Silly season provides mixed (and slightly mad) mainstream media messages

We are about to exit that twilight zone around Christmas and New Year, where the only way one knows what the date is depends upon which race day it is.  As for knowing what day it is, that is a whole other drama.

During the festive madness we have witnessed the usual throngs heading along to enjoy their once-a-year outing at a variety of country racetracks, interspersed with big days at some of the major players.

Racing takes centre stage at a time when most news organisations are enduring the annual news slump – witness mind-numbing listicles and best-of pieces.  It is a window ripe for dressing with racing’s human interest stories and hat’s off to the Manawatu Standard recognising that and running this piece.

It provided a nice insight into a family which has been a huge part of racing’s fabric in the Central Districts.

Unfortunately, it was one step forward, one step back into the 1950s with Stuff also running this peculiar piece the same day.

North vs South – really? That is the best defence this chap can come up with?  It’s part of a northern conspiracy?

Where do I begin?  

My first thought was to once again question whether anyone who has bleated to media about the fate of their local track has bothered to read the Messara report.

The hysteria they are whipping up would have the casual reader thinking Timaru was staring right down the barrel with the December 28 meeting its last ever.  It also glosses over the fact that nothing is yet to be set in stone and numerous submissions are yet to be taken into account,

One would hope that if Timaru has provided a submission pushing for the track’s survival, it has provided something more weighty than pinning their hopes on the over-turning of a mythical North Island conspiracy.  If not then, as per the recommendations of the Messara report, come 2022-2023 they may find themselves looking for a new venue.

It is interesting to note that the life member making the claims has apparently spent some time as the club president and chairman.  Presumably, he left the club in fine fettle, or was any downward spiral also the fault of northern administrators?

He also talks about having first set foot on the track in 1950 and the need to keep those young people who were on course on December 29 involved in racing.

Obviously, this was also something he addressed while he had the opportunity as president/chairman?  Or was he otherwise preoccupied preventing other North Island conspiracies designed to destroy South Island racing?

I actually watched a bit of the racing from Timaru on the day in question because I, along with a swag of other evil North Islanders, had a share in a runner on the day.

In fact,  if you look at most race meetings in the South you will find some North Island crossover.

That is what made this Stuff piece so laughable.  Well, laughable if it wasn’t for the fact that it may be read by casual news consumers who might take it as an accurate portrayal of those involved in the industry.

Racing’ next foray into mainstream news will no doubt be the annual envy-fest viewing of Karaka, which will leave most viewers/readers confused as to just how an industry which sells glossy yearlings at vast prices can possibly be struggling to survive.