THE Brisbane Racing Club has opened its new state-of-the-art stabling facilities in a huge boost for the Queensland racing industry.
The $20 million stabling complex in the Eagle Farm infield is now housing leading trainers Rob Heathcote and Liam Birchley with all 430 stables to be filled in time for the Brisbane Racing Carnival next month.
Eagle Farm is Queensland’s largest training base with more than 500 horses using the tracks six mornings a week. This season, Eagle Farm-trained runners have collected more than $10 million in prizemoney. The Brisbane trainers’ premiership is dominated by Eagle Farm trainers, who fill 11 of the top 15 places, entrenching the track as the dominant training base in southeast Queensland.
The stabling complex is part of a $40 million investment of Brisbane Racing Club members’ funds into the Eagle Farm infield, in addition to $10 million from Racing Queensland’s Racing Infrastructure Fund for the new course proper.
Designed by internationally recognised architects Populous, the infield stabling facilities provide a new integrated waste management system, centralised sawdust management facility, enhanced circulation within the stables, high-quality security, and a landscaped, central space for use by owners and trainers.
The investment includes:
- Stabling complex for 430 horses.
- New vehicle tunnel to provide access from Nudgee Rd to the Eagle Farm infield.
- New pedestrian tunnel to provide access from the infield to the racecourse.
- New infield carpark for 1000 vehicles.
- Flood mitigation works.
- The super screen which has transformed the way races are watched at Eagle Farm.
- Resurfacing of the two grass training tracks.
- A modern irrigation system to service the course proper and training tracks.
Describing the project as a significant investment that will boost the state’s racing industry, BRC chairman Neville Bell said the club was proud of the feats of Brisbane horses such as Buffering on the world stage. “These new stables are state-of-the-art and they will make the busy life of trainers just a little easier. We’ve designed these stables to capture the wonderful Moreton Bay breezes and to ensure we’re providing facilities that mean Eagle Farm-trained horses can run to their potential,” he said
The BRC funded the stables by borrowing against revenues from its joint venture with Mirvac, which is constructing the first of 1200 apartments near Eagle Farm’s home turn. “The BRC is backing the future of racing in Queensland by investing in these stables and other racing developments. These stables will be here for generations of trainers to prepare horses that will do Queensland proud. There is no doubt that prizemoney levels, especially in provincial areas, have to increase – that’s a matter now recognised by Racing Queensland and the State Government.
“The industry should remain confident that prizemoney levels will be satisfactorily addressed. Trainers and owners need to see improvements. As the state’s largest race club, the BRC will do its part to ensure that the training facilities are world-class and capable of taking our trainers into the future,” Mr Bell said.
RQ launches Flood & Cyclone Assistance Fund for Animal Welfare
RACING Queensland (RQ) has established a special fund to assist trainers who have encountered additional animal welfare, care and transportation costs due to the recent cyclone and flooding across parts of Queensland.
RQ CEO Eliot Forbes announced the establishment of the Animal Welfare and Training Assistance Fund, for all codes, kick-starting the fund with an initial contribution of $20,000.
Dr Forbes said wagering operators had also been quick to recognise the importance of trainers and their animals to their business operation and to racing in general. “I want to thank UBet, Tabcorp, Ladbrokes, William Hill and Sportsbet for their major donations and quick support. The Brisbane Racing Club is going to run a charity auction on Victory Stakes day at Eagle Farm on April 29 to raise funds and we are in contact with other wagering operators,” he said.
It’s estimated more than 200 trainers across multiple regions have faced additional costs for transport, food, forage and bedding for animals, directly related to the cyclone and flooding, while damage to clubs from the cyclone and floods will top $1million.
The fund will provide payments to eligible trainers of $350 or $700 depending on the level of activity each trainer has in their region and the impact. Impacted trainers, who have had race starters in the three months prior to impact, can apply from the following local government areas:
- Mackay Regional Council
- Whitsunday Regional Council
- Isaac Regional Council
- Rockhampton Regional Council
- Livingstone Shire Council
- Impacted areas of Logan Council, Gold Coast Council and the Scenic Rim
Dr Forbes invited other key supporters and suppliers to donate funds. Full details on how to apply for funding, assessment criteria and how to donate to the fund are available on:
Racing Queensland is also working with clubs to ensure normal racing and training operations are restored as soon as possible with races rescheduled or relocated where possible. Where events have been abandoned RQ has repositioned races and race meetings to other venues to ensure animals have had an opportunity to compete.