By Racing Queensland Chief Executive Officer BRENDAN PARNELL
I’d like to start by touching on the recent unveiling of Racing Queensland’s qualifying race to determine its representation in the inaugural $1.145 million TAB The Phoenix.
In late October, we announced the Listed Queensland Flame would be run on the first major night of the TAB Golden Greys Summer Racing Carnival at Albion Park on December 2, offering $37,500 in its own right and a berth in the new million-dollar feature to the winner.
Heats will be staged at the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club on November 25, with RQ also announcing that any Queensland runner who participates in the Group 1 Melbourne Cup Final, which will be held at the Sandown Greyhound Racing Club on the same night, will be granted automatic entry into the Final of the Flame.
In addition, there will be automatic entry for any Queensland-trained greyhound that wins the $113,000 Group 2 Ipswich Cup on November 11, should they choose to nominate.
The Queensland Flame will also include a unique ownership and community partnership element, where competition entrants will have the chance to be an ‘owner for a day’ representing each of the eight greyhounds in the Final.
The winning owner will then have the opportunity to travel to Melbourne to attend the Phoenix Final, with up to $20,000 on offer if the Queensland slot holder is successful in the race.
Similarly, eight community partners will also be selected for the Queensland Flame Final, with another $20,000 on offer if Queensland’s greyhound triumphs in Melbourne.
You can read more about the Queensland Flame on Page 4 and RQ’s website.
TAB Golden Greys Summer Carnival
The TAB Golden Greys Summer Carnival is fast approaching with a lot to look forward to on the track between now and then.
In what will be the third iteration of the Carnival, initiatives such as the Golden Ticket and the Gold Bullion continue to go from strength-to-strength, with strong local and inter-state support.
The Summer Carnival continues to provide Group racing opportunities for sprinters, middle distance types, stayers, and age-restricted greyhounds alike.
This year’s Carnival will feature a number of enhancements and prizemoney increases, which I look forward to providing further details on in next month’s column.
Turnover continues to soar
As noted in Racing Queensland’s 2020-21 Annual Report, turnover for Queensland product surpassed $1 billion for a second successive year, hitting a new record of $1.4 billion which represents a 35.4% increase.
Further, revenue increased to $39 million off the back of 28.1% growth.
Pleasingly, returns to participants grew to $25 million – an increase of 14% on FY20 – due to additional prizemoney from extra race meetings at Townsville and Capalaba, and the delivery of $1 million in new funding to the greyhound code via the industry investment plan which allowed sustainability payments to double from $500 to $1000 per eligible greyhound.
This continued growth provides a great platform to continue the industry’s progression under RQ’s Industry Growth Plan, which supports investment in greyhound racing infrastructure, animal care and prizemoney growth.
You can access the full report on the Racing Queensland website.
Impact claims Capalaba Cup
Congratulations to Kevin Ellis and his star chaser Impact on their Capalaba Cup triumph last month, run for the first time at Group 3 level.
The win means that the son of Fabregas remains unbeaten in his eight attempts down the straight, and added a 16th win to his career from 24 starts.
The recent running of the Cup was the second edition of the race in 2021, claimed in March by track specialist Columbian King – with the race shifted to October going forward as the club usually battles flooding around March every year.
Well done to all involved at the Club for putting on another stellar Cup meeting.
Vale Paul Wheeler
The Queensland greyhound racing industry would like to acknowledge the significant contribution of prominent owner and breeder, Paul Wheeler, following his sudden passing last month, aged 66.
Wheeler was regarded as one of Australian greyhound racing’s most successful owners and breeders, producing the popular and prolific Bale, Dyna and Allen lines.
Paul’s impact on the greyhound industry in Queensland and Australia-wide is profound.
His legacy will continue to be seen on the track for many years to come as a result of those breeding lines, which have shaped the greyhound industry as it is today.
Finally, as some in the industry may be aware, Greyhounds Australasia is currently conducting research to better understand participants and inform new initiatives to increase industry participation.
The work is being facilitated by Strategic Project Partners, and with a quantitative survey to be issued via email shortly, I’d encourage any participants who are approached to take part in order to inform GA of their views.