Jenny - Clean

IN his popular column, ‘SILKS & SADDLES,’ published by the NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER, respected racing writer TERRY BUTTS reveals how there is a concerted push before the Government for the reintroduction of quarter horse sprint racing in Queensland.

And if granted permission this body would be totally autonomous to the Australian Racing Board and Racing Queensland and officials behind the bold plan admit that betting on these races is high on the agenda.

Butts also praises champion trainer Peter Moody for blasting the decision to ban anabolic steroids and reports on a bush race meeting last Saturday where there were only 10 who paid for admission.

Here is the Butts’ column:

 

GOVERNMENT ASKED TO APPROVE QUARTER HORSE RACING IN QUEENSLAND

THERE is another concerted move to re-introduce quarter horse sprint racing in Queensland with an application currently before the Government to approve a control body.

And if granted the control body will be totally divorced from Queensland and Australian Racing.

But it seems the plan is not entirely supported by all sections of Australian quarter horse racing.

The new Australian Quarter Horse Racing body has, according to Noosa-based businessman Alan Murnane, some powerful US backing and will not be reliant on any government funds to set up or operate the ambitious venture.

Mr Murnane, a senior member of the new association, refused to elaborate on detail, but said pending government approval, his quarter horse racing would be up and running as a fully professional operation within two years.

 

QUARTER HORSE SPRINT RACING BOOMED FOR SHORT TIME DURING HINZE ERA

QUARTER horse sprint racing for a short time boomed in Queensland when introduced by the Bjelke-Petersen government with the strong support of Russ Hinze in 1978.

Top quarter horse stock was imported from the US and a large breeding operation saw hundreds of quarter horses contesting races all over the state.

Toowoomba was considered for a time the hub of quarter horse racing, but there was keen interest and big fields in races all over North Queensland as well.

But, much like the demise of harness racing in Queensland, the followers suddenly began to abandon their interest.

And in the midst of rumours of ring-ins and rigged races the government(encouraged by the thoroughbred racing bodies) in 1993 ruled that no races could be run under a distance of 900m in this state.

That of course was the end of quarter horses racing on registered Queensland race tracks.

The industry was left in tatters. The only outlet for them was races like the Mt Isa Dash that coincides with the big Rodeo in August and attracts quarter horses and other breeds from all over the country.

 

CLAIMS CURRENT QUARTER HORSE RACING LACKS PROPER CONTROL IN QUEENSLAND

MORE recently the Mackay Beach Races offered events for all types of horses but, according to quarter horse racing stalwart Terry Chenner, both events lack proper control.

“Some horses race in different places under different names. No one checks. No one cares,” he said.

Mr Chenner, who raced and bred the breed at Gympie in the Quarter horse “heyday,” now resides in Victoria and maintains an active interest from his Ballarat base.

He attended the Normanton meeting two weeks ago as stipendiary steward and said he was amazed at the professionalism of the local horsemen and club committee.

Normanton, for years a registered club broke away from Queensland Racing after a major fall out with the former Bentley Board and decided to run their own meeting. It has been a giant success with more than 30 horses competing on a round robin system and Calcutta pools on each race are in excess of $10,000.

But it is isolated. A couple of other registered tracks, including Sedan Dip, have gone the same way and there may be more coming on line.

Mr Chenner doubts if the new proposed new control body would have any impact in the north.

In fact he is dubious it will get off the ground, even if government approved.

“This type of proprietary racing has been talked about for years but it never gets off the ground. It relies on gambling.

“But where are the horses. And where are the punters,” he questions.

“We are light on horses and more importantly we are light on public interest these days.”

 

GAMBLING IS AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE VISION FOR QUARTER HORSE RACING

ALAN Murnane remains unfazed by the doubters but concedes gambling is an integral part of his vision. “All jockeys and trainers will be licensed by the new body and officials will be contracted,” he said

He wouldn’t disclose the company plans on how gambling will be implemented or whether state-owned TABs would be involved, a move likely to be hotly opposed by the already established and somewhat struggling codes of gallops, trots and dogs.

Nor would he discuss the proposed location of the track, though he indicated it would be purpose-built which possibly indicates somewhere in the more populated south-east corner.

Mareeba-based Chris Chalmers has been involved in the rebirth of quarter horse racing in North Queensland over the past 12 months and is highly sceptical of the new plan.

“We are purely quarter horse up here and we race only on registered race tracks.

“We are not into sprint racing that caters for all breeds of horses.

“We are in no way involved with proprietary racing ideas that have popped up in all states over the past 20 years and continue to hamper the name and progress of genuine quarter horse racing,” he said.

Chalmers admits it has been a hard slog but he expects a big increase in the number of Queensland clubs that will cater for quarter horses next year- and has named Koorinyah and Prairie as potentially two new venues.

“But there are others too, including a TAB club in the south east corner.

“We don’t want a proprietary club. We want to race under the rules of Queensland Racing.

“It is the only way forward for quarter horses” he stressed.

 

AT LAST A TOP TRAINER WITH THE COURAGE TO BLAST BAN ON ANABOLIC STEROIDS

YOUR columnist had been waiting for some suitably credentialed spokesperson to come out and blast the banning of anabolic steroids on all horses in Australia.

It happened on Friday, when none other than Peter Moody whose opinion knowledge and experience in all aspects of racing both here and abroad could hardly be challenged, spoke out.

 But, with a certain degree of arrogance, the Australian Racing Board sought other advice and without a lot of consultation proceeded to introduce a rule that Moody described as “far reaching and disastrous.”

It is not the first time the ARB has grabbed the bit and bolted with some hasty decisions that have come back to bite them. The Board’s embarrassing capitulation on the use of whips is still well remembered.

B UT not only did Moody say the ARB had made a “huge blue” he gave his valid reasons.

“I think the ARB has acted too quickly to recent events overseas, particularly England,” he said

“But there are great disparities between English and Australian racing.”

 

MOODY HIGHLIGHTS DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ENGLISH AND AUSTRALIAN RACING

MOODY pointed out that Australian racing revolves around the geldings, whereas in England owners and trainers  are less prone to geld their colts with a result that there are thousands of useless fired-up stallions going around that end up you-know-where when it is discovered they are “no good.”

Moody said geldings are more genuine, less distracted and are a safer animal.

At the same time the gelding has a weaker constitution, and unlike a stallion does not naturally create his own hormones.

That’s where anabolic steroids come in. It is really hormone replacement therapy which is also invaluable in helping a gelding get over injury.

So why did the ARB come out and slap this total ban on their use, particularly when the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities, and the Asian Racing Federation have not.

Are we still being influenced why what happens in the old sod?

Well, are we?

As Peter Moody states: “There is more industry consultation required.”

 

ONLY TEN PAID ADMISSION TO THE RICHMOND RACES LAST SATURDAY

IT MIGHT be the drought or it might be the sign of the times. But only 10 people (according to bookie Ken Elliot) paid admittance to the Richmond races last Saturday.

Surely no club can survive with that level of attendance which obviously reflects on interest.

Comparatively the crowds are not much greater at Townsville on a Tuesday or Rockhampton on a Thursday.

Conversely, they turned up in their thousands at the Bowen Cup meeting on Saturday. And partied like there was no tomorrow.

There’s a little rumour that Townsville Amateurs might look at the October long weekend date for its annuals next year.

What a great idea.

 

COLUMN COURTESY OF TERRY BUTTS AND THE NORTH QUEENSLAND REGISTER, one of Australia's leading rural newspapers.

TERRY BUTTS can be contacted by e-mailing: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Join Us on Facebook

Racing News

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
 

 

Getaway & Go Racing &
Day at the Races FREE Ratings
BN: 55127167

Login Form