THE VER­DICT Prize­money boost for coun­try rac­ing

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - - SPORT -

RAC­ING Queens­land will to­day an­nounce a to­tal of $550,000 prize­money in­creases for the state’s nonTAB race meet­ings. The al­lo­ca­tion is part of the first $18 mil­lion given to RQ by the gov­ern­ment to fund prize­money in­creases across the state.

Min­i­mum prize­money for all coun­try races will now rise to $7450, with first prize­money be­ing $5000. The in­creases come into ef­fect from Satur­day.

“The prize­money in­creases for both non-TAB and TAB thor­ough­bred rac­ing aim to di­rectly im­prove cash flow and in­dus­try vi­a­bil­ity for par­tic­i­pants and own­ers,” RQ chair­man Steve Wil­son said.

“It is hoped the re­cent an­nounce­ments will help lift con­fi­dence within the Queens­land in­dus­try and make it more at­trac­tive to race a horse at any of Queens­land’s 120 thor­ough­bred clubs.”

The news fol­lows last week’s $75,000 Coun­try Cups Chal­lenge, which is one of sev­eral new coun­try rac­ing ini­tia­tives in­tro­duced over the past two sea­sons.

Wil­son said re­gional thor­ough­bred rac­ing con­trib­uted $445 mil­lion to the state’s econ­omy an­nu­ally. HOTPOTS SET THE PACE “GEEZ, how good is this go­ing?”

That was the thought process of Matt McGil­livray as the two favourites Kay Kay Boy (Jamie Kah) and Pri­ori­tise (Michael Mur­phy) carved each other up in front of him in the Bris­bane Hand­i­cap at Doomben yes­ter­day.

Kay Kay Boy had been sen­sa­tion­ally backed and was keen to find the front, but Mur­phy gave Pri­ori­tise a dig and the pair set up a hec­tic tempo.

“It was like they were play­ing Tetris,” McGil­livray said.

Ste­wards ques­tioned both Kah and Mur­phy and noted their ex­pla­na­tions that both horses fired up @xlb­nathan_c­mail [email protected] CLEAR PAS­SAGE: Matt McGil­livray rides Cold­stone to vic­tory in the Bris­bane Hand­i­cap. Pic­ture: AAP af­ter the early ex­change and were dif­fi­cult to re­strain from that point. TRAINER’S FINE DIS­PUTED THE Queens­land branch of the Aus­tralian Train­ers As­so­ci­a­tion has vowed to fight for trainer Brett Baker, who they feel was harshly treated in a find­ing by QRIC.

Baker was fined $1000, re­duced to $750, for pre­sent­ing the wrong horse to race at Toowoomba on Novem­ber 24.

Baker had two horses en­gaged for the meet­ing – Wolf Tales (Race 2) and Halfeti (Race 5). He brought Halfeti to the races first, be­liev­ing it was en­gaged in Race 2.

Baker said he looked at the of­fi­cial Rac­ing Aus­tralia mo­bile site to de­ter­mine which races the horses were en­gaged in and it had Halfeti’s race as sec­ond on the pro­gram.

Rac­ing Aus­tralia con­firmed its mo­bile site did in fact have the races in the wrong or­der and said it had since made moves to en­sure this would not hap­pen again.

Rac­ing Queens­land waived the scratch­ing fee for Wolf Tales on the ba­sis of Rac­ing Aus­tralia’s ad­mis­sion.

How­ever, QRIC have stuck solid with the fine, with direc­tor of stew­ard­ing Ali Wade say­ing Baker was the only trainer to present the in­cor­rect horse on the day and that he should have es­tab­lished the cor­rect run­ners when he checked the Sky Rac­ing web­site for race times.

Queens­land’s ATA branch rep­re­sen­ta­tive Cameron Part­ing­ton told Wade and In­tegrity Com­mis­sioner Ross Bar­nett his or­gan­i­sa­tion would sup­port Baker in his in­ter­nal re­view and sub­se­quent ap­peal to QCAT.

“We still firmly be­lieve QRIC has judged this is­sue in­cor­rectly and is a great ex­am­ple of where QRIC is fail­ing to un­der­stand and in­ter­act with our peo­ple,” Part­ing­ton said.

“We at the ATA are con­stantly work­ing with you to bridge the gap be­tween your­selves and the par­tic­i­pants, a gap that un­for­tu­nately with cases like this will con­tinue to grow.”

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