Editor – The Informant’s Garrick Knight, in his column, accused Taranaki Racing of laziness in programming and that Taranaki Racing doesn’t give a hoot about Harness Racing based on information he gathered.
Courtesy would say that any journalist should contact the club to get their side of the decision-making, but unfortunately this didn’t happen and the story was printed without any club input.
To give Informant readers the full story, in 2018 the Taranaki Cup was run as a mobile 2600m and attracted only eight starters; not good for the club, the industry or the sponsors.
The Board of Taranaki Racing accepted my recommendation that the cup be run as a 1750m mobile to ensure we get a larger field. The 2019 running of the Cup attracted a quality field of 12 and good betting.
Taranaki had a very successful day with on-course turnover doubling to over $52,000, the highest in the Central Districts this year.
We look forward to our 100th jubilee in 2020, hopefully without negative news articles like last week’s.
CEO, Taranaki Racing
It’s somewhat mischievous to claim the change in distance was the reason for a bigger Cup field.
The Club effectively did open nominations – asked all race-winning pacers (up to rating 80) to nominate and up to four races would be carded, based on ratings.
The top portion of that would be the Cup, allowing for a guaranteed 12 runners. Once 50 horses were nominated, it was a mere formality.
Also remember that last year’s race was programmed as an up to rating 95, no doubt dissuading horses in the 60-band from competing.
Of course, those same low 60-band horses were the ones that underpinned this year’s field with six of the 12 being R60-62.
All’s well that ends well and the turnover results are to be applauded. Regardless, I maintain that a true Cup race should not be run over such as short distance and the club should be more creative with its programming.
Garrick Knight, Harnessed Editor.