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NZ Avondale Suspends Racing From July 3

Tuesday, 25th May 2010

In New Zealand, Auckland's Avondale Jockey Club (established in 1890) announced it has "decided to suspend racing" at its Avondale racecourse "for the forthcoming season" & the last race day in the current season will be July 3. From that point, the club "will only operate its training facility at Avondale Racecourse along with the non-race related activities based there until racing resumes". The club "will negotiate to race its group events (including the Avondale Cup, Concord Handicap & Avondale Guineas) at other northern region racetracks in the 2010-11 season". Avondale president Ron Murphy said his committee had "looked at the recently released NZ Thoroughbred Racing funding model & while it impacted favourably, it did not provide enough relief for the club to work its way back into a positive financial position". Murphy noted: "There has been a steady deterioration in our finances over the years caused by a number of factors & the responsible thing to do at this point is to pause while we are still financially viable. . . . . The club is in negotiations for the sale of some of its land & when the sale is completed the club's long-term debt will be repaid, allowing the club to look at resuming racing at Avondale. While the decision may come as a surprise to the general public & our membership, I don't think the industry will be surprised by it. The club understands discussions have taken place in industry circles from early 2010 to consider reallocation of our 2010-11 dates to Counties, Whangarei or Auckland racing clubs."

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