G'day Punter!

In this Discussion

Who's Online

0 Members & 14 Non Members

Victorian Harness Hitting The Wall

Harness & Greyhounds
Harness link article on Victorian Harness situation. Similarities to WA are scarily identical: Going busted aarse broke.


WA is ,primarily from Gloucester Park metro meetings (fact), also living way beyond its means, the product is broken, harness is losing millions, now way under the often quoted 40 cents in the dollar return,  and with overall share of turnover at less than 11% and falling, it is clear punters will not bet on the current product. Stakes cuts are a living certainty moving forward, the subsidies from the other codes can't continue. The product is broken.

There has been much social media discussion of late about improvements to the product....trial replay availability on TABtouch, post race interviews with drivers and trainers, we have pre-race birdcage interviews: all excellent ideas and impossible to argue against but who will watch or listen? The product is on the nose and these positives are the equivalent of putting lipstick on a pig. A prettier pig but still a pig. 

The bigger issues of handicapping, programming, PBD, calendar dates, on course stabling/training centre etc etc are rarely discussed. Yes, they are difficult areas but tinkering around the peripheries will solve nothing. And despite all the propaganda about the "redevelopment" of GP and the vacuuming up of $25 million of Industry funding all to retain an 800m track with a comfy new lounge for the few members that go along, that is years away from ever eventuating and will not make a scintilla of difference to the fact that the good ship Harness has a gaping hole in its hull.

Until their is a management and industry realisation that the product of the plethora of non competitive $1.10 favourites winning each week in small fields (granted, partially corrected of late at GP but robbing Peter to pay Paul is in play), which is great for the big boys to play their multi's and all ups, has been and continues to be ruinous for the Industry. it does nothing in attracting back the 1000's of former trots punters who have given up ages ago, or of attracting the new age sports betting crew who would prefer to bet on who scores the first touchdown in American Football or gets the first wicket in BBL.
+1 -1

JimmyPop likes this post.

Comments

  • MarkovinaMarkovina    2,975 posts
    edited February 29
    It seems like Trotting Aust wide is on life support - only for govt funds propping them up - theyd all be broke 

    That guy in Vic - ex CFO so he knows all the figures - double the staff of NSW  re Admin/Marketing - so theres plenty of costs they could cut their - but didnt Chariots a while back post a link saying NSW posted a big annual loss around the $16 million from memory 

    I think Trotting is on the nose re betting/punters - and anyone who says they can fix it - then good luck - like they use to say , a break even business isnt a bad business to have

    Ive got a NSW TAB.Com acct - and last weekend i just looked at a few numbers from the Frid nights betting - forget the win and place - but i looked at the Tris and 1st 4s 

    And it was a pretty hot timeslot - 2 gallops meetings Canterbury and Moonnee Valley i think 

    But the Geelongs Greys slaughtered all the Trotting meetings re exotics . - for example at the Geel Trots , 25k free for all , Geel Rocket . a pitifull $500 in the 1st 4 pool from memory . Where as the Geel Greys every Tria was about 2.5k to 3.5k and 1st 4 - 1.5k to 2.5k . There were 2 local NSW Trotting meetings Newcastle and Parkes , and Geel greys beat them easily for exotics 

    Today i looked at the Vic or Super tab ( whatever it is called ) pools re that Geel Grey meeting - and for all 12 races they had 6k in every race for both the Tri and 1st 4 - they are good healthy pools , given the stiff competition they were up against - particularly the 2 gallops meetings 

    A couple of weeks back i looked at Ladbrokes site - to see if maybe they had Trots markets up the night before etc ( they didnt ) but they had the Gallops up the top , then the Greyhound meetings , then 3rd and lastly the Trots meetings , and that is definitely the correct order and state of play of things at present
  • warrenrobinsonwarrenrobinson    114 posts
    Morning all, No Handicap No Turnover No Future. Surely the Harness Industry will wake up to itself soon that the model is broken the figures state that unless your part of the GP management & committee or the GP owners association living in fairyland. No business can sustain a return of under 40 cents in the dollar. As mentioned by jayjay they are robbing Peter to pay Paul that strategy been in place for 30 years ( that's how long GP has been failing) so why continue down the same pathway is beyond me but the naive and dumb  believe to grow the industry you reduce the footprint, never worked and never will.
  • sonnysonny    1,136 posts
    I probably post this before... A CEO was interviewed and his response was,, I have made some bad decisions but I am sticking to them.. Ring a bell????

    JimmyPop likes this post.

  • Rocket_ReignRocket_Reign    868 posts
    Is it not true that GP midweek meetings are highest turnover country staked meetings? Shouldn’t that mean we race there more rather than less
  • JayJayJayJay    7,765 posts
    Yes, that is undeniably true, it is on the public record....but those meetings still run at a colossal loss, losing approx $2million dollars plus in FY 22/23. Basing decisions solely on turnover doesn't alter the fact that harness's overall share of turnover  is less than 11% and falling yet we are receiving double that, living way beyond our means. There is not a single harness meeting anywhere at any time in WA that runs at a profit and that includes the 100 or so meetings run at GP either Friday Night or Tuesday Night in the prime betting slot. In reality, based on what we earn, our current stakes should be about half of what they are. That is an uncomfortable fact.

    The average return on stakes paid across all tracks in less than 40 cents in the dollar. Think about that ....how can any business survive if it loses more than  60 cents on every dollar spent? One of the worst tracks for losing money is Gloucester Park Friday night meetings, responsible for over 60% of the 15 million dollars lost in FY 22/23 (also on the public record). So using the above logic, we should race less meetings on a Friday night at GP??? I don't see anyone suggesting that as a solution to the problem.

    Closing any track to prop up another track, wherever it may be located, achieves only one result, as has been proven beyond doubt time and time again. Track rationalisation reduces the footprint, it drives participants and horses out of the industry in their droves and it does nothing to stem turnover bleed. It may be all well and good to shut Busselton, Collie, Bridgetown, Williams, Kellerberrin and one of either Wagin of Narrogin (all of whom by comparison cost the Industry very little to operate with Busselton returning over 55 cents in the dollar compared to GP Friday Night less than 40 cents in the dollar, again, on the public record)) and concentrate everything at the tracks preferred by some big metropolitan owners but think of the effect it would have on base numbers in the Industry. Does anyone seriously think that those tracks would be retained and maintained as training centres by the volunteers and local trainers without any races dates? With no incentive to stay involved, there would be a large number of "industry exits", guaranteed, just as there was when Merredin,Trayning, Cunderdin, York etc and all those other country tracks were "rationalised".

    The elephant in the room is the model....despite liberal applications of lipstick, it is still a pig, Percy the Porker needs to head to the abattoir.The model is broken and has been for ages. The product is no longer attracting punters, they have left in droves and the continued dominance of $1.10 favourites won't bring them back. 

    As stated in the Victorian report above, the Industry needs "transformational change" and simply doing the same thing again and again, not learning from history at whatever track you choose, fits Einsteins definition of insanity. Unfortunately, the adage "no handicap, no turnover, no industry" that has been around for a while is an unqualified  truism but some self interest groups  are more than happy to keep doing what we are doing, short term benefiting until there is no industry or participants left, racing amongst themselves for ribbons and a tray of scones. The Industry cannot be grown by reducing the footprint, another truism, that has been proven time and time again.

    JimmyPop likes this post.

  • Rocket_ReignRocket_Reign    868 posts
    If you remove all the group races from the GP statistics I wonder how much better it would look compared to other tracks?

    Tracks like Kellerberrin etc have little to no local trainers left and are propped up by 90% of travelling Perth trainers aren’t you better off catering to all of them and racing closer rather than upping our expenses having to travel to get there?

    Victoria are about to close a heap of tracks to counter the problem they’re having is what I’ve heard.

    Cant_Refuse likes this post.

  • Chopchop43Chopchop43    172 posts
    edited March 1

    Morning all, No Handicap No Turnover No Future. Surely the Harness Industry will wake up to itself soon that the model is broken the figures state that unless your part of the GP management & committee or the GP owners association living in fairyland. No business can sustain a return of under 40 cents in the dollar. As mentioned by jayjay they are robbing Peter to pay Paul that strategy been in place for 30 years ( that's how long GP has been failing) so why continue down the same pathway is beyond me but the naive and dumb  believe to grow the industry you reduce the footprint, never worked and never will.


    so wait how did no handicap = no industry become a rant about gp ?? Doesn't handicapping or lack of, effect every track state wide ???

    Cant_Refuse likes this post.

  • JayJayJayJay    7,765 posts
    Therein lies one of the fundamental differences in opinion that we will probably never agree on Michael. That's fine, everyone has a view but I am simply saying that the history of track closures and centralisation shows no benefit whatsover. In whatever state, or guise, that it has been tried, the end result has always been a reduction in the size of the Industry and no stemming of the turnover bleed to other codes and other forms of betting.

    I think that the track closure debate is also masking the fundamental issue of the broken model. The NBM has failed dismally to deliver any of it's promised key performance indicators. It can no longer receive any more applications of lipstick and much as I am a pig lover, poor old Percy the Porker must be consigned to the abattoir. 

    I don't profess to know all or even any of the answers, way beyond my pay grade, but what I do know is that what we have is most certainly unsustainable and will result in Industry Collapse. Many of today's participants would have zero idea of what it was really like in the past, no idea whatsoever, but one of the other truisms is that once various generations of administrators started playing around with a proper handicap system that had worked admirably for decades amidst great industry prosperity, that was the beginning of the slide into obscurity. Obsessions with drop backs, recycling and penalty free racing, with all the best intentions, have stymied renewal and bought the Industry and turnover to its knees. No handicapping, no industry, no turnover.

    VillageKid, LightningJake, JimmyPop likes this post.

  • JayJayJayJay    7,765 posts

    If you remove all the group races from the GP statistics I wonder how much better it would look compared to other tracks?



    I don't have those stats and won't proselytize on what they may show,howevr, it would be reasonable to suspect that it would improve the numbers.

    Conversely however, it would equally reasonable to assume that the high status group races featuring the best horses racing for the peak prizemoney would generate both a huge boost in both on course attendance and off course turnover  to compensate for the increased pay outs.

    Sadly, we know this to be not the case, and whilst there may be a spike for the big races, we know it is not a linear and directly proportional boost in line with the big stakes paid out. Something like the Melbourne Cup, yes, it is an extreme example, what statisticians refer to as an outrider, but the stakes payout of $6 or $9 million or whatever it is, is returned in spades from the huge turnover generated. 

    There is no way in the world that the millions and millions thrown at the Inters, when they were here, or the Nullabor, results in a bottom line profit to the Industry and for those odd events, we probably shouldn't expect it given the immeasurable promotion value of those races that were supposed to but didn't "revitalise" the Industry.  No argument there but the pool sizes do not grow incrementally or proportionately with increased stakes payouts on group nights.
  • licklick    316 posts
    Too many odds on favourites. Which means the handicapping system is broke.

    JayJay, Chopchop43, JimmyPop, VillageKid likes this post.

  • Chopchop43Chopchop43    172 posts
    lick said:

    Too many odds on favourites. Which means the handicapping system is broke.


    amen , doesn't matter If your racing on a 1000m track or an 800m track if you have $1.10 pops drawing well your going to end up with a boring product

    JimmyPop likes this post.

  • JayJayJayJay    7,765 posts
    $496,000 in stakes paid out at GP last night versus $44,000 at Narrogin, bonuses aside. Going on some of the logic espoused around turnover, one can only hope that the GP turnover all up is 11 to 12 greater than Narrogin.

    warrenrobinson likes this post.

Sign In or Register to comment.