I read with interest your tweets extolling the virtues of Nutrien Equine. With this level of energy and rhetoric, you should be on the Nutrien payroll as some sort of a Marketing Executive or perhaps at least receiving a spotter’s commission for drumming up business, if you aren’t already.
What does concern me however are the inaccuracies in some of your comments which could be interpreted as a deliberate attempt to mislead and manipulate the marketplace.
Can I quote from one recent tweet of yours [attached] and address some of the assertions:
No up front entry fees. All costs come out of proceeds.
- Since your father is the proprietor of Benstead Stud, you may not realise that, for the past three years at least, no ‘entry fees’ for any Benstead–owned yearling have been paid ‘up front’ – they were all paid out of proceeds.
- Are you also suggesting that Nutrien will not require any payment for Cataloguing if there are NO proceeds – I.e. the yearling is not sold?
No commission on passed in lots.
- This is great for those who don’t really want to sell in the first place.
- Perhaps you should mention however that if you want to be in the Nutrien race series, you still have to pay the full 10% Commission on your reserve + $3000 Sustaining fee on Sales day.
- You might also mention that if your yearling is passed-in at an APG sale in 2021 and you want to be part of the Race series, it is 10% Commission up to a MAXIMUM of $3300 which includes the free $700 sales day first instalment for the Race Series.
The prize money is underwritten & every extra cent will go into race series.
This is interesting given the projections for the sale by Nutrien themselves:
- If there are 300 yearlings with an 80% clearance rate at average $30K each, that works out at a total COMMISSION = $720K.
- Of that $720K, Nutrien indicates that 30% will be dedicated to the race series = $216K
- Add to that the SUSTAINING fees – let us presume that 200 of the graduates sustain = $600K
- So . . . for the Race Series, on Nutrien’s projected numbers, the money available for the Race Series will be = $816K
- The remainder, $504K, will be to cover Sales expenses and PROFIT.
- But . . . the Prizemoney for the Series totals just over $400K??
Please tell me how that equates to ‘every extra cent’ going into the race series? You told me in June last year that the new Company would be prepared to sustain a LOSS in the first few years to get the sales off the ground. Well, that ain’t happening!
NOT PUT IN THE BANK where it can’t assist the industry.
The CAPITAL letters are yours from the Tweet – obviously you are SHOUTING this out as loud as possible. This is all part of your belief that APG is hoarding money which it should be spending.
Craig, I wrote to you in early March this year to point out APG’s financial commitments to its three ‘live’ race series. I quote from that email:
At present we have horses signed up for Series 29, 30 and 31.
Series 29 for 3yo – APG has guaranteed prizemoney of around $850K [Racing in May 21 at Melton]
Series 30 for 2yo and 3yo – APG has guaranteed prizemoney of around $1950K [2yo racing in May 21 at Melton]
Series 31 for 2yo, 3yo and 4yo – APG has guaranteed prizemoney of around $2400K [2yo racing in 2022 at Menangle]
So, at the moment – APG has promised its paid-up subscribers around $5.2 Million going forward. I imagine that anyone who has paid up for one of those Series will expect that APG can guarantee that prizemoney.
I know that you might find it uncomfortable to think that this money is not available NOW to the industry at large – it belongs to those who have sustained their yearlings in anticipation of these race series. And . . . I would suggest that the safest place for that money is NOT being given away NOW, NOT invested in the volatile share market – the best place for it is IN THE BANK. That’s just good governance.
No smoke and mirrors.
I left this until last. It’s my favourite.
I understand that angry young men might want to pester their parents or parents-in-law and clients to pursue a particular vision. Such young men might think a single sale of yearlings for the entire country is in the best interests of the industry; they might think that it is great for harness racing for a multi-national company to profit from an industry ravaged by years of drought and the current pestilence; they might think that they are doing the industry a favour.
And you know what . . . they are entitled to think all these things. But thinking them doesn’t necessarily make them true.
Please don’t accuse APG of ‘smoke and mirrors’. Such a statement, given the contents of your tweet, is hypocrisy on steroids – and I don’t need a blood or hair test to see that – it is bloated and obvious.
Australian Pacing Gold
Editor’s note: Benstead Standardbreds is one of Australia’s largest breeders and sellers of harness racing horses. At the most recent APG sale in Sydney, Benstead had a draft of 28 yearlings. Something tells me that the draft number that Benstead sends to next year’s APG sale – if it were still to exist by then, which, judging by the way Robert Marshall speaks to and treats his major customers, is unlikely – will be zero.
Author’s disclosure: I am a member of the Winning Circle fractional ownership harness racing syndicate based in New York and New Jersey. We own at least one former Aussie pacer bred by Benstead Standardbreds. We also own ex-Australian pacers bred by other studs, that were originally purchased at various APG sales.
I have not met either Craig Judd or Robert Marshall.
If you want to become involved in US harness racing the Winning Circle is brilliant, and caters to investors of all sizes large and small. Matt and Charles who run the syndicate are wonderful guys and do a great job. I recommend the Winning Circle to anyone.