Bartlett and his club are looking forward to showing off those flash facilities to a new bunch of owners and trainers this weekend as they host a six-event non-TAB program, with an additional feature race.
Racing Queensland recently announced Quilpie as one of the new venues which will take part in the 2021 TAB Battle of the Bush Series.
Quilpie was set to make their debut in the series last year, which was put on the back burner following restrictions.
Everyone involved is excited to host a qualifying heat this week, with the series culminating in the $200,000 Final on Tattersall’s Tiara Raceday at Eagle Farm on Saturday, June 26.
The Battle of the Bush commences at the Quilpie Diggers' Race Club on May 1 and will again feature 16 qualifiers (two per country region) across the state.
The club expect trainers from Charleville, Cunnamulla, Roma, from over the border from NSW and even as far away as Toowoomba for the series heat.
“That is the plan, hopefully we get a good roll up of trainers, we have already had a number of inquiries from trainers from different areas that do not always come to Quilpie,” Bartlett said.
“That is good to hear and hopefully we can have a good weekend and everything can run smoothly.”
Johnstone, who has 13 in work at his Charleville base, is likely to have a number of winning chances around Saturday’s six races.
He says he races his team of horses with a good bunch of owners, declaring it is a family operation as his wife helps train his gallopers, while his brother in-law rides his track work.
Bartlett moved to the bush after growing up in Newcastle, where he learnt to love racing as a young boy.
He recalls going to watch track work in his hometown alongside jockey Dale Spriggs, with his involvement in the sport growing from there.
Bartlett also owns a few horses, including a gelding who won last weekend’s Dalby Amateur Cup and ran second in last year's Country Cups Challenge at Doomben.
Quilpie is one of many clubs in Queensland who race just once every 12 months.
“The biggest thing for us racing once a year is maintaining momentum as a club and committee,” Bartlett said.
“You always gain momentum as the races approach every year but after the races, because it is a lot of hard work to put it all together for some time, there is always anxiety and panic looking forward to the next one.
“There is lots of new rules and regulations that we need to follow now, maintaining standards like that as a once a year club can be difficult.”
The Quilpie Diggers’ Race Club was founded by a group of local World War II soldiers who shared experiences as prisoners of war.
“On their return home, they decided to form a racing club; hence, the inclusion of “Diggers” in the official club title,” the club’s website explains.
“Throughout the history of the Club, there have been stories of service, endurance, controversy, scandal, tragedy and heroism involving great country horses, trainers, jockeys and owners."
Club spotlight will be a regular feature that shines a light on the unique and individual racing clubs across Queensland.