Turn it up! The big boys came to town

The big boys came to town on Tuesday night.

I speak of the racing board boss, John Allen, harness racing chief Edward Rennell and thoroughbred head Bernard Saundry.

They presented their news, views, updates and more to a gathering at Wingatui.

The most remarkable thing about the evening did not come from any of the insightful words any of the three men uttered.

It did not come when Saundry told the crowd that Minister for Racing Winston Peters was not racing's great saviour who would fix the industry's woes with the wave of a magical wand.

It did not come when Allen told the crowd the bureaucratic process that was halting the progress of the race-fields legislation needed a rocket under it.

It did not come when Rennell told the crowd of the intricacies of track ownership and how that will affect the future of different courses.

It did not even come when, after local trainer Terry Kennedy told of his frustrations on race programming, Saundry said he would go away and put his suggestions to the programmers.

The most remarkable part of the meeting was that when all of the insight was shared and all of the questions were answered, there were fewer than 30 people listening to them.

Simply, incredible.

Now I know that not everyone can attend such a meeting, because of a raft of other commitments.

But to think what is left only amounts to a total of 30 people has me shaking my head.

The biggest thing that gets me is that at every race meeting there are people leaning on fence posts or sitting around with a cup of tea, or possibly something stronger, and they debate racing's issues at length.

Just about every single one of those conversations will have the phrase ``what I would do'' or ``what they should do''.

Well, everyone had the chance to turn those fantasyland conversations into real questions and get real answers.

If you're one of those who want to see change in the racing industry and can be heard complaining about it, then you have missed your chance.

To those who did go, good on you. I enjoyed the range and depth of questions you put to the three men.

Let's hope they come back and update us again soon.

We can only hope the poor turnout does not put them off.

Happy trails.

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