There is an old line: "Racing is the only game in which those with millions invested are told what to do by those with nothing invested."
Training partners Peter and Dawn Williams agree with that and have cried "enough is enough" after Saturday's disastrous cancellation of the $200,000 Windsor Park Stakes Day at Hastings.
"We want some answers," Peter Williams told the Herald yesterday.
With the Williamses being so highly respected, their collective voice needs to be taken seriously.
"Saturday's situation was seriously bad behaviour. There are those who appear afraid to speak up and if it has to be Dawn and I that do that speaking, then so be it," says Williams.
"There are questions we want asked and answered:
• "Where is Thoroughbred Racing's chief executive Greg Purcell's comments on this terrible incident? To our knowledge there has been none, so where is the leadership in racing?
• "For the governing body to give black and white directions to clubs without discretion is not sensible.
• "There was no track inspection after Jonathan Riddell complained after his horse slipped in Race Three. We have raced horses from Riverton to Ruakaka for a lot of years and NEVER have we seen a meeting called off without a deputation inspecting the track in advance of the abandonment.
• "The excuse for the non-inspection is that Health and Safety issues would arise if there had been an accident, but why would that not have been the case after Opie Bosson said his horse slipped in Race One?
• "Why was the opinion of jockeys that they would continue to ride if the Groundhog had been put over the track ignored?
• "There appears to be zero camber on the Hastings home bend. When horses come around a bend like that at speed their natural tendency is to slip and that is where Johnathan Riddell's horse slipped. That's not good enough.
• "Why have enormous amounts of money been spent on betting types in recent years and seemingly very little on infrastructure items like safe and excellent racetracks? There appears to be little priority given to the shareholders in a business that is under stiff competition.
• "Group racing is the showcase of our industry and our stable has had two horses, Vavasour and Shuka, [on Saturday] engaged in the central districts at group one level in the last 12 months and they've had to return home without racing. Does anyone really realise how difficult it is to explain that to our owners? We are compromising our best horses.
• "Why do we have winter racing through our wettest three months on a track we then run three consecutive group one races on?
• "What is being done with/to the Hastings track to ensure the same thing does not happen to the $250,000 Livamol Classic Day?
• "Going forward is there an investment or initiative identified to up-skill track managers in accordance with the latest turf management?
"New Zealand is starting to become a backwater on the international stage and urgent action is required. It is time people became accountable.
"We all know stakemoney is a critical component but track surfaces and raceday facilities are equally important as building blocks for the future."
Peter and Dawn Williams agree incidents like Saturday are an embarrassment.
"You get smart and intelligent people that have been extremely successful in their business into your stable as owners and they look at an industry that is being run so unprofessionally. We have to start looking after these owners better."
The partners go to great lengths to make the point they are not simply stirring the pot. "We're not being negative, we just want a better deal.
"We have a lot invested in this industry and we don't want to see it go downhill. This is not a hobby for us. The absolute bottom line is that Saturday's track was below standard before racing began."