THE CORNER WITH GARRY CHITTICK
I learnt a long time ago that in our game facts are more important than opinions. Over the
years the number of believers based on primarily opinions I have dealt with generally
outweighs those whose decisions are based on facts. I have drummed into our team: ‘Listen
politely to the opinions, have the facts ready, but only use them when absolutely needed.’
After all, if they are expressing a view that may lead them to doing business with us, of
course they are right. On the other hand, if they are heading in another direction a sharp
introduction of the facts probably won’t change their direction, but you will feel a lot better.
There have, over the years, been a number of breeding programs to assist breeders. Some
were based on facts, recording results, and presenting evidence to give a clear, results-
based mating option. There were programs that dealt in more depth into dosages of this or
whatever, we went through a period where clients would as: ‘Did we have a programme?’
And then request a printout. We obliged but were constantly amused when asked our view.
We lost a client or two when we indicated we did not use such a program for our matings,
rather we applied common sense; you know, conformation, temperament, siblings. We
mate over 100 mares in a couple of hours. Of the criteria probably the most important is
siblings. Sure, we have been fortunate to have had the use of better than average resident
sires and are not always right, but we dare not delve into some of the theories that are
beyond our IQ. The multiplication of the 32 chromosomes of both parents, then their
parentage, let’s go to the fourth generation where we have sixteen combinations of the 32
chromosomes and yet I have been bombarded by those who know the effect of one of
Good on them, but our record is there for all to see; horses bred on the above criteria.
So, what’s my point? I’m not sure. Everybody who is a breeder can’t hide. We can’t, our
sires are subject to the scrutiny they should be. We sell 100 yearlings a year, they too are
subject to conformation and pedigree evaluation, but in the end it’s all about winning. So, I
suppose my point is: Before you decide on your mating, or buy a young horse, check the
facts not the opinions – you may be surprised at the results.
It has been a remarkable AJC Championship week for NZ, but remember it’s not the first
time, and our own record over the years will stand up to any scrutiny. The day Daffodil
secured the AJC Oaks, Vision And Power the Doncaster, Swick the Patinack Classic, and Bird
a Listed race at Canterbury, Sacred Falls consecutive Doncasters… I won’t go on, but you get
On the subject we in NZ are most interested in, that is the new joint-ventured TAB, we are
being fed little information but can only hope that the driver of Australia’s success is stakes,
we need a rapid infusion. I met Peter V’Landys over the recent carnival. He is evidently a
man who has a clear picture of where he wants to position Racing NSW. Straight to the
point, takes no prisoners, he is exactly what we needed. If not him then a similar visionary. I
don’t know our TAB Chief Executive or Chairman, but if they have a vision then share it. I
return to one of my earlier Corners when I expressed my concerns about our betting
agency’s emphasis on sports betting. When at Trentham I expressed my views to McNulty,
our new Minister, my concerns were brushed aside, as was my concern at the composition
of the current Board.
Let’s return to my theme for the day: FACTS. The fact is, despite our current successes we
have our smallest foal crop since I started breeding in 1975. FACT. what’s going to change
that? Not sports betting. FACT. We, that is the Codes, have allowed our industry to morph
into a Government Department. FACT. Will this result in a resurgence across the three
Codes? I doubt it.
Result, if nobody gets off their – – – – it will be too late.
A good start would be to involve us, after all, no us no industry.
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