Garry’s Corner – 5th January

Garry Chittick

Well, where do I start? This Corner is becoming a commentary that has expectations of responsible opinions. Now I can tell you, my loyal readers that I accept anyone who chooses to express a view on anything they believe in, does have a responsibility to at least make some sense, but more importantly to know that if one is challenged there is a credible logic to the debate. I can guarantee you that even my limited IQ is challenged, which it hasn’t been to date, will not be found wanting on the subjects I raise. I’d be pretty stupid to expose myself which in turn would mean why comment at all with no credibility.
So, where are we? 2017 has passed 2018 is the next calendar year. Not our Racing year though. Is there a reason to pop the champagne corks, a reason to say we have turned the corner? A reason for owners, and breeders to say well done? Those that we have faith in are on the right track to turn around a stagnant current. Well I hope so, hope is not a sound business plan though. I have been awaiting my opportunity to digest the Racing Boards Annual Report, yes it’s available on my I pad but I await the printed version so I can ink where necessary, put in the pluses or minuses you know cockies maths the sort of analysis that makes four when you add two and two.
We know $12 million was allocated across the three codes to inject the confidence required for ongoing investment to sustain our core breeding numbers, we are encouraged to think this injection of capital is not just a one-off, no we have another injection, not $12 million on top of last year just an extension of last year. Visionary, courageous, borrowed!! Well, the confidence is contagious and like rotavirus, it gives you a gut ache.
Anticipated returns from race fields’ legislation are already spent. We sold a building, chucked the result into last year’s accounts, and is there another building to part with next year? A Thoroughbred Board Member told me projected foal crops will not could, reduce our race days by a further 25. TV wagering product can and will be sourced from wherever, does that mean the same sized pot will be shared by 200 fewer race winners, you see the point is that’s not what we should be about, I keep thinking about what the late Herbie Dyke used to say to me. Only 10 percent ever win a race so to hell with the rest. He didn’t believe that but like me, he had a big cheek to fill with a modest tongue. Anyway, you have heard all this before, my point is another year or two of the direction we are going, the optimism of our Governing bodies well founded or not will be too late.
I finished the 2017 racing year at Te Rapa, Love Affair ran bravely, only 4 wide until the bend when 6 or 7 wide may have been conservative, a neck was the margin, I am restrained with my post-race comments to jockeys having been advised by a rider to lose weight and ride my own, its only my bone structure that stands in the way. Mind you the venues catering on the day had the attendees experiencing anorexia. Racing clubs can’t hide behind the caterer’s incompetence when charging 200$ for the day.
2018 started with promise, fishing on the world-class Lake Taupo was outstanding, why I ever leave there I am not sure but the lure of the horse and the thrill of the win never wanes. So Mary and I left Taupo for Auckland with high hopes with two runners in the Group Two Rich Hill Mile. Well they both can’t win, we should have known, the gods, the racing gods, decided as a result of mid-afternoon heavy rain we should scratch the favourite Love Affair, and smart bastards aren’t we winning the race with the other – Coldplay.
Now I race this with the subject of a recent Corner, you know the one with curly hair, it was a terrible day for the racegoers and the club but a great day for us. And you know what, my chances of attaining my riding weight were extinguished by the outstanding on course catering I enjoyed at the Dunstan Horse Feeds hospitality area. Many thanks Dave.
So, what do I remember about those two days? Was it a bad ride followed by a brave win, or good or bad catering. It doesn’t matter, I go for the horses I race, but I will wager there is more said about the bad day out than the rain at Ellerslie. What a pity. Still there would have been food on the table in Petone and they wouldn’t have got wet. Funny old world. Cheers G

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