Less meeting, more prize money? Whats the answer

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There has been something I have discussed with some racing people for a while and I thought why not throw it out there for people to discuss. I mentioned it on social media and there was a fair few responses which is always good. Personally I am not sure as to what the answer is.

 

The question is how do we get more prize money into racing, in particular the part of racing I feel is really missing out is the midweek races in Brisbane. This is the second biggest meeting in the entire state every week and we are asked to race for $11k first prize money?? It is pathetic. $17k total prize money in each race for our second biggest meeting.

I have mentioned it before but you can race at NOWRA (bush NSW) and compete for $15k yesterday and if you are a BOBS horse there is a $5000 bonus so you win more than the midweek Brisbane races. NOWRA?

 SYDNEY midweek (Warwick Farm this week) you are racing for $23,000-  1st prize and  $40,000 overall prize money. Add $10,000 each race for BOBS horses and you are taking home THREE times as much then if you raced at Doomben.

 

So how do we fix it? Great question and I am not able to answer it for you as I don’t have the entire knowledge of the ins and outs of QLD racing, however there are a few things we can discuss.

 

*Let me start by stressing that I am not attacking country racing! I love Cairns and Mackay etc, I am just using the tracks that are racing this week as an example.

One point I was going to mention is the exorbitant number of non-TAB meetings we race every week in QLD. This weekend for example there are 6 in QLD, while only 1 in Victoria, 3 in NSW and 0 in S.A.

Each of these meetings carry around $30k-$60k in prize money. This weekend we have

Cairns- $30k

Cloncurry- $44k

Gayndah- $30k

Mackay – $45k

Tambo – $40k

Warwick – $60k

I love country racing but that is a lot of money (around $250,000 a weekend) over half a dozen Non-TAB meetings and even having one less of those meetings and the prize money going towards midweek race would be a win. Make it inviting that if the bush trainers have a good one they can come to town midweek for some good money instead of only having Saturday’s worth their while?

I’m not saying get rid of them all by any means as QLD is an extremely big area and the travel can be extremely long for these guys, I understand that, but surely we have to look at it in some way, do we have a few three week carnivals in different areas of the state where locals can aim for, and others can travel and take a little team too? Would that work better than all these meetings each week?

(I don’t know, that’s up for discussion I guess)

 Question mark

The other point that may even be better and worth more thought is the Gold Coast meeting on a Saturday, the Toowoomba meeting Saturday nights and Sunshine Coast meeting on Sunday. For the rubbish prize money on offer surely one of them has to go?

Sunshine Coast you are usually racing for $6,500 first prize and $2000 for 2nd?? It costs around $30,000 to train a horse for a 12 month period! Gold Coast is slightly better at around $8,400 first prize, and Toowoomba I believe is around the same as the Sunny Coast but I may be corrected. I do not see the point in having all of these races over that time.

With the GC getting an upgrade I do believe the plan is to use it as the QLD metropolitan track a little more often. In my opinion the GC should be used around once a month as the main race Saturday meeting and that is to give our Brisbane tracks some type of rest as they are simply well and truly over used! If that is the case, make the Sunshine Coast the provincial track on that Saturday and get rid of the Sunday meeting.

Many may not agree, but you can even throw an extra race or two on the Saturday (provincial), if you save prize money from 6-7 of those Sunday races and throw them on the Wednesday card we could potentially be racing for $18-19k first prize which is what the level should be for the second biggest raceday each week in the state of QLD, and you can bet not only would field numbers improve, but the quality of horse and the punting turnover would also be a hell of a lot better than they are at present.

(It would even work in reverse and give the Sunny Coast a few more major Saturday’s, keep the GC provincial)

Anything like resting the Brisbane tracks is a good thing, helps for more even racing on better surfaces and they don’t wear out as quickly obviously.

 

**Well I’m not sure what sort of response this will get and as I mentioned I am really not aware of the ins and outs of QLD racing but I simply felt that the fact we are racing for such ordinary Wednesday money, we have what looks to be far too many meetings around the same mark and close to our Wednesday’s prize money that surely it would be worth throwing out there for discussion. Maybe the powers to be are already onto a different path and things will shortly improve. I hope that’s the case but for the last decade or so we have gone from a great racing state with satellite stables like Waterhouse and Hawkes here, to now being a state where you’re lucky to get an interstate trainer bringing a horse up here as our money simply doesn’t make it worthwhile.

Fingers crossed something changes, for all owners, trainers and stakeholders as all everyone wants is to be competitive with other states and race for decent cash…..horseshoe