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Former Racing Victoria chief executive Bernard Saundry is to take up the equivalent position as head of New Zealand’s administrative body.

NZ Thoroughbred Racing announced Saundry’s appointment on Monday to replace another Australian, Greg Purcell, who leaves at the end of the season.

Dr Alan Jackson, chairman of NZTR, said Saundry’s knowledge and experience from the creation of Racing.com and negotiating media rights, would be advantageous to New Zealand racing.

“Mr Saundry is arguably one of Australasia’s most experienced racing administrators and has spent the last 14 years in senior roles at Racing Victoria … and the past four years as chief executive officer,” Jackson said.

“During Mr Saundry’s tenure, he implemented a digital platform, negotiated broadcast rights, and entered into joint ventures. He was instrumental in developing a shared service model for clubs to create efficiencies, something the board believes has potential in New Zealand.”

Saundry, who tendered his resignation in the middle of last year and stayed at RV until early January 2017, said he was honoured to take up the position.

“Racing in NZ is an important contributor on the international racing and breeding stage,” he said.

“To work with the board and staff in leading the future growth of NZ Thoroughbred Racing for all clubs, owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, stable hands and racing fans is an opportunity I truly appreciate.

“Importantly the horse must always be a central focus in all our future planning.”

 
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