Prize money issue grabs another scalp

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The prize money issue has struck again in QLD racing. Everybody in the industry knows we are well behind other states when it comes to getting a bang for your buck as an owner, and more trainers are leaving our state.

I wrote an article in June (you can read here ) Where I praised Racing QLD and the government for putting some money in to lift prize money. It was good at the time but with recent increases (and future ones tabled) interstate we must get on the front foot.

I see in an article in The Sunday Mail by Stephen Rodgers on 6/1/2013 he interviewed Norm Hilton after Carry Me Bluey saluted and Norm said he was leaving QLD to head to Newcastle shortly. He joins Trevor Bailey who left last year and a few other lesser known trainers to leave the state. Add to that people like Alan Bailey winding his operation back and guys and girls like Heathcote, Gollan, Dunn, Ahrens, Dais, Forster, Birchley, Schwieda, Kelly, Wood, Craft and Wakefield have all recently raced horses over the border on a Saturday. They are just the ones I can think of! People wouldn’t believe it 10 years ago if you said there were that many trainers racing horses’ interstate.

That is just the very least though. Places like Murwillumbah, Ballina are racing for more money than the Wednesday meeting in Brisbane, and I can tell you winning a midweek race in brissy is not easy. It is our next best meeting in QLD behind Saturday whereas Ballina and Murwillumbah are known as dead set country tracks.

This week a maiden at Doomben is $11,050 to the winner, the maiden at Ballina is $8,200 and if your horse is BOBS eligible you get $5000 on top (taking winnings to $13,200).

 On the same day in QLD Ipswich has a maiden worth $6,500, why wouldn’t you drive to Ballina??

Gosford Thursday is $17,155 to the winner with a $5k BOBS bonus. ($22,155 if you’re a BOBS horse)

On top of that you can get $275 for running 6th-10th, and if you are outside that you get a $200 starters subsidy !! WE ARE MILES BEHIND….

I have said in a few articles before that we would lose trainers and horses to interstate and it is  happening now. It also effects our breeding operations with people keen to chase the big Saturday money interstate. We have a very good system with QTIS Saturday race worth $53k and I believe that is the only thing saving us at the moment. I have heard a lot of different ways to change QTIS but to be honest the more I look at it the more I think it is in the right place and is incentive enough to pay decent money for a QTIS horse. If you dropped that Saturday money down people will flock to Sydney.

It has been the biggest issue in QLD racing for a long time and it isn’t going anywhere in a hurry. For those who love our racing, or work in the industry I hope we can start to take more steps forward in the next 12 months or so, for everyone’s sake.