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Critical date fast approaching for merger of two New Zealand racing club's

Full details on the proposed merger between the New Zealand racing club's, Auckland Racing Club (ARC) and the Counties Racing Club (CRC), will be the topic on the table at a meeting for members of the two clubs, scheduled for May 10.

Interest in the project, that may also include Auckland’s other thoroughbred racing organisation, the Avondale Jockey Club (AJC), has been intense since the concept to enable the development of a world-class venue at Ellerslie, that would showcase racing in the Auckland region at its finest, was first revealed late last year.

While development of the project has continued at a steady pace, ARC Chief executive Paul Wilcox believes it is time for all details to be shared with club members.

“Work on the project has been going really well, but we believe it is vitally important that we share the information we have with our members before it is placed in the public domain,” Wilcox said.

“We have members’ forums scheduled for May 10, where we can provide all the ins and outs of what we are doing and to make sure they fully understand it.

“Once that has happened, we will be able to speak with the media about it all.

“There has been a lot of feedback to date, some of it very positive and some not so positive, but people really want to see the full detail before they make up their minds.”

While thrilled with how the Club’s raceday went last Saturday, Wilcox also advised that a formal health and safety review would take place during the week in regard to the incident that saw track staff have to take evasive action to avoid a collision with runners in the day’s two-year-old feature, the Listed Champagne Stakes (1600m).

“We had a great day on Saturday, with a good crowd on course that was boosted by the special function that we held in conjunction with the Auckland University,” he said.

“It can be pretty tough at times when you are racing on a public holiday, so we were delighted with attendance on the day.

“Obviously things didn’t go as smoothly as we would have liked with our processes breaking down with the incident on the track.

“We had a really good debrief on Saturday and we will have a Health and Safety investigation tomorrow (Tuesday) to make sure the process going forward is bulletproof.

“We will be speaking with the Jockey’s Association to let them know what our plans are and trying to keep all relevant parties involved.

“As a premier club we aren’t happy with what occurred and we have to make sure the process can’t break down again.” 
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