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RACING Queensland has today released its amended 2014-15 thoroughbred race date schedule, which allows for the $22 million upgrade of Eagle Farm.

Racing Queensland Chairman Kevin Dixon said the works at Eagle Farm had forced a review of the race dates and the opportunity was taken to begin implementing a new allocation strategy, which includes adjustments to ensure the industry receives the best return on the meetings it runs.

As a result of the review, there will now be 429 TAB meetings in Queensland for the 2014-15 season and 300 non-TAB meetings.

“The allocation of dates must be dictated by opportunities to increase the returns to participants and industry; improve awareness of the product in the wagering space, and increase participation in the industry,” Mr Dixon said.

“Another key component is giving regional clubs a better chance to increase revenues.

“As outlined in the Strategic Plan 2014-17, Racing Queensland is working towards creating a more compelling racing product to drive the future of the industry.

“The revised race dates signify the first step in achieving this strategy, with the decision to no longer race Thoroughbreds on Tuesdays in Queensland.

“Those meetings have either been moved to Wednesday, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, or removed from the schedule to make better use of existing resources. Importantly, however, the total prize money allocation has remained the same.

"Tuesdays have proven to be non-profitable for clubs and have lacked the support of the industry, so we decided to move these meetings to ensure a stronger return.

“At a recent meeting of club chairmen, it was universally agreed that Tuesday meetings are of little benefit. By transferring many of those meetings to Sunday, the clubs now have an opportunity to capitalise on weekend attendances and improve their race day returns.”

Mr Dixon said the next phase of the strategy would be rolled out shortly, including the restructuring of prize money.

“The roll out of the strategy will continue when determining the future allocation of race dates, prize money levels and club infrastructure investments based more specifically on club and venue performance,” he said.

“We need to make our investments where we get the best return to the industry.”

To accommodate for the upgrade of the state’s flagship race course, the majority of Saturday meetings will be run at Doomben, while racing at Ipswich will move from Friday to Wednesday.

“Queensland runs more than 50 per cent of the nation’s non-TAB meetings and this revised schedule ensures both TAB and non-TAB clubs have an opportunity to receive a return on the investment they make in putting on a meeting,” Mr Dixon said.

“The number of non-TAB meetings is unaffected, with the majority already occurring on weekends.

"The works at Eagle Farm are long overdue and will be great for the industry. It is an added benefit that we can use the opportunity to begin implementing this strategy."


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