Women certainly ‘roar’ in Queensland
By Racing Queensland Chief Executive Officer BRENDAN PARNELL
The Queensland racing industry recently celebrated the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women in recognition of International Women’s Day on March 8.
RQ organised a range of activities and activations to take place across our three codes throughout the state, highlighted by a number of showcase races to mark the occasion.
It was a brilliant sight to see several our top female trainers come together to compete in the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club’s feature – the #CHOOSETOCHALLENGE Chase Women Trainers Final – taken out by Leanne Hall’s Extra Malt.
It’s been a fantastic 12 months for women in the sport, with more than 1200 races in Queensland won by female trainers.
Furthermore, we’ve seen three of our top trainers – Cynthia Elson, Pauline Byers and Rhonda Essery – claim the Brisbane, Ipswich and Townsville trainers’ premierships respectively.
I look forward to continuing to celebrate the achievements of our women in the sport throughout the year.
2020 TAB Queensland Greyhound Awards
I had the pleasure of being in attendance at the TAB Queensland Greyhound Awards, in March, celebrating the achievements of our canine and human heroes.
Recently retired champion Oh Mickey capped off a stellar career by being crowned the 2020 TAB Queensland Greyhound of the Year.
Trained by Selena Zammit, Oh Mickey established himself as the top dog in Queensland’s sprinting ranks, recording 15 wins and six placings from 29 starts last year, including a Group 1 win in the National Derby at Wentworth Park.
The evening also saw two Hall of Fame inductees, with legendary Brisbane trainer, Mick O’Byrne, and two-time Group 1 winner, High Earner, the latest members.
In total, we announced more than 20 award winners at Victoria Park, acknowledging the remarkable achievements of greyhound racing participants across the state throughout 2020.
It has been a year that the industry will not forget, and I once again wish to thank everyone for their commitment to keep industry going in such unprecedented times.
Queensland dogs triumph interstate
I would like to extend my congratulations to Robert Jacobsen, whose star bitch Crazy Cool took out the Group 2 Richmond Oaks Final in Victoria last month.
It’s been a fantastic start to 2021 for Rob, after Crazy Cool claimed the second edition of the Group 3 Golden Ticket series at Albion Park, earning a start in our feature event of the TAB Golden Greys Summer Carnival – the Group 1 Gold Bullion.
It’s not his first taste of success inter-state this year, following on from Rowdy Roddy’s third-place finish in January’s Group 1 National Derby at Wentworth Park.
I would also like to make mention of It’s A Rush – trained by Gerard Bowe – who qualified for the Group 2 Richmond Derby Final, finishing fourth.
Over the last 12 months, we’ve seen a number of Queensland’s star greyhounds measure up and triumph on the national stage, and I look forward to seeing that growing trend continue.
Greyhounds Australasia National Rules review
Greyhound Australasia National Rules, as adopted by each jurisdiction, form an integral part of the conduct of greyhound racing and in achieving consistency in greyhound racing across Australian States and Territories and New Zealand.
I can advise that GA has now concluded an internal process to rewrite the GA national rules (GAR), with its main purpose in commissioning this project to:
- improve the structure of the GARs;
- make the GARs easier to read for people in the greyhound racing industry;
- simplify and/or modernise the language used in the rules where possible;
- ensure key welfare and integrity obligations, currently adopted locally, are included in the national framework.
To assist in further developing the working draft, GA has asked each of its member jurisdictions to seek feedback, in two phases, from industry stakeholders, to assist in further developing the revised national rules.
You can read more regarding this consultation process on page 18.
Queensland to host National Straight Track Championships
I am delighted to confirm that RQ and the Capalaba Greyhound Racing Club have secured hosting rights for the 2021 National Straight Track Championships, to take place in August.
Two representatives from each of Queensland, NSW, South Australia and Victoria will contest the $25,000 to the winner final.
The profile of straight track racing across the country continues to build, with Capalaba now holding 76 meetings per year, complemented by a new straight track facility as a part of the Greater Brisbane Greyhound Centre.
I look forward to seeing some of the nation’s top straight track dogs scorching the turf here in Queensland come August.
Exciting times for Rockhampton
The Rockhampton Greyhound Racing Club is in for a big couple of months, highlighted by the feature Group 3 Rockhampton Cup, kicking off with heats on April 23 and the Final a week later.
RQ has again secured a Friday night slot for the Final and it is a case of full steam ahead to make that night a huge success for both the local community as well as from a wagering perspective.
Following the Cup, the Club will be required to go into a short recess to allow for a complete replacement of the lure rail as well as other facility improvements.
The Greater Brisbane Greyhound Centre project continues to build momentum, with concept planning nearing finalisation and community consultation – a highly important component of the planning approval process – about to commence.
Last September, a number of highly successful industry stakeholder engagement sessions where conducted, and these provided considerable guidance to the projects design team.
I am pleased to advise that another round of industry stakeholder engagement will be facilitated throughout April.
These sessions will provide participants with insight to the progress of the project and again provide an opportunity for participant feedback.