect on the quality of horses local to punt but on the other hand if we have more well bred horses, it might just give us enough stock to cover both requirements?
I probably wont be around long enough to witness this, but one thing for sure is we need something to change or inject into SA racing.

Good punting and breeding


Dave - The scenario which you have sketched is already almost a reality in Cape Town.
Expatriate owners make up a substantial portion of the ownership body down here.
There is, unfortunately, absolutely no ripple effect as you might hope. 'Middle class' ownership (ie you and me) is almost extinct and many of the trainers who would traditionally have served this market are quietly going out. If not right now then very soon.
Training is concentrated amongst about 5 large yards.
Public interest is as close to zero as makes no difference.

The only issue which amazes me is that it has taken so long! Since 'going public' the operator has almost made it policy to abuse and aggravate punters.
It was never better illustrated than when Hong Kong refunded punters on Met Day following the operator's failure is disclose a jockey change on some of the races they were simulcasting.
The operator was very quick to issue an apology to Hong Kong.
But not to local punters.
That really sums it up perfectly.
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2 months 2 weeks ago #751337 by Frodo
Frodo replied the topic: Winning Ways important
I have to agree with the sentiment that 'opening up' would have little effect on the run-of-the-mill small-to-medium breeders and owners - yes the big guys may gain, but imo it would not lead to an upturn in the fortunes of SA racing as a whole.

Imo, until the issue of stakes has been adequately addressed (and I don't know how it can be achieved), the majority of breeders and owners will still get the short end of the stick .....

As a VERY general comparison (and these are I my own guestimates), lets use the following example ....

Say the average breeder attempts to breed an average yearling from a average mare -- let's say the breeder acquires the mare at 50k at the beginning of the breeding season; he then needs to send her to at least an average stallion - say another 50k in service fee - so costs stands at 100k; he then needs to feed / keep the (hopefully pregnant) mare for say 11 months until the foal arrives; let's be very conservative and estimate keep at 3k a month - 11 x 3 = 33 k; let's be even more conservative and say vet costs can be limited to 20k over the period; so our breeder has now spent at least an average of approximately 150k to get the yearling 'on the ground'

Of course the next yearling(s) can be produced at 'only' 100k as the breeder does not need to buy the mare again - but let's stick to the first produce for argument's sake ....

This yearling has to be nurtured / fed etc for the next 15 months at least (if it is a Nov foal and he/she gets offered on an early sale in Jan) - taking the conservative route again, let's estimate these costs (don't forget the vet) at another 100k.

So for the breeder to break even, his yearling needs to fetch at least 250k on the sale .....

Now let's turn our attention to the owner; let's say a small / medium owner takes a liking to this yearling - being by an 'average' stallion out of an 'average' mare, he checks the earning potential of this 'investment'; according to my stats, the average earnings per year of produce of the 'top' stallion (Captain Al) over the last 2 years, is approximately 140k - for the 'average' stallion (Pathfork / Judpot / Visionaire ?) this comes down to about 60k per year, so our owner on average will need to have his 'investment' earning for at least 4 years - to make a loss of 10k (4 x 60 = 240) if he paid the 'break even' price (250k) of the breeder - and this is not even taking training costs into account - and of course the yearling will also take at least 10 months (if bought in Jan) before he is ready to start earning .....

Of course there is always the hope of that yearling turning out to be another Running Brave (and I suppose Summerhill is still kicking themselves for letting her go at 30k) .... but realistically on average, nothing here makes any financial sense .... so do you still want to be an owner ? And no owners mean no breeders, no jocks, no trainers , no grooms ...... :huh:

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2 months 2 weeks ago #751340 by MissT
MissT replied the topic: Winning Ways important
Well put Frodo and again no mention of the punter!!! None of them and none of the others would need to be in business anyway.

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2 months 2 weeks ago #751344 by Frodo
Frodo replied the topic: Winning Ways important

MissT wrote: Well put Frodo and again no mention of the punter!!! None of them and none of the others would need to be in business anyway.


Of course the punter is the source of the stakes, so to me it makes sense that the Tote should do it's utmost to lure punters to use it - more punters (on the Tote) = bigger pools = higher stakes = more owners = more breeders etc etc; unfortunately I see no urgency from the powers that be to stem the 'Tote Drain' :( And that to my small mind is much more important to 'SA Racing' than 'opening up the export market'

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2 months 2 weeks ago #751363 by LSU
LSU replied the topic: Winning Ways important
We should be very careful not to see the operator as a champion of racing, they are only champions of strategies for maximum profit. If racing died tomorrow it would save them a fortune in expenses and locally they are well set up to carry on with sports betting and almost zero overheads for putting on the show. Successful local racing would be a nice to have but is not a necessity for their success. Lets not make the mistake of thinking that punters are the only one's that matter, even though we are important and a great deal more so than we are given credit for.

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2 months 2 weeks ago #751372 by chicken n chips
chicken n chips replied the topic: Winning Ways important

Muhtiman wrote: .....yeah poor New Zealand.....anything with an inkling of talent is snapped up and has over the years of uncontrolled export..... left them with very mediocre horses.... they have nothing of any talent to field in top races and even the Ozzies raid their better group races with horses that cannot compete at these levels back in Ozz....:(


one thing about horse racing in NZ is that its a great day out, with brilliant facilities and what i enjoyed the most is the starting stalls, they have no "roof" thus preventing a horse from bad injury or death if the sprung up hitting their heads on the bars supporting the "roof" also parking your car on the course or on a side street you know it will still be there on your return. Yes the Aussies do grab their best and as the stakes are much higher in Australia the NZ owners jump at it.

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2 months 2 weeks ago #751396 by MissT
MissT replied the topic: Winning Ways important
LSU not sure I totally agree with you but thats fine. It does not matter what or where they want to operate they still require punters, be it sport or racing or 2 flies climbing a wall . Just my opinion though.

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2 months 2 weeks ago #751416 by LSU
LSU replied the topic: Winning Ways important
i don't disagree on your earlier point Miss T. Tote racing punters are not valued highly as is evident from the lack of quality service to this group. The point I am trying to make is that punters are not the only ones getting questionable treatment and the whole racing chain suffers because it is is not a priority in the bigger plan. The whole expansion drive suggests a preference towards fixed odds and sports betting where many of the current unwanted expenses could disappear without a racing obligation. Although the tote offers a risk free return it is only of value whilst pools are sufficiently large and growing which is clearly the opposite of the current situation. Punters are clearly not valued enough.
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