The lack of grass track opportunities in the Waikato this year is a real shame on a couple of levels. Given the experience in Canterbury, the difference between the number of people in attendance between an average meeting on the all-weather tracks, and the same meeting out in a country setting is often staggering. The fact that those opportunities are missing this year could mean that we have lost a number of patrons that we can ill afford to lose, even if they only go once or twice a year.
It’s also a disadvantage for the connections of the horses that regularly front up to those grass track meetings, the one’s that lack high speed but are more than capable of competing successfully on the green surface. Such horses are probably not saleable overseas, so with a lack of opportunities to shine, they will probably be retired.
While it is understandable that the galloping clubs want to preserve their tracks for their own meetings, hopefully next year some form of compromise can be reached with those that can provide a suitable surface for our racing, so that normal transmission can resume, and these race-days that people seem to enjoy so much, can return as regular Summer racing fixtures.