RACING CLUB TURFS CRITIC Banned owner considers legal action
THE trouble-plagued Brisbane Racing Club has banned an owner from watching his own horse race after he criticised the disastrous Eagle Farm Racecourse.
Racing identity Nick Meredith said police were called to escort him from Doomben Racecourse on Derby Day – one of the busiest race meets of the year – last Saturday for his “ontrack behaviour”.
The former soccer star, who was giving mountingyard advice to other owners, said there was no legitimate reason for the eviction or the indefinite ban that was imposed.
He said he was later told it was payback for critical comments made on social media by his group, The Punters Collective, in August about Eagle Farm Racecourse.
“I’ve been on course at Doomben at least three times since then, but they chose that weekend to do it,” Mr Meredith said.
The Punters Collective had previously been issued a cease-and-desist order on filming mounting yards at all race meets on orders from Sky Racing, which owns the broadcast rights.
The group agreed to stop filming.
Mr Meredith’s horse, Captain Dodge, raced yesterday but he was unable to attend the track because of the ban.
When asked about its ruling, BRC said it would “always protect the rights of stakeholders who provide financial support to the Queensland racing indus- try”. BRC faced angry criticism this year over a decision to hold the winter carnival meetings at Eagle Farm, despite pleas from trainers that the track was no good.
That decision backfired spectacularly when the club was forced to move The Oaks and Stradbroke meetings to Doomben because of Eagle Farm’s poor condition.
Mr Meredith said: “The track was an unmitigated disaster that has cost the industry a fortune.”
A report for Racing Queensland found the track’s troubles were due to factors that included the chosen sand and grass, maintenance programs, and a full racing program.
Mr Meredith said he was now considering legal action.
ACTION: Nick Meredith has been banned from Doomben racetrack. Picture: AAP/ David Clark