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Northern Racing sold…….

Home Forums Horse Racing Northern Racing sold…….

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  • #1421
    highflyer1
    Participant
    • Total Posts 210

    ……to the Reuben brothers for £65.9m.

    http://blogs.guardian.co.uk/sport/2007/ … ggers.html

    This rather significant piece of news has only emerged 5 days after the event. Given that there are nine racecourses, I think the brothers may have got a bargain. Does anyone know anything about them? Are they the shadowy wheeler-dealers that the article implies?

    At least with Sir Stan, who wasn’t everybody’s cup of tea, you knew where you stood.  But what motives lie behind the new owners’ investment? I can’t help feeling that this news bodes ill for our sport.

    #52681
    bluechariot
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    • Total Posts 569
    #52683
    vixen
    Member
    • Total Posts 3

    Worrying indeed. As a racing greyhound owner, I’m all too aware of the threat to a sport when the tracks are in the hands of investors rather than people who are actually committed to the sport itself. At least with horse racing, the biggies are owned by racing itself and so are – or should be! safe. Gosforth Park would be massively tempting as a development prospect for someone, provided they could ever get planning permission for change of use – I’m not sure what restrictions apply to Gosforth Park as a whole but would be surprised if it could be built on easily. (On the greyhound front, nothing is safe and there are persistent rumours that Walthamstow will be a victim of the Olympics and associated building schemes – absolute vandalism if allowed to happen, but sadly almost inevitable, or so it seems.)

    #52684
    Maxilon 5Maxilon 5
    Member
    • Total Posts 2432

    Agreed Vixen.

    The money which the family who own Walthamstow are being offered would test the resilience of a Saint. Let’s hope they can hold out – they can’t be forced to sell it, can they?

    I do hate all this. Unsettling stuff.

    #52686
    yeatsyeats
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2923

    One thing Northern Racing were not interested in was the best interests of horse racing, all they were bothered about was making money for themselves at racings expense. The level of prize money they put up was appalling.<br>Good riddance to bad rubbish.

    #52687
    highflyer1
    Participant
    • Total Posts 210

    Yeats:-  The prize-money apart (and I agree with you on that), you cannot deny that Northern Racing have ploughed £mmm of investment into the racecourses they own. Going racing at Newcastle, Brighton, Fontwell, Chepstow and, yes, even Hereford is a totally different experience when compared to the basic facilities on offer at these courses 5 or 10 years ago.  

    So I have to disagree with your opinion on Northern Racing. The Reubens brothers have inherited a profitable company. My concern is that they will not have the same interest in re-investing the profits for Racing’s benefit.

    #52688
    richard
    Participant
    • Total Posts 138

    Whilst Northern Racing certainly have invested in developing facilities at their tracks, not sure that has been done for the benefit of racing or racegoers. More likely it was done  to develop revenues from other sources like conferences, exhibitions, functions, etc. Hence the virtual lack of a pre-parade ring at Chepstow and a rather large hike in restauraunt prices since they took over Yarmouth for example.

    The money they have  made from those developments has by and large not been put into racing.  Certainly not into prize money as Yeats says.

    According to press reports the Reubens already own 14% of Arena Leisure with speculation that they are looking to bid for that company or arrange a merger. In which case a very significant chunk of the racing program would be in the hands of property developers.

    This cannot augur well for the future of racing in this country.  One might be doing them an injustice, but given their investment history it seems unlikely they have bought Northern to invest in the racing side of the business.

    richard

    #52689
    richard
    Participant
    • Total Posts 138

    Whilst Northern Racing certainly have invested in developing facilities at their tracks, not sure that has been done for the benefit of racing or racegoers. More likely it was done  to develop revenues from other sources like conferences, exhibitions, functions, etc. Hence the virtual lack of a pre-parade ring at Chepstow and a rather large hike in restauraunt prices since they took over Yarmouth for example.

    The money they have  made from those developments has by and large not been put into racing.  Certainly not into prize money as Yeats says.

    According to press reports the Reubens already own 14% of Arena Leisure with speculation that they are looking to bid for that company or arrange a merger. In which case a very significant chunk of the racing program would be in the hands of property developers.

    This cannot augur well for the future of racing in this country.  One might be doing them an injustice, but given their investment history it seems unlikely they have bought Northern to invest in the racing side of the business.

    richard

    #52690
    apracing
    Participant
    • Total Posts 3087

    <br>The new owners may be ‘property developers’, but so were the old ones. The Clarke family own (ed) St Modwen and that’s about as big as you get on the property front – only last year they were involved in a potential takeover of Silverstone.

    AP<br>

    #52691
    Aragorn
    Member
    • Total Posts 2208

    Couldn;t see them re-developing gosforth park, it’s part of the town moor and I think the geordie’s would go mad about it..

    #52692
    vixen
    Member
    • Total Posts 3

    Gosforth Park isn’t part of the Town Moor as such – that’s much closer to the city centre and isn’t used for much besides grazing cattle (the right of the Freemen of the City!) and the annual Hoppings. Gosforth Park is what used to be the Brandling Estate on the northern edge of Gosforth and is basically walled parkland with a large hotel, golf course, nature reserve, garden centre etc. It would no doubt be massively attractive to a property developer as a site for an executive housing estate and similar properties nearby sell for megabucks. There has been a lot of building recently on what was always regarded as green belt land very close to Gosforth Park so goodness knows what may be permissible. I grew up in that neck of the woods so very much hope that racing continues on that site.

    #52693
    Seagull
    Member
    • Total Posts 1708

    Phill Bell (who done a good job at Brighton when general manager) had a letter published in The Racing Post this week.<br>He moved to become the general manager at Fontwell which is another Sussex track owned by Northern Racing.<br>His letter was about praising his ground staff at Fontwell in getting decent ground to race upon but he was moaning about the lack of runners at the last meeting.<br>What Phil Bell needs to look at apart from the condition of the ground is the poor level of prize money on offer there.<br>The last meeting held there showed total win prize money of under £21,000 for the whole meeting.

    The bumper race was desperate with prize money as such.<br>1st  prize  Ãƒâ€šÃ‚£1,301.20<br>2nd prize  Ãƒâ€šÃ‚£   382.00<br>3rd prize   £   191.00<br>4th prize   £     95.00

    The winning horse was trained in Brighton and I think Gary Moore the winning trainer charges £1.20 a mile for transport so even after that expense and jockey fees and the trainers percentages and the original entry fees are knocked off the winning connections could expect to draw well under a grand.<br>All other connections whether they came 2nd or 3rd would have shown a big loss.

    Even betfair commisions on the bumper (even if everyone was on 2.5%) which I listed as I played in this race and keep comprehensive records just the total win market without the A v B markets and place markets showed they made money on the race less expenses than the other 6 winning connections did in total.

    With prize money so low as this it really is no suprise if some connections decide get out of racing. <br>One can buy a decent second hand boat for 15k-20k and as long as its under 30 foot the monthly mooring fees at a 5 star marina such as Brighton will be half that what trainers such as Gary Moore will charge a month.

    With the prospect of winning under a grand if your horse manages to win the temptation to get the money by having it laid on the exchanges must tempt some.

    #52694
    seabird
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2924

    Excellent post there, Seagull.:cool:

    Colin

    #52695
    yeatsyeats
    Participant
    • Total Posts 2923

    It may be an obvious thing to say but the big loser with the very poor prize money is the owner and don’t forget there’s a massive 14% drop in prize money this year. Jockeys especially middle of the road jockeys love banded racing, they still got paid the same riding fee as they get in a 30 grand race. Trainers still get their training fees.

    Think owners should really be more pro active in selecting opportunities for their horses and running for as much money as possible and not supporting these pathetic cards with joke prize money if at all possible.

    I mean what were owners doing letting their horses run for less than 400 quid winning prize money in two very competitive bumpers at Haydock the other week? <br>

    #52696
    apracing
    Participant
    • Total Posts 3087

    <br>A couple of points – the Haydock bumper prize money was an error and the Post printed a correction the following week. Each division had £2000 total prize money.

    And the prize money for the Fontwell bumper is standard for that type of race – rather than ask why owners race for that sort of money, parhaps more relevant to ask why they are running in bumpers at all? <br>For an owner, unless you have one that can run at Cheltenham, surely bumpers are a complete waste of time and money – if the horse can jump, get on with it’s career, if it can’t jump, get rid.

    Personally when placing horses, I always look at the prize money, but there are limits to what you can achieve. If your horse is  rated below a certain level (60 on flat, 100 NH) you just have to go where the races are and accept what’s on offer.

    Calls for more prize money are all very well, but where is the money to come from – unless you state who’s going to pay, the call is meaningless.

    The most basic economic law is that of supply and demand – and there’s a sufficient supply of racehorses to indicate no demand for more prize money.

    Supply and demand laws also indicates that a doubling of prize money would inevitably lead to a rapid doubling of costs, leaving owners in general no better off, and owners that don’t win any prizes much worse off.

    AP

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