The NZTA recently received a letter, addressed to National President, Tony Pike asking why the NZTA was supporting the jockeys in the retention of the status quo re jockeys’ betting. Here is Tony’s response which sums up the NZTA stance perfectly:
Whilst we understand the need for the N.Z. racing industry to maintain stringent integrity protocols. This is one issue that after significant discussion by our members we decided not to support. Our industry has followed along with overseas jurisdictions on many matters concerning the running of our industry since the introduction of the RIU. Some obviously beneficial, some not so. We decided to take a stance with the jockey's association for the following reasons.
1. The current rule appears logical in that it does not allow jockey's to bet on any horse that they are competing against. We do not see a problem with a jockey having a bet when they are not riding in the race. Logically they should have no influence on the outcome of the event. Jockey's in Australia recently have been prosecuted for having a bet on an overseas event whilst laid up recovering from injury which we and the general public in Australia hardly though fair.
2. We consider New Zealand to be one of the cleanest racing jurisdictions in the world. Compared with other areas there have been very few issues regarding jockeys not riding a horse on its merits. Any that have occurred have generally been an error of judgement.
3. With the introduction of the RIU, any perceived issue of a jockey not riding a horse on its merits should be quickly and harshly dealt with.
4.. Although our rules and regulations generally fall in line with other overseas jurisdictions. New Zealand is a unique industry and we don't see the need to following the exact path of other areas just to "fall in line" with them.
I agree that integrity plays a big part in the industry and the public must be confident that it is run in a fair manner. The industry has invested a large amount of time and money into the development of the RIU to ensure this is the case.
Please feel free to contact me any time to discuss this matter or any other that you may have.