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  4. Update from RQ CEO Brendan Parnell

Update from RQ CEO Brendan Parnell

As we look back on what was another successful TAB Queensland Summer Racing Carnival, preparations are already well underway for our showpiece 2019 TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.

Racing Queensland late last month announced prize money increases for the Carnival and a return to Eagle Farm for key events, including $1.5 million TAB Stradbroke Handicap Day.

Some of the major boosts include prize money increases for the two-year-old and sprinters programs, with the Doomben 10,000 going to $800,000 to reflect its status as one of Australia’s top-10 rated races. The BRC Sires’ will also be lifted to $400,000.  

In line with the Dale Monteith report, which recommends a staged return to racing at Eagle Farm, Treasury Oaks day will be run at Doomben in 2019, ensuring Eagle Farm is in the best condition possible for racing on Stradbroke Day.

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Summer Carnival

The biggest day for the 2018/19 TAB Queensland Summer Racing Carnival, The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Race Day, was a major success on many fronts.

The day’s status as Queensland’s most popular race day from a wagering perspective was confirmed when Racing Queensland recorded a state-record $56 million in turnover for the meeting.

The day also highlighted the strength of the upcoming Gold Coast March Yearling Sale, with graduates Mr Markou (MM Country Cup), Chapter And Verse (MM QTIS Open) and Boomsara (MM 3YO Guineas). It was great to see so many Queensland connections enjoying success against the southern raiders on one of our biggest days.

To Katie Page, Gerry Harvey, Barry Bowditch and the entire Magic Millions team, I would like to congratulate you all on another fantastic carnival. The sale again broke new ground with records across the board, and the promotion of the entire week was a credit to the Queensland industry.

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Classics returned to Group 1 status

I was pleased to announce prior to last month’s APG Sales at Albion Park that Racing Queensland had moved to reinstate two of our time-honoured races to their rightful Group 1 status.

This is further proof of the benefits derived from Racing Queensland’s much-publicised partnership with Tabcorp. An additional $50,000 in funding will ensure the Queensland Oaks and Queensland Derby are both returned to $100,000 races.

Not only does this give our local trainers and participants two additional chances to secure Group 1 glory but will also bolster participation from interstate participants. Growing interstate participation contributed largely to Racing Queensland recording record wagering figures on Blacks A Fake and Sunshine Sprint nights in 2018.

These initiatives complement the TAB $10,000 Grand Final Bonus ticket, offered to any Grand Circuit winner who competes in the 2019 TAB Blacks A Fake.

We will have more exciting news about the make-up and prize money on offer for the 2019 TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival in the weeks and months ahead.

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TIGHT FINISH: Master Moonlite and Colt Thirty One go locked to the line in the 2018 Queensland Derby. 

TAB Partnership

It’s been just over a year since the wagering mega-merger of Tabcorp and Tatts Group and the benefits for Queensland racing are now starting to show. Over the past two months, there has been a significant sponsorship finalised which will deliver increased financial returns to our clubs – the TAB Hollindale Stakes going to $500,000 is just one example of the new partnership which will see benefits flow to clubs around the Sunshine State.

While the totalisator was introduced way back in 1879 at Eagle Farm, the TAB was first licensed to operate across Queensland almost 60 years ago however a lot has changed since then. With various TAB mergers and the evolving betting market, Queensland customers have seen a variety of TAB brands this century including UNiTAB, UBET and UTAB. In 2019 the big green caravan is heading across the state re-branding our racetracks as well as hotels, clubs and TAB Agencies back to TAB branding.

The full merger benefits from activities such as co-mingling, new products and expanded fixed odds markets will take time to deliver and we will continue to work closely with Tabcorp to ensure these benefits are realised for the sustainability of our racing industry.   

miRunners backs Queensland Racing

It was pleasing to announce a new trade-marketing partnership with ownership platform miRunners during Magic Millions week. The partnership has seen miRunners purchase two premium yearlings from the Gold Coast Yearling Sale, that will be trained by Queenslanders Robert Heathcote and Chris Munce. miRunners will also purchase at least one more yearling at the March QTIS Yearling Sales.

Racing Queensland will offer support to miRunners through marketing, that, through their unique 1000-unit platform, could attract up to 2000 new owners to Queensland through these new horses alone. By introducing new owners to our great sport through premium, but affordable ownership opportunities, it is hoped they will continue to invest in Queensland racing in the years to come.

Learn More: https://mirunners.com/qld-stable/

TEAM TEAL

2019 will see Racing Queensland partnering with Women's Cancer Foundation for the important Team Teal campaign. The partnership aims to raise much needed funds for ovarian cancer research, while highlighting the devastating effects this disease has on Australian women.  

Until 9 March 2019, more than 200 reinswomen across Australia will be wearing teal coloured driving pants, striving to be the first across the line to secure donations for Women's Cancer Foundation.

Throughout the campaign each reinswomen in Queensland will take on the challenge. Throughout the campaign, Racing Queensland, Tabcorp, Albion Park and Redcliffe Harness Racing Clubs will donate a combined $200 to the cause when a Team Teal reinswoman wins.

In addition to supporting the drivers on the track, there will be a range of other opportunities for us all to get behind Team Teal, which finishes on Australian Female Drivers Championship night at Albion Park on March 9.

Racing Queensland looks forward to hosting this important event in conjunction with the Albion Park Harness Racing Club, which will bring Australia’s top reinswomen to Brisbane for one exciting night of action. 

CLICK HERE TO DONATE

Great end to Greyhound carnival

Last month’s Group 3 Queensland Cup night provided a fitting end to the 2019 TAB Queensland Summer Racing Carnival for the greyhound code.

A large crowd was on course at Albion Park to see the Joanne Price-trained Infrared Star claim the $60,000 feature, incredibly, his first win over 600m at ‘The Creek’.

Congratulations must also go to Alligator Creek trainer Joan Newnham, who claimed the 2019 Country Cup final with Dalmatynski in the slick time of 29.97sec.

It was a sight to behold when Joan’s granddaughter Alisha accepted the trophy on behalf of her grandmother, much to the delight of the large crowd in attendance.I

would also like to congratulate Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club Chairman Les Bein, CEO Luke Gatehouse and the entire ‘Brisgreys’ team for hosting another successful carnival.

Despite some issues with the lure on the night, the team acted swiftly to get racing back under way.

In accordance with the Abandoned Race Meetings Policy, Racing Queensland advised all connections with greyhounds in the Queensland Short Course Final, which was declared a no race after the lure was caught, that the race would be rescheduled with the same box draw and prizemoney at Albion Park on Thursday 31 January 2019.

Trainers were compensated $80 per-starter from the abandoned race last and keep the $50 appearance fee.

New manager appointed

Last month Racing Queensland welcomed Brenton Scott as its new Greyhound Strategy and Development Manager. Brenton brings more than 30 years of experience in the greyhound industry to the role, which will oversee the strategic management of greyhound racing operations and performance.

Brenton was deemed the person with the necessary experience, strategic thinking and alignment with participants to lead the greyhound code in Queensland into the future, with a specific focus on improving the code’s commercial performance and delivering on infrastructure that will help racing grow in the future.

Mr Scott replaces Adam Wallish who spent almost two years in the role before taking a position as Racing Queensland’s Chief Operating Officer.

Vale Barry Miller

Racing Queensland was saddened by the passing of Queensland training stalwart Barry Miller last month. Mr Miller is best remembered for training Queensland champion of the early 2000s, Show A Heart. Barry was a leading example for grassroots participants, making the transition from country trainer to multiple Group 1 winner. On behalf of RQ Chairman Steve Wilson, myself and all at Racing Queensland, we wish to extend our deepest condolences to Barry’s wife Edna, his children and grandchildren.

What a career

Finally, congratulations to veteran racing media scribe and broadcaster Rod Gallegos who announced his retirement in December. The son-in-law of former leading commentator Keith Noud has enjoyed an extensive media career in Queensland and New South Wales. The Bundaberg-born journalist worked for the Brisbane Telegraph, Channel 7’s Sportscene, Sky Racing and 2KY. Good health in your retirement, Rod!