ATA Queensland Branch – Members Update / Queensland / 13 Feb, 2012


We had our first general meeting for the year on February 9th at Eagle Farm, and were looked after very well, even getting a personal tour of the new facilities by CEO Stephen Ferguson. The new race-day stalls and parade area has a very strong emphasis on bringing the horses to the public, and the planned facilities for owners, trainers and jockeys look very impressive. The meeting was attended by 25 trainers and a variety of topics were discussed on the day. The current Racing Minister Mr Tim Mulherin was unable to attend, however he has agreed to meet with our committee. The outcomes of the discussion will be advised next month.

A presentation by Solicitor Peter Mills from M&K Lawyers helped trainers better understand the recently introduced Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA), and how it may impact on the racing industry.

Peter Smith discussed the current issues facing the Training Department at Racing Queensland, in particular the situation of Apprentice Jockeys.

The Work-Cover issue was once again discussed, and a general agreement was established that we needed to introduce a “fee per runner” system. Combining this generated income, that would be collected by Racing Queensland, with trainers still paying a portion of their annual premium, could possibly allow a fairer system. Trainers who experience accidents leading to claims that would normally have a substantial influence on future premiums, would be protected under the suggested system, basically capping every trainer’s rate at the “industry rate”.

Any new system that may be introduced will need to be carefully administered to ensure all trainers throughout the State have their positions considered. Taking into account some trainers could have high wage expenses with limited runners (pre-trainers etc), and other trainers may have plenty of runners whilst doing the majority of work themselves, introducing a new system that will satisfy all trainers whilst also considering the successful future of industry is a major task.

As well as a variety of other topics discussed at the meeting, one of the major outcomes was the introduction of a new way to go about solving our problems and concerns. Immediately following our general meetings, a list of the most pertinent issues will be forwarded to Racing Queensland and a meeting arranged with them to discuss. A small contingent of trainers will attend the meeting ensuring that our issues are raised in a professional manner, and a satisfactory outcome on most cases can be achieved.


The 2012 Ambassador Travel Racetree Wayne Wilson Medal has been won for the month of January by Gold Coast trainer Peter Balzen. Peter has 12 horses in work and his current stable star is PUNCH ON, who from 11 starts has now had three wins and put together $800,000.

PUNCH ON was able to win the Magic Millions 3yo Guineas over 1400m following on from her win at Doomben in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate. Being a half-sister to Punch Up who has won $200,000 from 6 wins, Peter was very keen to buy PUNCH ON at the Magic Million Sales. Paying just $16,000 for her, she is raced by long term clients Tom Ware, Jeff Grover and Bev White. Aptly named out of the mare School Blue, PUNCH ON is currently having a well earned break before being aimed at races like the Qld Guineas and the Group 1 Tatts Tiara.

The 12 monthly winners will be in the running for the 2012 Wayne Wilson Medal. The Medal is proudly promoted by the ATA and sponsored by Ambassador Travel and Racetree, with the winner receiving an all inclusive trip for two to the 2012 Cox Plate along with of course, the Wayne Wilson Medal. Thanks once again to our sponsors and

The Ambassador Travel Racetree Wayne Wilson Medal 2011-12

August : Tony Gollan, TEMPLE OF BOOM winning the Group 3 Aurie’s Star Hcp at Flemington

September : Roert Heathcoteb, BUFFERING and WOORIM winning at Mooney Valley

October : Brian Wakefield, NUPTSE winning at Rosehill

November : Jason McLachan, FACILE TIGRE winning the Listed Always Welcome Stakes at Flemington

December : David Lawlor, winning Sat Metro Double at Eagle Farm inc Listed Phelan Ready Stakes

January : Peter Balzen, winning the 3yo Magic Millions Guineas with PUNCH ON.


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. Call Cameron Partington on 0433-329-395 or email for any further information about the Queensland Branch of the Australian Trainers Association.