New racing minister steps up

Hinchliffe succeeds Grace as racing minister


Phillip Bate analyses news from the Queensland racing scene.


PREMIER Annastacia Palaszczuk has appointed Stirling Hinchliffe as the Minister for Racing plus Minister for Local Government and Minister for Multicultural Affairs in the new Labor ministry.

Mr Hinchliffe succeeds former Racing Minister Grace Grace who has been appointed Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations.

Mr Hinchliffe’s Sandgate electorate takes in Racing Queensland’s headquarters at Deagon racecourse and adjoins the Redcliffe electorate – home of the Redcliffe Paceway for harness racing.

Racing Queensland CEO, Dr Eliot Forbes, said he looked forward to a positive working relationship with the new Minister. “I want to thank the former Minister, Grace Grace, for her strong support of all codes of racing in Queensland. I worked closely with Minister Grace on the development of both a strategic and infrastructure plan and I look forward to outlining the vision for Racing Queensland to the new Minister,” he said.

Stirling Hinchliffe is the new Minister for Racing.

Stirling Hinchliffe is the new Minister for Racing.

Dr Forbes said Racing Queensland had been invited to brief the incoming Minister on a range of current and emerging issues from the remediation of Eagle Farm to the impact of the possible Tabcorp combination with Tatts Group.

Racing columnist Phillip Bate.

Racing columnist Phillip Bate.

“The racing industry generates $1.2 billion in economic activity, sustains more than 9500 full time equivalent jobs and employs or engages around 42,000 individuals in Queensland. More than 47 percent of the economic value is realised in regional parts of the state,” Dr Forbes said.

Born in Dalby, Mr Hinchliffe was elected to the seat of Stafford in the 2006 Queensland state election, which he represented until being defeated in the 2012 Queensland state election. Mr Hinchliffe previously served as a cabinet minister in the Bligh Ministry.

Mr Hinchliffe returned to parliament in 2015 as the member for Sandgate. He was sworn in as Assistant Minister of State Assisting the Premier in the Palaszczuk Ministry and was also nominated as Leader of the House – an appointment confirmed when the Legislative Assembly of Queensland met for the first time following the election.

In December 2015, he was elevated to Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games. In February 2017, he resigned as the Minister for Transport and the Commonwealth Games following an ongoing series of railway passenger services being cancelled due to there being an insufficient number of train drivers.

‘Black book’ for Blue Book

PUT him in your ‘black book’ – 2YO gelding Blue Book is unbeaten after three wins in succession at Doomben and will be ‘one to watch’ when he returns from a spell for a Brisbane winter carnival campaign.

Trained by Gold Coast-based Kelly Doughty, Blue Book has now banked $194,100, including $73,500 in QTIS bonuses, following his latest win – a 1200m QTIS 2YO Handicap on Saturday, December 9.

A home-bred ineligible for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic, Blue Book is bred and owned by former Queensland Turf Club chairman Phil Sullivan who also raced his sire Denmarket. A handy sprinter, Denmarket raced in Perth, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane and recorded four wins including the Group 2 Roman Consul Stakes at Randwick and the Group 3 Western Australian Sires Produce Stakes at Belmont in Perth.

Bred by the late Robert Holmes A’Court at his Heytesbury Stud, Denmarket is by the Danehill sire Lord Dane from the unraced Bletchingly mare Business Babe. Her other progeny of note is  three times Listed Perth winner Key Business (Success Express) who now has the distinction of being a Group 1 winning sire with Barakey winning Perth’s premier sprint – the Winterbottom Stakes – at Ascot in 2012.

Now 15 years old, Denmarket has stood in a private capacity at Kilto Park, Caboolture. Among the few mares he’s covered has been Blue White – a Gold Coast winning daughter of Monashee Mountain also raced by Phil Sullivan. Their five foals to race have produced three winners – Blue Book, Blue Collar Boy and Subway Surfer.

Listed winner Sylpheed has MM sibling

A MAJOR pedigree update will be announced when Lot 917 – a Golden Archer/Domitilla colt catalogued by Raheen Stud, Gladfield – enters the sale ring at next month’s Magic Millions yearling sale at the Gold Coast.

The update is necessary following the black type win by the colt’s 4YO half-sister Sylpheed in the Listed Just Now Quality (1350m) for fillies and mares at Doomben on Saturday, December 9.  Already stakes placed in the Group 3 BRC Fred Best Classic plus two listed races in Brisbane and Adelaide, Sylpheed now has three wins and six placings from 15 starts across Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide and Sydney. .

Sylpheed was the second leg of a winning Doomben double for Group 2 Todman Stakes winning and Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes placed stallion Real Saga (Tale Of The Cat (USA)/Windy Kate) Real Saga following an earlier win by 4YO gelding Realing (Real Saga/Ever After) in a 1600 Class 2 Plate.

Formerly based at Glenlogan Park, Innisplain, Real Saga was relocated to Eureka Stud, Cambooya, in March this year when Glenlogan Park announced it would cease standing stallions. Eureka studmaster Scott McAlpine also had the added satisfaction that the Listed race was named in honour of home-bred mare Just Now (Semiplatinsk (USA)/Tautina) whose 10 wins included the Group 1 AJC Oaks and Group 2 VRC Turnbull Stakes.

There’s also a link between another Eureka-based stallion Red Dazzler and Sylpheed as both trace directly back to the outstanding Matrice mare Toltrice whose 14 wins included the VRC Oaks and VATC One Thousand Guineas. Her legacy as a broodmare is even more imposing courtesy of such Group 1 winning descendants as Seltrice, Keltrice, Red Dazzler and Tinto. Toltrice features as the third dam of Red Dazzler and fourth dam of Sylpheed.

Sold by Raheen Stud for $36,000 at the 2015 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale, Sylpheed is from the three times winning Strategic mare Domitilla – one of seven winning siblings including Group 2 BRC Champagne Classic winner Free Wheeling. They in turn are from the Listed winner Lady Of Renown who resulted from the mating of Lord Seymour and Toltrice.

Racing Queensland webnews reports Gold Coat trainer Toby Edmonds watched Sylpheed’s race from New Zealand and left son Trent to handle the stable duties at Doomben. Team Edmonds is now hoping the talented mare can gain a ‘wild-card’ entry into next month’s Magic Millions meeting at the Gold Coast. “She was bought at Magic Millions but wasn’t paid up so hopefully she can get into the Fillies and Mares race with a wild-card,” Trent Edmonds said.


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