Exciting Future Ahead - New Year's Eve Update

Date: 31 Dec 2023

Exciting Future Ahead - New Year's Eve Update

David writes:

What a year it's been for New Zealand racing since mid-year, when Entain partnered with the New Zealand TAB - a 25 year partnership that formally commenced on 1 June 2023.

To say that the racing and breeding industries were in strife before this partnership was cemented is an understatement.

Starting with the New Zealand breeding industry - to give an example, from memory, the year Sir Tristram went to stud, there were about 25 stallions that went to stand at stud for the first time that season. This year there was only one - Profondo - he had a full book of mares, well done Windsor Park and Mapperley Studs

Going back to the year Sir Tristram first went to stud, there were well over 7000 foals born in New Zealand.  This year (2023) it is estimated we will see approximately 2600.  It's a stark comparison and underlines the 'strife' I earlier referred to - such a dramatic reduction in the foal crop that has long been causing concern.

With the stake money on offer prior to the Entain/TAB partnership, it was only a matter of time before it would become more and more difficult to attract new owners to racing, and would also test the loyalty, patience and resilience of those already involved.  

It's not just stake money however, it's new initiatives such as the $2 million to boost the Pearl Series (with a final boasting a $100,000 special bonus); the Summer Series bonus of $500,000; the $350,000 Southern Alps Challenge; revamped on course owners' areas to be rolled out; TAB Racing Clubs are on the way - the initiatives just don't stop.

To illustrate this, we won a maiden race at Rotorua this past week - the event had a $18,500 stake and as it was a Pearl Series Bonus race, our filly Sense of Timing also collected the $20,000 bonus.  Earlier in the year we saw Sorcha win a $20,000 Pearl Bonus and seven days later, repeat that feat - $40,000 in seven days, in addition to the prize money. 

What I also very much admire is that fact that the new senior leadership of Entain/TAB possesses a real love for the industry.  It actually wants to see our industry succeed, and not simply for business reasons, its leadership actually believes passionately in it.  You always see some or all of the seƱor management at every major race meeting.  

It's incredible the momentum that has been created within the industry by this enthusiasm and drive and innovation, and further good news isn't far away!

I also enjoy seeing the positive working dynamic Entain/TAB has with New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing (NZTR).  They are working collaboratively together in creating change for the betterment of thoroughbred racing - congratulations to NZTR Chairman Cameron George, the NZTR Board and CEO Bruce Sharrock and team.

The future for New Zealand racing is bright and we are proud to be part of this.  There is also no question that this re-energising will have a positive impact on the breeding industry too.

So very exhilarating times to look forward to - bring on 2024!!  

In coming months I will be attending and buying at yearling sales on Gold Coast, Sydney, Karaka and Melbourne.

I can't wait - bring it on - there will be so many exciting opportunities for new and existing owners to be involved!  We have some brand new ownership opportunities to announce in coming weeks too - so keep your eyes peeled.

If you want to be involved and join our priority list - please call me on +64 21 925151 or email Karyn - [email protected] - you will be made to feel very welcome!

Karyn and I, Mark and Sam, and our whole Te Akau Stud, NZ, Australia and Singapore team wish you the very best New Year celebrations - let's make 2024 an absolute cracker!!!!  You have our New Year's resolution to do everything to make it so!!


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