BGP – From Theoptimist.co.nz

With The Informant sadly announcing that there will be no comeback, we thought we better pull finger and get an article out to those of you who provided feedback to The Informant that you liked reading what we are up to and our take on some of the industry complications and matters.

Brian has offered to host this as part of The Optimist, so hopefully, you enjoy reading it, and we can continue to add a bit of energy into a battling industry we all love.

For me, it’s personally been pretty sad to see so many people want to help The Informant in some way, but the offer has come when it’s been too late. A good reminder for us to support the things we care about while we can.

An interesting dynamic from our end is the amount of advertising spend that The Informant would have had. Where does that money go now? Does it get spent at all? Do those readers and users of The Informant turn away from racing?

As always, plenty of activity is underway behind the scenes with BGP, and when winter racing kicks in, it gives us a bit of a breather to figure out what we want to achieve next and where we should direct our energy. One of those things is whether we pull the trigger on building a mobile APP and what it will involve – that’s before thinking about how we’d fund it.

We don’t have the luxury of falling back on corporate bookmakers to fund our activities through affiliate systems like our mates over in Australia. Tell you what, we’ve had countless conversations about where we’d be if we did!

BGP bought a 50% share in a Savabeel weanling which we’ve already nicknamed Savage. He’s had the once-over from the vet and has given the all clear.

Next week he heads home from the dusty pastures of Australia for that real clean green Masterton grass. Here he’ll be nurtured into a sales topping colt (shit we are optimists) by the team at Little Avondale. We are looking forward to updating everyone with Savage’s progress and taking people along the journey of weanling to yearling.

On the event front, we can finally take a breather, or can we? We are having a day out at a low-key Wanganui day which is on Jewels Day. Our harness man from the south, Fitzy, has sorted a day out at the Jewels on course in Christchurch. It’ll be good to get down to the South and link up with some of our Southern brothers for what will be the first time for many.

Further to this, we are getting pretty serious about nailing down exactly how many ‘events’ we have each year to avoid dulling the flavour of the BGP experience. This will mean that we have to have some pretty frank conversations with clubs – if they can’t deliver ‘x’ back to BGP we won’t be coming. There’s a lot of admin that goes into making a BGP event happen, and clubs need to sort their offering out rather than looking to BGP to bring them a crowd.

One of the boys has backed way too many Greyhounds on a Friday night and now reckons he is going to put a syndicate together to race a dog so that should be fun. Some of the early BGP family will remember a great bitch called Zipping Tay that was part-owned by a BGP syndicate and won a couple of races to get the boys paid. Greyhounds are a bit different – less on-going costs – so it makes it a lot more affordable for younger people to get involved.

Our Paid Supporters Membership has been well received early on, and we’re starting to look at grabbing a percentage of a lease in a horse to give the members a taste of the horse racing experience. Our membership cards turned up and are multi-purpose; they not only open bottles of beer but you can use them to rule a line through scratchings or one of your mate’s selections – the ones that tip like a cat!

The BGP Foundation auction for the Redzel silks finishes on Friday, and someone is going to pick up a great piece of history so if you are a Redzel fan get to the first post on the Facebook page and throw in a bid. We were tempted to throw them on Jakkifromthenaki on the weekend for her debut – it was good to see the big ginge finally have a hit out down in the Taranaki.

All going well, she may head to Hawera next start where some of you will be surprised to know I spent some time on the committee trying to learn more about this sport. This Johnny-come-lately can sympathise with some of you stalwarts about shifting a rail – tedious, especially when hung over.

Look after yourselves,
Luke

Boys Get Paid!!

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