Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has opened the New Zealand National Yearling Sale at Karaka with a promise of an all-weather racing track in New Zealand.
Mr Peters hit down speculation of a major announcement for the racing industry but traversed a number of issues of interest to it.
He outlined intentions for the Government to work with Treasury and the Inland Revenue Department to clarify the rules and regulations around bloodstock write-downs and taxation issues, saying agency interpretations were hampering Industry efforts.
He also reiterated the need for changes in industry structures to ensure cost reductions were passed on to horse owners and punters through increased prize money.
Many race meetings have been cancelled in recent times after rain and other weather events affected tracks.
Mr Peters said work was under way to introduce one or more artificial racing surfaces but he didn't say where.
Industry observers say Waikato is the most likely location.
More details will be available once the Government finalised its first budget in May.
This year at the sale there will be a special presentation to Sir Patrick Hogan as it's his last Karaka auction as a major vendor following the sale of his iconic Cambridge Stud to Brendan and Jo Lindsay.
Cambridge Stud was the leading vendor for an unbroken 32 years and sold more than 1600 yearlings between 1978 and 2017.
With one hundred lots on offer on the new Sunday evening session of the sale, bidding was steady
Early on until Lot 10, a Tavistock filly from Sir Patrick entered the ring.
From a powerful female lineage that includes champion race and broodmare Tristalove, the showy bay fell to the $420,000 bid of local bloodstock agent Bruce Perry who beat out Mike and Paul Moroney to secure the colt.