Betting bonanza for TAB Golden Greys Summer Racing Carnival

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By Racing Queensland Chief Executive Officer BRENDAN PARNELL

The TAB Golden Greys Summer Racing Carnival reached a thrilling conclusion last month, culminating with the $235,000 Group 1 Gold Bullion.

The feature event was taken out by Victorian superstar Shima Shine in a dominant display with local Crazy Cool second. The Golden Ticket winner was the first Queenslander home, which speaks to the success of the match-race concept that provided the dog with a gateway to the Group 1 Final.

Another inter-state raider, Tommy Shelby, was third.

The night was a fitting way to close out a Carnival that continues to go from strength to strength, and I wish to thank Luke Gatehouse and the team at the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club for delivering another stellar campaign.

From a wagering perspective, the Gold Bullion evening turned over more than $5 million, with $850,000 wagered on the feature event alone – a Queensland record for greyhound racing.

Greyhound of the Year finalists announced

Last month, Racing Queensland announced the three finalists in the running for the 2020 TAB Greyhound of the Year.

Staged at Victoria Park Golf Club on March 19, Classy Ethics, Farmor Beach and Oh Mickey will battle it out for the major award at the Queensland greyhound industry’s night of nights, with a voting panel of nine judges narrowing the field to three finalists.

The quality of the three Greyhound of the Year finalists underlines the quality and depth we have here in Queensland racing at present.

Each finalist has won at Group level in 2020, as well as competing in the best races both here and inter-state, and we are proud to see our greys taking it up to some of the best dogs nation-wide.

I would like to congratulate the three finalists and their connections on this nomination, and wish them all the best on the night.

International Women’s Day

Racing Queensland is proud to support and celebrate International Women’s Day this year, and we will be hosting a number of activations from March 4 to 8 at race meetings across the state.

Women play a significant role in racing; from trainers, jockeys, drivers, strappers, administrators and volunteers, and their contribution does not go unnoticed.

On March 4, the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club will host the Celebrate International Women’s Day 8 March Chase in support of the day.

There will be a branded trophy and rug to the winner, with all handlers wearing branded IWD jackets.

You can read more about RQ’s commitment to International Women’s Day on our website.

Greater Brisbane Greyhound Centre update

Work behind the scenes for the Greater Brisbane Greyhound Centre continues to make steady progress.

As previously advised, the feedback from the Industry Stakeholder Engagement sessions last year is being carefully considered by the project team and Cox Architects are to have concept plans finalised by the end of March.

The planning approval process is currently being considered and I will have further information in that regard next month.

Further community and industry stakeholder engagement will progress in coming months as planning approval and final design is progressed.

Capital works upgrades

RQ continues to provide strong support for various capital up-grades at greyhound tracks across the state.

The Townsville kennels were replaced late last year, and new starting boxes are due for installation at Bundaberg and Capalaba imminently.

In addition, the Rockhampton lure rail is penned for replacement with these works now proposed to commence in May, immediately following the Rockhampton Cup.

Finally, over the course of the next month, RQ expect to finalise a works programme to upgrade the Bundaberg track.

More updates in regards to these works will be provided over the coming months.

Farewell to Oh Mickey

Finally, it’s with great sadness that we farewelled one of the stars in Queensland greyhound racing, Oh Mickey, after injury forced his retirement.

Trained by Selena Zammit, Oh Mickey established himself as the benchmark in the Queensland sprinting ranks, recording 15 wins and six placings from 29 starts in 2020.

At just his seventh career start, he announced himself on the national stage, claiming a two-length victory in the National Derby at Wentworth Park, before going on to claim the Group 2 Richmond Derby two months later.

A mainstay in the top races both here and inter-state, Oh Mickey’s dominant year also earned him an invitation to the Group 1 Top Gun Sprinters in November.

Whilst unfortunate that his career was ended prematurely, it was heart-warming to hear owner Clint Kratzmann speak about his life after racing, and that he would remain with the Kratzmann family at the newly named Oh Mickey Lodge.

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