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"Significant Changes" To Funding Of NZ Racing
New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing unveiled "significant changes to the way it will fund thoroughbred racing next season, starting on August 1". The new model "simplifies previous separate funding streams, reducing these from 14 to 6" & represents "a fundamental shift away from funding clubs using off-course wagering turnover & a range of other payments, to one that simply provides racing clubs with all prize-money 'minimums' for each race category at each race meeting". As part of this simplification, the "traditional mechanism of NZTR charging clubs an annual levy for the cost of providing race-day officials (including integrity & health & safety) will be discarded. These costs will now be directly funded from the total distributed amount (approximately NZ$63 million for next season) paid by the NZ Racing Board to thoroughbred racing." This new model "will see 18% of actual on-course wagering turnover paid to racing clubs (an increase of 2% on this season) & a new race meeting fee paid to racing clubs based on the meeting type (Premier, Feature or Industry day) in recognition of the direct costs clubs incur in staging racing". At the core of the proposed new funding model "is a new approach whereby NZTR sets & directly funds all prize-money minimums for each race category at each race meeting. This will make it easier for racing clubs to plan their race programmes, ensure they are fully funded irrespective of the day on which they race, and provide a consistent prize-money structure for each individual race class & meeting". NZTR Board chairman Guy Sargent emphasised: "This new model provides a real opportunity for our industry. By directly funding 100% of prize-money minimums, we are encouraging racing clubs to focus on their critical role of maximising 'on course' entertainment, leaving NZTR to manage issues surrounding prize-money. At the same time it provides aspirational targets for owners, trainers & jockeys on our Feature & Premier days, with our top (black type) races being maintained at 2009/2010 levels."