Betting Levy to be repealed

May 21, 2019
Racing Minister Winston Peters has announced a repeal of the betting levy (racing totalisator duty) currently paid by the racing industry to the Crown.

Peters made the pre-Budget announcement when opening the New Zealand Bloodstock Karaka May Sale in Auckland on Friday.

Peters announced that payment of the levy to the Crown will be phased out over a three-year period, with freed-up funds to be redirected to the racing and sports sectors. The betting levy represents 4 percent of betting profits which amounted to $13.9 million in 2018.

“Redirecting the betting levy is a step towards revitalising of the racing industry. It was a recommendation of the Messara review of the racing industry, and was endorsed by the Ministerial Advisory Committee (MAC),” Peters said. 

“The funds will be redistributed to the racing Codes and Sport New Zealand, with a proportion set aside to support the reduction of gambling harm.

“This change will provide an important source of revenue for industry investment decisions,” Peters said.

“The racing industry plays a vital role in the New Zealand economy, having contributed $1.6 billion to the economy in 2016/17 whilst employing tens of thousands of New Zealanders, many of them young, and boosting New Zealand’s exports.

“It is important that the industry is revitalised and placed on a sustainable footing for the future.  Redirecting the betting levy funds is only one of a number of steps the government is undertaking.”

Last month the Minister also announced a Government agreement to a stepped response to the Messara Report, introducing two new pieces of legislation to bring new governance arrangements and other sources of industry revenue. – NZ Racing Desk

Hinerangi delivers special win

May 21, 2019
The Listed James Bull Rangitikei Gold Cup (1600m) carries the name of one icon of the Hunterville community, and on Saturday it was won by another.

The green, gold and white colours of Christopher and Susanna Grace were carried in the Awapuni feature by Hinerangi, who delivered a victory that was significant in more ways than one.

The Bull connection was a special one for Christopher Grace, who himself received the Queen’s Service Medal in 2014 for services to the Hunterville community.

“I’ve lived and farmed next to the Bull family all my life, so there’s a very long association and friendship there,” he said. “When I was on the committee of the Marton Jockey Club, I was also very closely involved with Jim Bull while he was on the Racing Conference. The Bull family has done a lot for racing and our community, which made this result extra special.”

But it was also a first black-type win for the Murray Baker and Andrew Forsman-trained Hinerangi, who comes from a family Grace has raced and bred from for half a century.

“When you’re a breeding person, a mare winning a black-type race is always a big thrill and so important,” he said.

“This mare comes from a family that I’ve had for eight or nine generations. The first horse from this family that I raced was all the way back in 1962 – that’s a long time ago now.”

Hinerangi is the first foal out of Hinemoa, who won the Listed Ag & Turf Sprint (1400m) at Te Rapa and the Listed Sprint Series Final (1200m) at Caulfield. Hinemoa is a half-sister to Taitanium, the dam of the Graces’ Gr.2 Wellington Cup (3200m) winner Graphic.

“It’s been a good family and Hinemoa raced well for us both here and in Australia,” Grace said. “Having another mare now who can carry on her line is fantastic.

“We’re trying to keep our number of broodmares down to 10 or 12, which can be very difficult. You have to be pretty ruthless at times. But my ambition is for all of our broodmares to either be stakes winners or sisters to stakes winners.”

The Graces’ CV features elite breeding successes with Gr.1 Telegraph (1200m) winner Morar, plus the Gr.2 Brisbane Cup (2400m) winner and Gr.1Caulfield Cup (2400m) placegetter Tullamore.

But their home-bred mare Shillelagh has been an obvious headline act,carrying their colours to Group One victories in the Cantala Stakes (1600m) and Empire Rose Stakes (1600m) during the last two Melbourne Cup  carnivals at Flemington.

The Savabeel mare was a close sixth in last Saturday’s Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) – right alongside the fifth-placed Luvaluva, who was also Grace-bred.

The winner of more than $1.8 million in prize-money, the seven-year-old Shillelagh has been trained for most of her career by Chris Waller, after commencing her career in New Zealand with Te Akau

“Whether or not we continue with Shillelagh is up in the air at the moment,” Grace said. “That decision probably won’t be made until the end of June.

“She hasn’t been over-raced, and she had only one start as a three-year-old, which she won. However, time does march on, so we’ll see.

“One possibility is that we might get her in foal in the spring and then race on for a little bit after that. But we’ll take a bit longer to work through that decision.” – NZ Racing Desk


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