Sport

RACING: Queensland on hold as Palaszczuk dithers

Captain Tango (9) winning at a previous meet, will race in Sunday’s $30,000 Cannonball Series final at Kilcoy.
Captain Tango (9) winning at a previous meet, will race in Sunday’s $30,000 Cannonball Series final at Kilcoy. Contributed

ANOTHER month has passed and still the Queensland racing industry remains rudderless in a sea of uncertainty if not despair while the Palaszczuk government appears to continue its dithering over future plans for racing in Queensland.

The new government wasquick to sack the RQ Board following the greyhound live baiting scandal, leaving racing to be overseen by an acting CEO for many months.

Early announcements indicated that the new RQ board to oversee racing would be instituted by November but no action in this direction has been evident.

The Racing Minister reportedly received the recommendations from RQ regarding industry cuts and changes to address the financial problems of racing a couple of weeks ago but is yet to release the plan for sustainability of Queensland Racing.

Racing Minister Bill Byrne seems to have been largely invisible on the racing scene - seldom, if ever, sighted on a racecourse - like most others in the government despite racing being one of the most important industries in the state.

Mixed positions

A LETTER published in last Saturday's Gympie Times, written by Ian McCauley of the Kilcoy Race Club, sums up the position of racing at present while an article in the Sunday Mail notes the apparent lack of interest by government politicians in the racing industry.

Series final at Kilcoy

TRAINER Kerry Munce will saddle up a Gympie contender in Sunday's $30,000 Cannonball Series Final at Kilcoy.

Captain Tango, a four-year-old by top Echelon, has qualified for the rich final with a couple of placings in the heats for the event.

The Les Clarke-trained Dragon Street, a five-year-old by Hidden Dragon, is obviously the one to beat having won at his last three visits to Kilcoy - all over the 800m dash. He has the outstanding record of five wins from seven outings at Kilcoy - all over 800m. There is a $10,000 bonus if the winner can break 44 seconds for the 800m.

The long standing track record of is 44.06s held by Nanango-trained Lisa Fashionista, set in November 2013.

No runners from Gill

THE unusually small fields at last Saturday's Gympie races yielded some unusual statistics. Only 26 horses contested the four races with just eight Gympie-trained gallopers going around. There were seven Bundaberg-trained horses racing at the meeting while prominent Gympie trainer Barry Gill, for one of the first times ever, did not saddle up a runner. The Gill stable has had a run of recent injuries to their team which may have contributed to the lack of runners.

Updated helmets

THE new helmet for jockeys to be introduced in the new year has caused headaches for riders with jockeys threatening industrial action over the compulsory headgear. Riders claim that the new helmet is too bulky as well as being very expensive. There could also be a headache for owners with the current caps used as part of racing colours possibly being too small to fit the helmet.

Final meets to come

THE Nanango Race Club will conduct its final 2015 race meeting this Saturday.

The most popular event on the five-race card is the Malcolm McCallum Memorial QTIS Maiden which attracted 19 nominations.

Bundaberg race on December 12 and Esk on December 19 with race clubs in this area then having a break until the new year.

Praise for Gympie

BRISBANE'S Tattersalls Racing Club sponsors a race at the Gympie Cup meeting and this year a group of about 24 Tatts members attended the Gympie Cup meeting.

Their lunch in the Madil room of the Pavilion drew great praise with the buffet meal "rivalling anything the Tattersalls dining room could produce" while the facilities were rated "the best appointed to be found anywhere in country Queensland".

Take a bow Gympie Turf Club.

Topics:  racing queensland

Gympie Times