Bush series in QLD

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**Just a little opinion article. Not sure there is a right or wrong answer. I’ve just been thinking about the ‘battle of the bush’ series in QLD. My thoughts are below but I’d love to know what everyone else is thinking about it. Share your thoughts via email, facebook or Twitter. Keen to hear what punters/participants thoughts are.

You have to love the fact we are trying to include the bush in a series that has it’s grand final over the winter carnival like the ‘Battle of the bush’. It gives country trainers and owners a chance to race on the big stage and for big money.

I just can’t help but feel there are a lot better ways to do it than the way we currently are.

For starters, punting wise, who cares? And i’m not being rude, but I couldn’t tell you the winner of one lead up race or where they were even run. If we are having a big series you want interest in the lead up and you want punters betting on the races. I can’t comment on this year yet but last year half races had no footage of the lead ups and a couple had phone footage of the races? How can you bet on grand final day when you can’t watch the lead ups? Let alone have any actually data to go off?

If we are going to have a bush series let’s get fair dinkum and throw some money at it. I completely understand QLD is a big state and travelling horses to the heats is an issue we have to take into account. The heats have to be at the closest provincial or main country tracks, Cairns/Townsville/Mackay/Rocky etc and although we pay to 10th now you could double that money (down to last) as part of the series for the travel costs etc to trainers. Race the heats at these better meetings and have $25k to the winner and $100k winners prize grand final day. Surely if there is a better build up the turnover would be astronomically better? Do these heats run at the bush tracks help those meetings? Surely not?

I’ve never hidden the fact I love the Highway concept in Sydney and the Country/Provincial championships is probably the best ‘new series’ I can remember. They are incredibly competitive, they are extremely well advertised and create an enormous amount of interest. The reason they work are because they are so well televised and promoted. The heats of the country championships are the highlights of good cards of racing and are on thoroughbred central with previews (not to mention the $80k prize to the winner of each heat and $250,000 up for grabs in the final).

For mine the main difference is the QLD version interests some country racing folk but I can honestly say I haven’t actually had a conversation about the series with a single punter (other than someone asking why there are no replays). The NSW version interests nearly all punters and races like the highway are great punting races every single week.

I think it’s awesome we have a race series like the battle of the bush, unfortunately it just seems like a race for the sake of having a race in it’s current form. Let’s get fair dinkum and make it something the sunshine state can be proud of (and something we might actually want to bet on)

** Again, not sure there is a right or wrong answer. What would you like to see change? Or do you like the way it is?