$28.9M boost to racing industry

31st August 2021

Posted in: Latest News

By Racing Queensland Chief Executive Officer BRENDAN PARNELL

The Queensland racing industry continues to go from strength-to-strength following the recent unveiling of its Investment Growth Plan.

As announced by Racing Minister Grace Grace, participants in the Sunshine State will receive an additional $28.9 million in funding over the next two years.

The Plan is made possible through the Palaszczuk Government’s budget commitment of returning 35% of Point of Consumption Tax revenues back to the racing industry, which will be delivered through increased prizemoney, along with infrastructure grants and improved club funding.

The funding is in addition to the $7.5 million provided by Racing Queensland in January.

The Plan includes additional grant funding to support the infrastructure requirements of the industry, with funding prioritised towards projects that have been identified as critical for club sustainability.

For the greyhound code, there will be a $1.7 million increase in grassroots prizemoney including:

  • $210 increase for all Class 1 events;
  • $105 increase for all Class 2 and 3 events (except 288m and 331m);
  • $210 increase for all Class 4, 5, 6 events; and
  • The introduction of $10 unplaced prizemoney (5th to 8th) for all events.

There will also be additional investments in greyhound care, as well as further funding earmarked to address critical racing assets including front and back straight sectional cameras at all tracks and a Bundaberg track rebuild.

Winter wagering recap

The TAB Queensland Winter Greyhound Racing Carnival success has been highlighted by strong wagering results, reaching $31.1 million (+42.7%) across its seven feature nights from FY19.

In particular, the Sky Racing Brisbane Cup set a new mark as Queensland’s highest turnover meeting at $5.5 million (+83.4%) only to be eclipsed by the Eric Thomson Memorial Final a fortnight later with $5.6 million (+133%).

Both nights eclipsed the previous benchmark of $5.2m established on Gold Bullion night earlier this year.

GBGC update

The Industry Stakeholder Briefing will take place at the Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club on Saturday, September 4 from 10am.

These sessions are integral for the progression of the facility, and following key stakeholder engagement last year, we were delighted with the depth and quality of feedback we received.

This next briefing is all about sharing the project’s progress and outlining how the current design meets both the day one vision and the needs and wants as put to us by participants.

Information that is to be presented at the briefing will include the following:

  • GBGC planning approval progress;
  • Project timelines;
  • Design progression – masterplan, racetracks, grandstand, kenneling; and
  • A question and answer session.

The Greater Brisbane Greyhound Centre will be a game changer, and this is a key opportunity for industry participants to provide feedback and I encourage all members of the Queensland greyhound industry to attend if at all possible.

On the track

Whilst it was disappointing to see that the 2021 National Sprint and National Distance Championships were unable to proceed this year, it was pleasing to see our own Queensland Championships take place in August.

Headlined by the Sprint and Distance Championships on August 12, two of our champion locals Farmor Beach and Maggie Moo Moo – further credentialed their reputations with feature wins.

Straight-track superstar Magical Trav was a deserving winner of the Queensland Straight Track Championship, having now won 21 races from 29 starts at Capalaba.

Feature racing now moves north to for the running of the Group 3 Townsville Cup, with heats to commence on September 3 ahead of the Final one week later on September 10, which you will be able to watch on Sky Racing 1.

We are delighted to have been able to work with the Club to increase prizemoney to Group 2 level, with the winner receiving $40,000 – up from 25,000.

As announced last month, the race will be upgraded to Group 2 status in 2023.

Phone nominations to be phased out

Finally, Racing Queensland recently advised that phone nominations will be discontinued for all Queensland greyhound race meetings from January 1, 2022.

Trainers will be required to nominate online via OzChase which can be accessed 24 hours a day, seven days per week with internet connection.

The OzChase system provides a fast and convenient way for trainers to nominate and scratch greyhounds, as well as view their greyhounds’ grades, add multiple nomination preferences, and view the greyhounds they currently have drawn.

Online nominations via Ozchase have been available since 2014, however 40% of nominations for Queensland greyhound meetings are still taken over the phone.

Due to the slow progress towards complete online nominations, and the increased workload of RQ employees to grade additional race meetings, RQ is implementing this change to modernise operating practices and make business process more efficient.

For all enquiries regarding online nominations, please contact RQ via email at [email protected], or call 07 3869 9776.