ATA QLD BRANCH QUARTERLY MEETING UPDATE
Our quarterly meeting was held at the Hamilton Hotel with a quality roll-up of about 30 trainers from the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, Toowoomba and Brisbane gathering to discuss a variety of topics. High on the agenda was the issue of stagnant prize-money levels in Queensland. We invited the Presidents of both the Breeders and Owners Associations to attend the meeting and update us with their respective positions on the subject, and what actions they were taking.
It was interesting for our trainers to listen to both Basil Nolan (TBQA) and Grant Morgan (QROA) and see the effect the current prize-money concerns are having across our industry. The ATA thought it imperative to bring the 3 main industry groups together as it was becoming increasingly aware that Racing Queensland was not seeing increases in prize-money as a necessary priority. The outcome of the meeting for the trainers was a unanimous decision to take specific action to seek a review of the current plan made by Racing Queensland in relation to prize-money.
A follow-up meeting addressing our issues was then held at Racing Queensland on April 5th.
In attendance were Pat Duff, Barry Baldwin, Dennis Heinemann, Darren Bell, Brian Wakefield and Cameron Partington on behalf of the ATA, meeting with RQ staff including Bob Bentley, Malcolm Tuttle, Paul Brennan, Adam Carter and Brent Leisemann. In what was a very informative and positive discussion, both parties were able to listen and learn from each other. Below are some of the topics discussed and their outcomes.
From a trainers perspective it was pleasing to hear that RQ are fully supportive of the fact that prize-money levels in Queensland, in particular Provincial and Midweek Metropolitan meetings, are in need of increases. The fact the money to do this needs to come from some-where, and after seeing first-hand the financial position that RQ is in with the current wagering income/expense model, it’s obviously not going to be a simple process. It will involve some very strategic and careful planning to ensure that all industry parties have their positions considered and like many things in our world changes are going to be required.
The ATA was advised that there would be no change to the current policy of running only seven races at Midweek Metropolitan meetings. The reasoning here that the low wagering income generated from the first race at these meetings doesn’t warrant its inclusion. A starter’s subsidy similar to other states, and a form of compensation to owners/trainers when races were abandoned were both also tabled for discussion and future consideration.
The trial of Wednesday Acceptances has been given full support by the ATA as we have noticed only very minimal disruption or inconvenience to trainers. The fact our friends in the Media get the information 24hrs earlier to help them advertise our product which in turn can only assist wagering turn-over is the result of trainers accepting this change. Trainers take note that you do have the extra flexibility to make gear adjustments/changes up until the 12pm deadline on Wednesday, unlike all other days when they are to be made by acceptance times.
Also at the meeting RQ had organised a presentation from WorkCover Queensland, with the intention now to take this issue further looking at a variety of options to ensure our trainers have the best and fairest system possible. Whether that be a revised version of the current user pays arrangement, or to spread the risk amongst all trainers in the form of a subsidy per starter, it’s certainly a subject worth investigating and more discussion.
Overall the meeting was very positive and offered a more detailed insight into the position they are in. The ATA would very much like to thank RQ for being very upfront and open with information and for taking our points on board for consideration both at the time, and when making further plans for our future. We look forward to more quality meetings like this going forward.
AMBASSADOR TRAVEL RACETREE WAYNE WILSON MEDAL
The Ambassador Travel Racetree Wayne Wilson Medal has been won for the month of March by Pat Sexton with his stable star Lucky Leak. This five year-old son of Iglesia has won his last 4 starts in a row culminating in the Weetwood Handicap victory. This preparation Lucky Leak has had 8 starts for 5 wins and a 2nd in what has been a fantastic training effort. Pat is based on track at Toowoomba where he has 20 horses in work. Lucky Leak is having a well earned little break before being ready for a few selected races during the Winter Carnival.
The 12 monthly winners will be in the running to win the inaugural Wayne Wilson Medal for the 2010-11 racing season. The Medal is proudly promoted by the ATA and sponsored by Ambassador Travel and Racetree, with the winner at the end of the racing season receiving an all inclusive trip for two to the 2011 Cox Plate along with a magnificent perpetual trophy, and of course the Wayne Wilson Medal. Thanks once again to our sponsors www.ambassadortravel.com.au and www.racetree.com.au
The Ambassador Travel Racetree Wayne Wilson Medal 2010-11
August : Trevor Thomas, Jedi Starfighter’s win at Eagle Farm at 200-1
September : Ben Currie, Rothera winning 5th race from 7 starts
October : Roger Milne, Captain Sonador winning the Epsom Handicap
November : Norm Hilton, Poor Judge winning the Chatham Handicap
December : Ben Ahrens, Spechenka winning Summer Cup at Randwick
January: Tony Gollan, Temple of Boomwinning the Magic Millions Sprint
February: Darryl Hansen, Essington making it 4 in a row in the Falvelon Quality Hcp
March : Pat Sexton, Lucky Leak making it 4 in a row winning the Weetwood Hcp
One of the major benefits of being a member of the ATA is having a support network to go to if you have problems or concerns. We can’t solve them all, but we will take your issue on board and try and negotiate on your behalf where we can. Whatever the problem contact us and we will at the least, point you in the right direction. If you are not a member yet, now is the right time to join.