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Williams Off Due To Heat

Harness & Greyhounds
With Williams unfortunately but understandably losing it's meeting this Sunday (abandoned due to heat), it leaves it with just one racing date left on February 25th.

That may well be all she wrote as far as Williams continuing as a racing venue, Goodnight Irene I fear. Certainly, the jungle drums were beating last year that a number of venues would lose dates, possibly back to just one "boutique" Cup meeting per year. Although that appears to work quite well at Kunnunurra and other novelty type outer racing venues, I think that Harness Clubs would not be able to sustain their volunteer base of tracks for just one go per year. Trainers using those venues would also  probably put the cue back in the rack.

Turnover was cited at the time as one of the drivers for "rationalisation"....we are told it has absolutely  fallen off the cliff across all codes post the Covid Sugar Hit ....and it will probably be used to "rationalise" Bridgetown (currently also with only two racing dates). Track safety will also emerge with a current review/report being prepared which spells danger for Busselton and Collie, they are also probably doomed regardless of turnover or crowds.

You wonder what the landscape will look like in a year or two. Clearly, WACHRA put together a strong case via a lengthy submission to Government on retaining tracks and dates. Like most submissions to Government and semi government QUANGO's like RWWA, it was met with polite smiles, enthusiasm from the Opposition,  vague non core expressions of support and it is now probably gathering dust in some corner of Dumas House. Other industry groups probably didn't bother reading the contents and have remained fairly oblivious and languid in their responses to the bleeding reality of Industry shrinkage.

Obviously, GP with its "redevelopment/sell off"  isn't going anywhere due to the influence it has over RWWA as illustrated by the allocation of $24.7 million of funding helping to maintain a track of the same dimensions along with a new Pavilion for 300 members, same with Pinjarra and Bunbury....maybe Northam and Albany survive the executioners sword, with question marks about Central Wheatbelt, and one of either Wagin and Narrogin. Politics may play some role as Libby Mettam in Busselton would probably fight tooth and nail to keep Busso alive and Collie may be interesting as a potentially vulnerable government held seat.

Despite bleatings from Government (and the very reduced opposition) about the importance to communities of Country Clubs and Race meetings and their undying support for regional communities, the future looks pretty bleak for country harness. Gloucester Park is already running community $6,000 races on Tuesday along with three $9,000 races tomorrow night in order to make up full programmes of 10 races with full fields. Again this is understandable given the needless demographic "bulging" of the lower levels of the racing population due to the "drop back on steroids" system in HWOE, where far more horses drop back than go up.

I think going forward it will be a very, very reduced industry and when stakes reality strikes home as the other codes demand their pound of turnover flesh after the current distribution subsidy and guaranteed built in stake increase arrangement finishes in 12 months time, the very reduced industry must by definition race for very reduced stakes.
+1 -1

sonny, jum, LightningJake likes this post.

Comments

  • AbbysAceAbbysAce    557 posts
    Why would you program a Williams meeting on Sunday after Narrogin Tuesday, Albany Saturday night?

    Isnt that the same pool of horses?



    How about program the Williams meetings after Albany finished ( plus you would think it would be cooler weather in March ) and that might/could help Bridgetown/ Kellerberrin?
  • JayJayJayJay    7,593 posts
    Why indeed? Surely not an ulterior motive?
  • MuldoonMuldoon    308 posts
    AbbysAce said:

    Why would you program a Williams meeting on Sunday after Narrogin Tuesday, Albany Saturday night?


    Isnt that the same pool of horses?



    How about program the Williams meetings after Albany finished ( plus you would think it would be cooler weather in March ) and that might/could help Bridgetown/ Kellerberrin?
    Commonsense there I think Abbey, but do that have that up in the towers of power ?

    LightningJake likes this post.

  • Vincent_vegaVincent_vega    454 posts
    AbbysAce said:

    Why would you program a Williams meeting on Sunday after Narrogin Tuesday, Albany Saturday night?


    Isnt that the same pool of horses?



    How about program the Williams meetings after Albany finished ( plus you would think it would be cooler weather in March ) and that might/could help Bridgetown/ Kellerberrin?



    Stop talking common sense, rwwa dont need that type of negativity =))
  • jumjum    3,505 posts
    I think JJ hit the nail on the head  >-)
  • warrenrobinsonwarrenrobinson    57 posts
    Morning, Interesting discussion Country Club closures and we all have our opinions which have been posted on many occasions but as i said before opinions are worthless without facts and the fact is that reducing clubs has never worked so why continue down the same path. Any Harness Racing participant that believes this is the way to go is dumb and may i suggest you may need to look elsewhere for employment as the future will be doomed. How can the management of RWWA blame clubs when the model they introduced 2018 has completely failed. No Handicap No Turnover No Future.
  • savethegamesavethegame    2,774 posts
    NEVER FORGET THE MOTTO


    HARNESS THE RHYTHEM

    BUILD THE PROFILE OF HARNESS RACING

    INSTIL CONFIDENCE WITHIN INDUSTRY AND ENCOURAGE.

    PARTICIPATION TO BROADER AUDIENCE

    JayJay, LightningJake likes this post.

  • JayJayJayJay    7,593 posts

    "RWWA’s Harness Business Model seeks to improve the commerciality of
    harness racing and provide a sustainable and positive future for the
    sport."

    Straight from the Website. A monumental fail on all three counts.

    Way back in 2018....remember the promises of regular updates on turnover, number of odds on favourites, horse population, spread of stake money, industry participant numbers, the reviews of HWOE after 6 or 12 or 18 months and so on? The key performance indicators on how the success of the NBM will be measured...has a single one been achieved? Nope. So, lets move forward and shrink the footprint even more, that will fix everything, just like it did on the previous failed "rationalisations".

    What is really galling is that anyone who questioned any aspect of the NBM, or the new handicapped system in particular, or the reality of a major metro club losing north of 11 million dollars per annum, was sent to Coventry, labelled a fool or a negative Norm or a "Curmudgeon" (in reverence to a dearly departed old mate),or even worse, "a cancer on the Industry"...... whilst those that instituted and supported this monumental failure of a model, and those who continue to defend it and benefit from it to the detriment of the Industry .....ride off into the sunset unscathed, presumably canvassing support for elevation into the Hall of Fame.

    It has been a disaster and I think Cameron Brown may be finding out just what sort of shittshow he has inherited. There will be inevitable pushback from within against anything he does but changes must happen, the industry is in freefall and he must be given a chance. However, I fail to see how chucking Williams (and others) onto the ever increasing scrapheap of Harness Tracks (if that is indeed the case) will do anything other than drive further participants and horses out of the Industry.

     

    LightningJake likes this post.

  • savethegamesavethegame    2,774 posts
    See Rosehill going head to head with G.P. to a certain degree in the Neopotistic stakes.
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