FOR a good deal of my life I have been a proud follower and supporter of racing on the DARLING DOWNS. Toowoomba might not be the vibrant industry hub it once was but will always be remembered as the nursery of many champions and a pioneer of twilight and night racing.

Over the years politics has made a sad impact on Downs racing and those who run it. The scene today is a sad cry and a far reflection on what it once was. But that’s life and we have to accept it or walk away – which many fine stakeholders have done.

Things happen here that make you shake your head from time to time. One of these occurred in the past week and my friends and I believe the industry is entitled to know the background. I am writing this email anonymously because there are those days that I still like to go to the races and one learns quickly in the current environment that you cannot criticize the present hierarchy and still enjoy your day at the races.

So here goes and I hope you will allow me the space in the WHINGE, which I read regularly, to have my say on an issue that has many of us in Tooowoomba racing quite puzzled.

CHAIRMAN Neville Bell’s message to members of the Brisbane Racing Club about the enforced closure of the Eagle Farm track has prompted a host of responses on social media and to this website which could best be described as less than complimentary.

Rather than comment further on the situation LETSGOHORSERACING reproduces the newsletter which we hope will allow stakeholders and the racing public to make up their own minds about this less than ideal situation.

You be the judge on where the blame should be directed and who should foot the bill for this costly mess:

LETSGOHORSERACING comments on the EAGLE FARM debacle

HEADS should roll over the Eagle Farm track debacle and the first to go should be Brisbane Racing Club CEO Dave Whimpey who deserves to pay the price for his willingness to be the public face of this embarrassment.

The head of Racing Queensland CEO Elliot Forbes should also be on the chopping block despite the fact that the control body – following enormous protest and pressure from top interstate trainers and jockeys – has decided to throw the BRC under the bus.

Have a read of reports on how officialdom handled this disaster in the past month and you will see that RQ – moreso Forbes as the mouthpiece – was happy to support the stubbornness of the BRC Board in refusing to accept warnings that a major disaster was looming.

BACK-FLIP OVER ‘CLOD LAND’ – OAKS MEETING MOVED FROM THE FARM

IN one of the biggest overnight back-flips in the history of Brisbane racing the Queensland Oaks meeting will not be run at ‘Clod Land’, which Eagle Farm has been christened in the eyes of the racing fraternity.

Industry insiders are claiming that Racing Queensland, facing a threatened boycott of the new track by top trainers and jockeys, overruled the insistence by Brisbane Racing Club chairman, Neville Bell 24 hours earlier that: “This track is safe for racing and we will race here for the rest of the carnival."

Living up to their modus operandi of procrastinating when it comes to important decision making on controversial issues, it seems officialdom cannot agree on where the Oaks meeting will be moved to when the obvious choice would appear to be across the road at Doomben.

GREYHOUND racing will continue in Queensland with continued vigilance on animal welfare and integrity, Racing Minister Grace Grace said. 

“Queensland was the first State to act in response to greyhound live baiting cases last year,” the Minister said. 

“We acted immediately to stop the sickening abuse that was exposed, and put the greyhound industry on notice that it had to clean up its act. 

“Clearly, the greyhound industry is aware that it’s on its last chance. 

RACING Opposition spokesperson JANN STUCKEY made this address in reply to the Second Reading of the Racing Integrity Bill in the Queensland Parliament overnight.

On up to a dozen occasions her rejection of the bill was the subject of interjections with call from Racing Minister Grace Grace for Mrs Stuckey to withdraw comments made about her, specifically in relation to alleged conflicts of interest in Board appointments and statements made on integrity issues.

Here is Mrs Stuckey’s statement in the House (interjections included) courtesy of HANSARD:

HERE is the statement to The House by RACING MINISTER GRACE GRACE in support of the Racing Integrity Bill which will be debated over two days.

HANSARD report on the SECOND READING of the RACING INTEGRITY BILL:

RACING Queensland has today released the race dates calendar for the thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing codes for the 2016/17 racing season.

The release of 2016/17 race dates follows months of extensive consultation with key stakeholders across the three racing codes including race clubs, UBET, Sky Channel and various stakeholder associations.

QUEENSLAND'S premier racecourse Eagle Farm is track to re-open for racing on May 11 following a major refurbishment, Racing Minister Grace Grace said today in State Parliament.

Ms Grace said the refurbishment would deliver a much-needed track upgrade, improved public amenities and a giant in-field display screen.

THE Queensland thoroughbred breeding industry has received a significant boost, with Racing Queensland electing to retain the key components of the existing Queensland Thoroughbred Incentive Scheme (QTIS) into the future.

Following the release of the Tracking Towards Sustainability (TTS) Plan, Racing Queensland consulted with key stakeholders including the Queensland Thoroughbred Breeders Association (QTBA), the Queensland Racehorse Owners’ Association (QROA), the Queensland Trainers’ Association (QTA) and the Australian Trainers’ Association (ATA) to further discuss proposed changes.

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