ATA Queensland Branch – Members Update / Queensland / 15 Nov, 2012

With the Spring Carnival over for another year we congratulate all of our Queensland trainers who made the effort to take their horses south and compete at the highest level. Once again our horses certainly made their presence felt, proving that if you have a good horse taking on the might of our Southern counter-parts can be well worth the effort.


The ATA National Conference was held in Melbourne during the Spring Carnival, and Cameron attended on our behalf. Details on the outcome of the meeting will be in our next report.


It was sad to hear of the passing of Sunshine Coast Trainer Ted Harden earlier in the month and we extend our sympathies to the family. Ted was a stalwart to the racing industry and his family’s strong involvement in racing will ensure the Harden name is not forgotten.

We also take this opportunity to wish Bart Sinclair all the best in his retirement and trust he still finds ways of being involved in our industry which has been such a major part of his life.


On October 11 the ATA Committee met with Racing Queensland to discuss a variety of issues that came out of our most recent quarterly meeting. Having an open forum with the Chairman, Chief Steward and CEO certainly gives our association the opportunity to discuss all the issues that current face our trainers, and hopefully come up with some solutions. Some of the outcomes from the meeting are:

> Apprenticeships
Racing Queensland to become more involved with TAFE and intends offering additional learning for both Apprentices and Trainers in areas such as running a small business. They are also re-writing the current Trainer-Apprentice Agreement to make it easier to understand. RQ is also negotiating with the Govt on a “tool allowance” and “living away from allowance” for Apprentices. A consultative working group has also been organised consisting of industry representatives to conduct a full review of the process. The first meeting for this was held on 12th November and more details on this will be in the next report.

> Debts left by owners
Racing Queensland has committed to become more involved in assisting trainers with this ongoing problem. A “Trainers Agreement” (contract) will become mandatory in the near future to ensure owners are fully aware of their responsibilities etc. With an agreement in place RQ will then be in a much stronger position to assist the trainer in recovering outstanding debts. This may include stopping the horse going to another trainer and/or the re-direction of future prize-money to recover the debt.

> Work-Cover
Racing Queensland advised of the pro-active measures they have already put in place and what is planned for the future. Details of these were in last month’s magazine. RQ committed to an ongoing review process and they did not rule out changes to the process for 2013.

> Jockey Travel Scheme
We acknowledged the problem in getting Jockeys to our country tracks, and RQ accepted the feedback that asking trainers to fund a travel scheme was not viable. Further discussion on ways to attract jockeys to these meetings will continue. One interesting suggestion was to allow Metropolitan Jockeys to have the option to ride at country meetings whilst on suspension – in doing so reducing the length of the suspension. This would see well known and respected jockeys travel to country meetings which would offer an obvious variety of benefits, none less being the promotion of the meeting. A system like this will need plenty of thought into the process, but all agreed it had merits. After speaking with some leading city jockey’s the initial thoughts were positive towards the concept.

> Lack of 2yo Filly races
Racing Queensland were advised that there was 6 weeks between city 2yo races specifically for Fillies. RQ advised they would look into this for future programming. Trainers agreed that particularly in the early part of the season, the Fillies find it difficult to compete with the Colts even taking into account the weight allowance. RQ were able to make an amendment to the program, bringing the next scheduled Fillies race forward by 2 weeks.

> Situation at Ipswich
The ATA asked Racing Queensland if they were aware of the concerns currently facing the trainers at Ipswich – with the increase in costs and decrease in track opening times. RQ advised they were aware and have kept in contact with the I.T.C in regards the matter.

Overall it was an extremely positive meeting with trainers freely expressing their concerns and ideas. The Chairman allowed the meeting to run in a very fair and professional manner. One of the key points that the Chairman asked me to convey to all trainers is – at any time you have a concern or suggestion let it be known. The most effective way to do this is to contact me and I can get the ATA’s opinion etc and then approach RQ in the most effective manner.


The 2013 Wayne Wilson Medal has been won for the month of October by Robert Heathcote for the fantastic effort of winning the Group One Toorak Handicap with SOLZHENITZEN and the Group 2 Schillaci Stakes with BUFFERING at Caulfield on the 13th of October. To have both these horses at their peak to win on the same day is a superb effort. The 12 monthly winners will be in the running for the 2013 Wayne Wilson Medal.

The Wayne Wilson Medal 2012-13

August: Patrick Inwood, JABIRU DREAMING
winning 9 straight culminating in the Cleveland Bay.

September : Robert Heathcote, BUFFERING
winning the Group 3 Moir Stakes at Mooney Valley.

October : Robert Heathcote, SOLZHENITZEN
(G1) and BUFFERING (G2) winning at Caulfield.


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 further information about the Queensland Branch of the Australian Trainers Association.