Like most of you, I had no idea what that word ‘watershed’ meant until I googled it (see above), or how it came to relate to major changes in a particular sphere. So, while I’m reluctant to use words I don’t really understand, it just sort of fits when I look ahead and imagine how 2019 is going to shape up.
Anyone working with the tarot cards or peering into the crystal ball in an effort to work out where harness racing, indeed the entire racing industry, will be this time next year, faces an almost impossible task. Shortly, the structure of the HRNZ Board will almost certainly change, hopefully for the better, a new General Manager will jump into the hot seat, the report of the group looking into the Messara Report will be made public, and then the real squabbling and political chicanery will begin. Add to that the Racing Board will likely be replaced by another entity, tax relief will be in place, if you can believe our Racing Minister, the ever growing phenomenon that is Operation Inca will have moved forward, although, by how much and in what direction is anyone’s guess, and a new format for Yearling Sales will have revealed it’s worth, or otherwise.
Of course, on a slightly smaller, yet important scale, the Handicapping system will continue to evolve, pleasing some and upsetting others, Clubs and their hard working bands of volunteers will battle away as they strive to hold their own, and the TAB will sort out its’ new website….we hope.
In the meantime, horse people all over the Country will carry on plying their trade and producing winners and also-rans, the AllStars will produce another raft of super animals, and more time barriers will be undoubtedly be broken.
Safety vests and helmets on, folks, it’s going to be an eventful rollercoaster ride.