Despite the current economic environment, Greyhound Racing New Zealand (GRNZ) has taken every step to try and maintain industry funding to both its Clubs and the Licenced Persons. However the funding impact of the recession has meant that GRNZ has had no choice other than to reduce stake levels for the next racing season.
From 1 August 2009 all standard minimum stakes will decrease by 5% consistently across all classes and grades as compared to the current 2008/09 season. This 5% decrease is in place of the previously announced 15% stake level reduction.
GRNZ Chief Executive Jeremy F Kennerley explains: “Despite GRNZ making a number of cost savings across various aspects of the Code’s business and being prepared to use retained reserves, it has proved impossible to avoid cutting stake levels. The 5% reduction frustratingly negates the 5% increase provided to minimum stakes the same time last year.”
The reduction in stakes is not just limited to the minimum standard stakes. Additional cuts have had to be made to the Code’s Group, Feature and Profile races through a combination of stake reductions, reclassification of certain races and simply not running a small number of certain races.
“When times are uncertain GRNZ has to act responsibly and allocated the limited funding available to prioritised needs” adds Kennerley. “GRNZ wishes to retain rewarding the bulk of our participants without removing all financial incentives for trainers and owners alike to aspire to reaching the elite level. It is inappropriate to run races such as the Platinum Paws and other profile races need to be scaled back accordingly.”
The three principle profile races will be run for a minimum stake of $75,000 (a decrease of $25,000 on last year) and all remaining Group 1 Races will be run for a minimum stake of $20,000 (2008/09 – $31,500). All Group 2 Races will be run for $12,000 and NZRS stakes will vary from $8,000 to $11,000 depending on race distance.
“GRNZ will continue to monitor the situation frequently during next season and the Board will look to take the first opportunity, as long as it is sustainable, to increase stakes again in the future,” adds Kennerley.