By Duane Ranger
Racing Queensland’s ‘QBRED For Life’ initiative, which removes the age restrictions on bonuses, has not only saved the racing careers of four of his horses, but it has also saved Graham Dwyer from possibly closing down his training operation.
Dwyer, who runs the family-based ‘Kingslodge Pacing Stables’, works a team of 13 in Greenbank. He termed the breeding initiative introduced this season, as a “life saver”.
“It has reinvigorated our sport and is keeping horses on the racetrack. Our four horses that ran at Albion Park yesterday would probably be retired now, because they had all reached their marks and would have no longer been competitive.
“Racing Queensland needs to be applauded for this. I believe it’s the best breeding scheme in all of Australia, if not Australasia.
“One win can mean half a year’s training fees for some owners. And I know they won’t be spending the bonus recklessly. Instead they will pump it straight back into the industry. It gives them hope,” Dwyer said.
“It’s the best initiative to hit our industry in Queensland for some time. We have waited a long time for this. I love it and applaud the State body,” he added.
Dwyer said had it not been for the bonus four of his 13-strong stable probably would not have lined up at yesterday’s meeting at Albion Park.
He was referring to 7-year-old pacers, Greg The Great and Half Moon Beach, who both finished second in races one and five, and 5-year-old mares, Goalkicker and Hally Guinevere and Goalkicker, who were first and seventh in races five and six respectively.
“Alan Boyd bred and owns half-sisters, Hally Guinevere and Half Moon Beach, who quinella-ed race five. He must be delighted as well because it was Hally Guinevere’s first win over $4.5k, but she also gobbled up a $10,000 bonus for winning.
“This now means she can race on, and is still eligible for another $7,500 bonus in a future racing season,” Dwyer said.
It was the Peter McMullen-driven Hally Guinevere’s second win in 19 starts since making her winning debut at Redcliffe on April 10 this year.
The brown daughter of Camelot Hall has now won $11,071 in purses.
“Throw in yesterday’s bonus and her career earnings have almost doubled to $21,071. If that’s not good for the game I don’t know what is,” Dwyer said.
The Logan City horseman said he got wind of the bonus concept last season and for that reason kept horses, who probably would have been retired, in work.
“They had met their mark and to be fair had limited ability and racing them just wouldn’t have been viable. Because of this initiative they have remained in work and some have even come back stronger.
“Who knows what would have happened had this QBRED scheme not be introduced. I could well have been ‘done and dusted.”
Dwyer said it was especially good for any young horseman or women entering the industry.
“If they do start off with an average horse and win a bonus it could help them get a deposit on a house or invest in another horse, or pay for a stud fee.
“It gives us all hope. I just hope it carries on because this is exactly the shot in the arm our industry needs,” he said.
“Racing Queensland have really taken the bull by the horns this year. For the first time in a long time we are also getting positive media coverage both on and off the track.
“I can’t praise them enough – and I know I’m not the only one that thinks this way,” he added.