ATA Queensland Branch – Members Update / Queensland / 14 Oct, 2014

The AGM was conducted at our quarterly meeting and we can announce that the ATA in Qld will have a new President - Barry Baldwin. Barry takes over from Pat Duff who after nearly 10 years stepped down but remains on the Committee. Pat's commitment to the ATA has been a huge asset, and is a major reason why the ATA in Qld has such strength. The great working relationship we have with Racing Queensland is testament to Pat's leadership. Barry has been Vice-President during this period and his appointment ensures we continue forward with confidence and stability.

The ATA also welcomes a new Vice-President, with Dan Meagher being voted to join the leadership team. Dan brings both youth and enthusiasm as well as a broad knowledge gathered from being involved with the family training business here and internationally. Along with the broadening of the committee to have representation throughout Qld, the new leadership team has a great platform to continue assisting trainers.

At our recent meeting a new format was introduced which worked very well. The meeting was closed to trainers for the first part, allowing discussion on issues to take place in a confidential manner and concerns were able to be tabled and prioritised.
Racing Queensland then joined the meeting with a panel including CEO Darren Condon, Chief Steward Allan Reardon, Integrity Manager Wade Birch and Racing Operations Manager Ross Gove.

As usual, trainers at our meetings are presented with an excellent opportunity to have their say and get answers from the right people immediately. Some of the issues raised and outcomes obtained were as follows.

Dual acceptance at the same meetings will allow more flexibility in placing horses with field size, barriers and opposition being able to be considered. As long as the system that's in place doesn't disadvantage other horses from getting starts, or have the ability to allow manipulation of weights etc, it will be a benefit to the industry. RQ are still working on the system and with ATA consultation we are confident dual acceptors is not far away.

Another issue is having horses arrive on course 2 hours prior to racing for midweek metro meetings, and with the current Eagle Farm situation these meetings will regularly be held away from the metro area. RQ have agreed to reduce this time to 1 hour which will be of great benefit.

Having our trials occurring without what seems any routine or system, with often one week there being three sets of trials and the next week there could be none. RQ have been requested to better organise the trials where possible, and look at utilising other days other than Tuesdays and less clashing.

Rebating staff licence fees for trainers who terminate staff within one month of licence issue has been supported by RQ and has been sent to the Board for approval. For larger trainers this expense can be quite high on an annual basis, so a positive outcome here will be well received.

In recent times there have been quite a few Qtis 3yo races allocated to the provincials which have been poorly supported and often abandoned. The ATA have emphasised to RQ that these races will have far more importance during our carnival times and we have received a commitment that they will continue.

Field sizes were discussed and RQ was asked to show discretion when abandoning races based on low nomination/acceptance. To consider the horses in the race (how genuine and competitive), the availability of suitable alternative options for these horses in the short-term, and assess the likely number and competitiveness of the horses that will actual face the starter come race day rather than just the number of acceptors. Obviously turn-over is a major factor, we suggest a genuine race of 4-6 runners could offer better return for the industry than a 7 horse accepted field that can often include runners that will figure out of the market, or even worse be scratched on race-day.

A small function was held after the meeting to present trophies and to announce the winner of the 2014 Wayne Wilson Medal.
From the 12 monthly winners, who each received a trophy plus $100 from Tattsbet, Natalie McCall was chosen by the panel of judges as the winner. Natalie, for her outstanding achievement of winning the Stradbroke Hcp with RIVER LAD, became the 4th winner and received the magnificent gold medallion plus $1250 from Tattsbet. Runner-up Robert Heathcote received $500 and 3rd place was Tony Gollan receiving $250.
We sincerely thank our sponsors Tattsbet and Wimmers Softdrinks for their assistance and look forward now to the 2015 Wayne Wilson Medal.

THE WAYNE WILSON MEDAL

The 2015 Wayne Wilson Medal has been won for the month of September by Robert Heathcote for his stable super-star BUFFERING winning his 4th Group One, the Moir Stakes at Mooney Valley.
The 7yo gelding by Mossman won his 16th race and took career earnings over $4.5m and defeated a small but very high-class field.
In his last 11 starts BUFFERING has only once finished outside the top 3, winning 4 of them, all happening to have been Group Ones. BUFFERING is an outstanding horse, but the way Rob is continuing to get the best out him is a magnificent training effort.
Rob is now in the running for the 2015 Wayne Wilson Medal proudly supported by Tattsbet and Wimmers Soft Drinks.

The Wayne Wilson Medal 2015

AUGUST : John Manzelmann - PAYTEEVEE winning the Cairns and Townsville Cups.

SEPTEMBER : Rob Heathcote - BUFFERING winning the Group 1 Moir Stakes at Mooney Valley.

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Communication is very important to the ATA, and in Qld we do our best to ensure information is passed on as often as possible. Cameron sends regular emails and SMS with latest news and issues, if you are currently not receiving these emails or SMS please make us aware by contacting Cameron at the email or phone below.

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 cam24.7@optusnet.com.au for further information about the Queensland Branch of the Australian Trainers Association.