As mentioned last week, a delegation from the Association’s Greater Canterbury Branch met with Addington representatives, including new CEO Brian Thompson.
Those present agreed that many of the current issues surrounding the Industry were more associated with HRNZ than Addington, and a meeting to address those issues will take place in the near future.
Matters raised with the Addington officials included handicapping, trial meetings, and on course catering pricing. Concern was expressed at the prices being charged for alcohol on race nights in Spectators, which was upsetting trainers and owners, as well as deterring punters. In addition, the $30 Spectator vouchers given to winning connections, while appreciated, often failed to cover the cost of a round of celebratory drinks, they had a time limit for usage, and there was no facility to receive change on them. Brian agreed to look into these concerns, stressing that trainers were their customers, and there was a desire to cater for them as best as finances would permit in the present tight climate.
There was a desire from all parties to condense programmes by shortening times between races, and plans were underway to achieve this in some form, albeit in consultation with the TAB.
Discussion also took place on the merits or otherwise of heats and final series of races and, as mentioned last week, how more horses could be attracted to race at NZ Metropolitan TC meetings.
It was obvious from the meeting that Brain and his team are trying hard to please their ‘customers’ and, at the same time maintain and hopefully, increase, stake levels.