Turn it up!

Yesterday's Budget was like a having a meal at a mediocre restaurant.

Some would have felt terribly ill; others were dished up a decent meal and are quite satisfied.

Bloodstock tax breaks were the only initiative for racing announced yesterday.

They sound nice, they sound attractive, but really they are not much.

For most of the backbone of the industry it would have been like voting for fillet steak and having to settle for offcuts as tough as my old gumboots.

For a small few - the stallion owners, the rich studs and the high flyers - it was payback time.

Those who have lobbied hard for Winston Peters got their pay day, with their tax bills set to shrink.

But for the everyday racing owners, breeders, drivers and jockeys and most trainers, it will not mean much.

What it may mean for them instead is a lot of soul searching.

Questioning if their faith in the man hailed as racing's great saviour has come to an end.

New Zealand First's racing policy, which was part of its coalition agreement with Labour, had some mightily attractive goals for the racing industry.

But so far, all that policy and the party behind it have delivered is a tax break for fat-cat breeders and the promise of an all-weather track that no-one can tell you anything about.

Reform may come with the Messara Report, which could recommend changes that revitalise the industry.

Only last week at Addington, Mr Peters told the industry to be patient.

But surely the patience of his heartiest supporters is running out.

Happy trails.

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