By Racing Queensland Chief Executive Officer BRENDAN PARNELL
It’s been a busy but productive start to 2022, with the TAB Golden Greys Summer Racing Carnival once again shining a light on Queensland as the place to chase.
The Golden Greys reached its thrilling conclusion early last month, culminating with the Group 1 Gold Bullion, which was run for $300,000 for the first time following a number of prizemoney enhancements across the code late last year.
The feature event was taken out by NSW superstar Jungle Deuce in a dominant display, enhancing his affinity with Queensland and maintaining his unbeaten record at the track from seven starts.
The night was a fitting way to close out a Summer 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 $5.44 million, up from the $5.2 million set on last year’s corresponding night.
As a whole, average turnover per race increased to $375,000, up 14% on last year’s Summer Carnival – with total turnover reaching $42.3 million (up 6%).
Although not officially a part of the Golden Greys, I’d also like to extend my congratulations to Cornubia trainer Ned Snow on his triumph in the Vince Curry Memorial Series.
Already Australia’s richest maiden, this series was another that benefitted from recent prizemoney enhancements, going from $60,000 to $75,000 in 2022.
2021 Queensland Greyhound Awards and 50th anniversary celebrations
We’re pleased to confirm that this year’s TAB Queensland Greyhound Awards will be staged on April 1 at the Gabba, a significant location given the sport’s rich history at the iconic ground.
Further information regarding the evening and the purchase of tickets will soon be available on the Racing Queensland website, but it leads me to another upcoming celebration that I wanted to touch on.
This year marks the 50-year anniversary of the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club, having commenced racing operations at the Gabba in 1972.
To honour the significant milestone, the BGRC will celebrate with a showcase evening at Albion Park on Thursday, April 14.
The club will host a mega racing and event experience for families to enjoy on Easter Thursday, highlighted by a $50,000 feature race event for QBRED greyhounds, and a $30,000 Mitsubishi ASX car giveaway for one lucky patron.
Luke Gatehouse and the Club have advised that further information on the night will be available in the coming weeks, so keep an eye out on the BGRC website and social media channels.
Greater Brisbane Greyhound Centre update
With public submissions on the future of the Greater Brisbane Greyhound Centre closing last month, the project is now in the advanced stages of planning approval via a Ministerial Infrastructure Designation state planning approval.
Throughout the public consultation, a pleasing level of feedback was received, with next steps involving the assessment and response to the feedback, along with the preparation of a further report to the Planning Minister.
Meanwhile, RQ – together with the Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club and the Ipswich Greyhound Racing Club – continue to progress design considerations which remain in line with the project’s day one objectives, coupled with feedback from industry stakeholders.
Greyhound national rules adoption
For those who may not have already been aware, Greyhounds Australasia have advised that the adoption of the new national rules will be deferred until May 1, 2022.
GA have advised that while the individual systems are ready to adopt the new rules, further assurance regarding the integration of those systems and the ability of those systems to seamlessly work together with the new rules has been sought.
The new local rules for Queensland will be rolled out on the same date.
Grading procedures review
As we touched on last month, RQ recently announced its intention to undertake a holistic review of the grading procedures.
The grading procedures have not been reviewed on a total basis in over a decade, and this process will be underpinned by extensive stakeholder consultation.
We encourage all participants to partake in this important piece of work when given the opportunity to do so, and it is pleasing to see that already we have received a number of strong submissions.
The feedback, along with external evaluations of interstate grading methodologies will be considered as RQ management considers possible alterations.
Submissions remain open until March 4, and can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org, with any proposed changes will be subject to a further round of industry consultation.
RQ celebrates International Women’s Day
Finally, the Queensland racing industry will once again celebrate the social, economic, cultural, and political achievements of women with a range of activities to take place across the state in honour of International Women’s Day.
Women play a significant role in racing; from trainers, jockeys, drivers, strappers, administrators and volunteers, and their contribution does not go unnoticed.
On March 8, three race clubs across the state – Cairns for the thoroughbreds, Ipswich greyhounds and The Creek for the pacers – will host IWD meetings, including races named in the day’s honour, as well as branded trophies, rugs, strapper jackets and saddles. You can read more about RQ’s commitment to International Women’s Day on our website.