Trot Tactics: RQ changes to improve industry
IT seems that, for once, good is about to come out of bad.
Perhaps the most far-reaching and effective result to come out of the McSporran Inquiry into live blooding of greyhounds in Queensland is the recommendation that the Queensland All Codes Racing Industries Board (and its satellite boards for each of the three codes of animal racing in the state), be abolished.
Premier Anna Palaszcuk endorsed the recommendation by acting upon it and dismissing all board members while putting Racing Queensland CEO Darren Condon on the sidelines so he can prepare a show cause document to justify his continued employment.
This has indicated the great importance of a healthy racing industry.
The following is the current state of play.
The new board should consist of seven members, all of whom are to be appointed by the Governor in Council.
Four of the members are to be entirely independent of the racing industry during the period of board membership and to have had no relevant connection to the racing industry (ownership of horses or greyhounds or membership of a race club or organisation) for a period of at least two years prior to appointment.
The four members should collectively possess qualifications and experience in the field of accounting, law, business, commercial and marketing development.
The chair and deputy chair should be appointed from these four members.
The remaining three members should have relevant experience in the industry and be drawn, one each, from each of the codes of racing.
In reference to the above mentioned "independent''.
The current interpretation makes no reference to "syndicate'' membership.
Many participants, while welcoming the changes, have reservations that the anonymity of such membership may give rise to errors in these key appointments.
In the swag of horrors coming to light this week is the claim that Queensland Racing is headed for an $11 million loss this year, which has the potential to escalate to $21 million in the following year.
KPMG restructurer, Ian Hall, has been appointed to get RQ back on the track.
Premier Palaszcuk said that her government had appointed former Supreme Court judge Justice John Muir to the chairman's position in the new revamped RQ.
She said the financial position of what was QACRIB had been referred to the Auditor General's Department.
The Queensland Racing Integrity Commission will be an arm of government and report directly to the Minister for Racing.
The areas of control set down for this body should be listed, as it is thought at some levels that "handicapping'' may be included here.
This, apparently, is a worry for some participants. One could not imagine why this is the case.
It's a clean slate and a great opportunity to move forward.
Perhaps we in harness can convince the uncluttered minds of the "big four'' to look at the race track product and render it attractive as a sporting spectacle and a reliable betting medium, rather than the practice of "thinking outside the square'' (usually 20 years after someone else thought of it and has already flogged it to death).
MAJOR owner/ breeder Tony Price forecast this week's implosion at a Botra meeting some 8-10 years ago.
Control boards, he said, "are not commercial entities in the true sense. They are given a sum of money, and they are charged with spending it wisely. They are failing to do this.''
It is fair to say that this week's earthquake is very much a saga of mismanagement and failure to interpret sagging betting figures as indicators of doom.
Price was spot on.
Big day looms
KEEP looking at the calendar as the days wind on to Saturday, June 20.
The Ipswich City Councillors Charity race day will be a great afternoon of country trotting at Marburg.
Come along, enjoy the racing and displays by re-homed trotters and join in fitness demonstrations by Ipswich Hospital Foundation.
A gold coin donation will get you in.
TRIALS are this morning. First education session goes at 8am.
Get the blood flowing with a hot tea or coffee and a bacon and egg roll. Black book a future winner.
SELECTIONS for Albion Park tonight: R1 - E/w 1: Wandary Splash (G. Whitaker).
R2: Quinella 2-4: Lumos (B. Cockburn) and Mafuta Vautin (D. Graham).
R3: Quinella 1-5: All I Want (H. Barnes) and Skippy Saddler (D. McMullen).
R4: Quinella 1-8: Funny Boy (K. Dawson) and Lucky Voodoo (S. Graham).
R5: Quinella 2-5: Zedaguy (P. McMullen) and Luksam (S. Graham).
R6: E/w 2: Fifth And Broadway (D. Graham).
R7: Quinella 2-4: Shareapassion (P. McMullen) and Ona Happy Note (N. McMullen).
R8: Quinella 1-2: Rubys Bad Boy (D. Graham) and Lifesofine (C. Petroff).
R9: Place 1: Benny Mac (R. Gorman).
R10: Box trifecta in four: 1-8-9-10: Sans Frontiere (C. Petroff)-Duke Of The Moment (P. McMullen)- Mister Malakye (B. Cowen)- Goldstar Invasion (S. Graham).
A minor adjustment to the leader board saw Gary Whitaker as top driver with three wins and Darrell Graham posting the same number as a trainer.
Albion Park, May 29: My Delightful Lady (Nathan Dawson for Neville Doyle); Tooperate (Ricky Gordon); Special Thoughts (Adam Sanderson for Darrell Graham).
Albion Park, May 30: Donegal Under Fire (Hayden Barnes); Mafia Vaulting (Adam Sanderson For Darrell Graham); Imp The Golden Child (Bart Cockburn for Megan Armour).
Albion Park, June 2: Nureyev (Pete for Chantal Turpin); Jack Starzzz (Barty Cockburn for Graham Gavin); Mafuta Vautin (Darrell Graham); Lombo Ranmiles (Gary Whitaker for Mark Dux).
Redcliffe, June 3: Munroe (Isobel Ross for Barty Cockburn); Buddy Babcock (Rob Gorman for Jay Edmunds).
Gold Coast at Redcliffe, June 4: Fiscal Cliff (Narissa McMullen for Ron Sallis); Secret Smile (Gary Whitaker for A.L. Smith); Franco Novak (Pete for Dayl March); Lachs Ambition (Justin Storie For Chantal Turpin); Getinbehind (Gary Whitaker for Travis McKay).