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Thread: IDEAS on how we can improve Harness Racing

  1. #1
    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    IDEAS on how we can improve Harness Racing

    We have had threads like this before but I am starting a new one.

    The following is taken from an email I have just sent :


    Entertainment product and marketing have to be improved while turnover needs to go up.

    Like your suggestion - we have to explore outside of the box.

    Taking share off gallops and greyhounds is a huge task. Arresting the decline is no doubt a start

    The gallops have a HUGE media advantage while the dogs have the advantage of cheap quick product

    At present we seem to be concentrating on increasing turnover by increasing the number of races ($3,500) that we run



    While I think we need to be innovative I fear that most innovations if successful will be replicated by our opposition.

    A grass Inter is an interesting thought - one side of me likes the promotional potential while my 'small track' side wants us to promote our point of difference from the gallops. We have to have a superior point of difference that cannot be replicated by the opposition - superior in that it catches the publics hearts I think small track racing is one such point

    Regardless of what the suggestion is - we need people continually coming up with IDEAS, ideas that can be individual to our sport



    I don't know that attendance is as important as it once was (it is still VERY important mind you) but when I took the misses to St Arnaud yesterday I only stayed 3 races in fairness to her. Even though we parked on the fence (special in itself and like going to the local footy) so she had her 'stuff' to entertain her between races and the horses doing their preliminaries helped - between the second and third race we were there she said, "How long is it between races?". 40 mins can seem like an eternity. Ideally we need the races much closer together (but Sky determines this) or we need something happening on the track/the stage between races. An MC (and guest interviews) can keep people in a lounge entertained but at St Arnaud and hopefully most venues - you will not fit the whole crowd in the lounge. Pony trots are value but they are only a Saturday and Sunday afternoon or school holidays option.



    We need to think of something entertaining that is horse related and logistically viable. I am not a fan of musical entertainment as the answer - if I wanted musical entertainment, I would go to a music venue. It is like 'pokies', while I understand that these dangerous machines help sporting clubs like St Arnaud, as far as attendance goes - you cannot pretend you are in the horse industry if that is what the people are turning up for



    I have waffled on a bit but hopefully someone can come up with the Big Idea that can make a difference
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Horse Of The Year Amlin will become famous soon enough Amlin's Avatar
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    Only way you could decrease the time between races would be if you closed all betting before the first, then you could run races 15 mins apart. Nobody else is doing this, maybe we could do a test of it?

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    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    Great outside the square thinking Kyle. I wonder about the loss of 'reinvesting'. Maybe a 12 race program with 4 races in an hour, half hour break/investing time, 4 races in an hour, ....... With a heavy promotion of 3 Quaddies

    Or would the reduced time and the potential protests etc only necessitate 2 sets of stewards and payouts delayed by 1 race eg Div's from R1 not paid out until before R3
    Last edited by Messenger; 01-01-2018 at 04:48 PM. Reason: Or
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    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    How about we send someone to Norway, really investigate the no-whip racing and make that a point of difference from the gallops
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    Senior Member Horse Of The Year Greg Hando will become famous soon enough
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amlin View Post
    Only way you could decrease the time between races would be if you closed all betting before the first, then you could run races 15 mins apart. Nobody else is doing this, maybe we could do a test of it?
    Have you ever tried unharnessing one and washing it and getting the next one in for the next race very hard and mistakes happen and can cost a race win been there done that they tried 20 min intervals in NSW while good for betting not so much for trainers/drivers /stewards and track curators
    Have whoever you want on but don't ever have yourself on

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    Senior Member Horse Of The Year Toohard will become famous soon enough Toohard's Avatar
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    Went to the dog Melbourne Cup few weeks back. From an entertainment point of view it was awesome. So much going on between races and heaps of stuff for kids. And heaps of 20-25 age group there... maybe due close proximity to the Uni. Again a one off and a 2 hour drive for us but I'd go back again.

    But they have an advantage entertainment wise. Dogs not out on track 10 mins before race warming up.

    You won't get punters back to the track these days. Why would they go? Endless traffic snarls and cold weather. Better to stay home with live TV and phones to bet with. Those of us old enough to have seen it happen when things changed will remember the punters left the track first. And subsequently, took the bookmakers with them.

    Want other people to go to the track you need to entertain them. Like last night at Melton. Is that a priority? But tipping that probably cost money. Didn't see a lot of people punting last night and everything was free.

    Innovative.* Neither my ideas but in UK when I was there (gallops) they put bands on in summer after the last. Twilight meets and if pay to get in before say race 3 you get to see band for nothing. Else pay extra to get in. Decent crowds of young people there to watch races and have a bet.

    At one track went to (Windsor) they had figure 8 racing. Another in France went to had it too. It was fascinating to watch. Someone else suggest it on twitter recently. Leader become death seat horse after half a lap and vice versa. Home straight extra long as run diagonally. No sprint lanes needed ...probably coz drivers and horses dizzy!

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    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    Do you think there would be any interest from people with horses for sale to work them between races or parade them in the home straight if they are not in work (or are competing in the next race)
    The semaphore board could post their details

    Would it create enough interest to fill the gap?

    (This thread is for tossing ideas around - don't be afraid to be wrong and if the majority think you are, just take it on the chin and go again)
    The Thin Green Line - Supporting the Rangers who protect the world's endangered animals against poachers

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Stallion Messenger will become famous soon enough Messenger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Toohard View Post
    Went to the dog Melbourne Cup few weeks back. From an entertainment point of view it was awesome. So much going on between races and heaps of stuff for kids. And heaps of 20-25 age group there... maybe due close proximity to the Uni. Again a one off and a 2 hour drive for us but I'd go back again.

    But they have an advantage entertainment wise. Dogs not out on track 10 mins before race warming up.

    You won't get punters back to the track these days. Why would they go? Endless traffic snarls and cold weather. Better to stay home with live TV and phones to bet with. Those of us old enough to have seen it happen when things changed will remember the punters left the track first. And subsequently, took the bookmakers with them.

    Want other people to go to the track you need to entertain them. Like last night at Melton. Is that a priority? But tipping that probably cost money. Didn't see a lot of people punting last night and everything was free.

    Innovative.* Neither my ideas but in UK when I was there (gallops) they put bands on in summer after the last. Twilight meets and if pay to get in before say race 3 you get to see band for nothing. Else pay extra to get in. Decent crowds of young people there to watch races and have a bet.

    At one track went to (Windsor) they had figure 8 racing. Another in France went to had it too. It was fascinating to watch. Someone else suggest it on twitter recently. Leader become death seat horse after half a lap and vice versa. Home straight extra long as run diagonally. No sprint lanes needed ...probably coz drivers and horses dizzy!
    Why punters left is worth analysing to move forward
    I will substitute 'punters' for public in some points
    We know there has been more competition in the entertainment industry
    Did they leave because facilities were not good enough? Because transport became an issue? Because viewing at home became so much better?

    The thought of why do people go entered my mind yesterday (I had travelled 75 min to get there and had time to kill between races before travelling 75 min home - admittedly I like driving in the country but hate city snarls [recent weeks spent in Melbourne have proven to me that the city is $*@#^&])
    I don't believe that viewing from home is much better - maybe if you are simply a gambler or are watching Sydney gallops on their Boutique Foxtel channel (I have been tempted)

    Why do people go out to a movie? (Declining too, you say but you get my point - sometimes you just want to get out)

    What if we made it more financially attractive for a punter to be on course (Change the takeout ratios) while improving the total package

    If home is better do we really even need horses. Watching the boutique gallops channels they tell good stories about the horses and people but I could imagine with advances in animation they could produce dog racing that would look as good as the current product (and could come with a 'this is a random draw' message like they do before Tattslotto). I haven't looked at the animated stuff they have in the TABs for a long while - is it nearly there?

    I cannot however imagine the public getting too excited about the animated Winx

    I don't really want us to get into the music business but top quality food and drinks must go hand in hand with any entertainment over a lengthy time slot

    ps Figure 8 racing sounds very interesting although I am guessing it couldn't involve small track excitement but it would seem much better suited to harness than any other code
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  9. #9
    Senior Member Horse Of The Year Amlin will become famous soon enough Amlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Messenger View Post
    Do you think there would be any interest from people with horses for sale to work them between races or parade them in the home straight if they are not in work (or are competing in the next race)
    The semaphore board could post their details

    Would it create enough interest to fill the gap?

    (This thread is for tossing ideas around - don't be afraid to be wrong and if the majority think you are, just take it on the chin and go again)
    I did suggest about three years ago where all horses competing could have a sale price on if connections wish. Horses still run in races as programmed now and price amount or lack of price at all does not influence draw.

    In a T0 only trot three of the 10 runners are on the market. Interested persons can see the fields, review past replays online along with pedigree, then attend on raceday to view horse, watch prelim and purchase via current claiming process.

    A fixed percentage of the sale price is kept by the host club on the condition it is reinvested into stakes at that track.

    Just a thought, it has not progressed anywhere though

  10. #10
    Senior Member Horse Of The Year Amlin will become famous soon enough Amlin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Hando View Post
    Have you ever tried unharnessing one and washing it and getting the next one in for the next race very hard and mistakes happen and can cost a race win been there done that they tried 20 min intervals in NSW while good for betting not so much for trainers/drivers /stewards and track curators
    Appreciate the time gap creates issues as it did in Vic.

    At Melton where many horses are local they could run a four race card, with a maximum Quad jackpot/kick off, one group of 10 premier drivers, betting closes before the start (like lotto) with all races shown on FTA TV.

    Again the gaps required would be the hurdle in creating a non-stop action extravaganza

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