New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing chief executive Greg Purcell has announced his intention to step aside by the end of the current season.

"I'm proud of the achievements of the hard-working and passionate NZTR team, which over the last six years has returned our code's operations to financial sustainability," he said. "My team has ensured NZTR operated within its means and provided a structure of prize-money and racing activities that were fully funded from revenue.

"We have a great industry filled with hard-working, dedicated and passionate people and the New Zealand thoroughbred racehorse is the equal of any in the world.

"We all know the significant challenges that our sport faces, however opportunities for significant improvement do exist.

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"In the upcoming months I will continue to work as energetically as ever for the benefit of thoroughbred stakeholders."

NZTR chairman Alan Jackson paid tribute to the work of Purcell.

"Greg has worked with total dedication over the last six years and deserves acknowledgment for the significant improvements to NZTR and our sport which he has led.

"Under his tenure as chief executive, NZTR has delivered six successive years of increased aggregate and average prize-money funding.

"He has also produced five years of surpluses and rebuilt NZTR's cash reserves - despite stagnant NZRB distributions - by improving operating efficiencies and maintaining strong cost control within NZTR."

- NZ Racing Desk