RQ chief calls for unity

Unified racing industry can achieve great outcomes


Sport
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Phillip Bate analyses news from the Queensland racing scene.

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RACING Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell believes continuation of a single voice in Queensland’s racing industry will create further positive change.

The call for unity is contained in Parnell’s Christmas message published on the Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland Association (TBQA) webpage.

“It’s a little over six months since I started with RQ and have really enjoyed working closely to drive positive industry change. It’s fair to say the TBQA’s contribution through the Racing Alliance in spring was defining for me. I’ve never been so proud to watch how an aligned and unified racing industry can achieve great outcomes,” he said.

With Eagle Farm coming back and the initial prize money injection secured, Parnell said the foundations were being laid but there was much more work to do.

Key RQ priorities in 2019 will include:

  • Reform funding: RQ will be inviting key industry people (including the TBQA) to an engagement forum in the new year to discuss reforms required before the next funding injection. Among those opportunities, RQ is keen to look at ways to reduce costs, making it cheaper to race horses in Queensland while also growing prize money.
  • Infrastructure: As well as Eagle Farm’s return, a key focus will be getting on with new tracks. RQ has engaged local trainers and clubs for new synthetic training tracks while expanding on-course stabling around the state is also a priority.
  • Commercial focus: While RQ will work closely with TAB to ensure all the merger benefits are realised, it will also be much more commercial with Racefields Fees and seek industry support to grow returns to trainers, owners and jockeys while improving race club facilities and boosting QTIS.

“We have achieved so much by working closely, being unified when seeking major change and have a single voice for growing the industry. In 2019 we look forward to maintaining that unified, aligned voice to grow our great sport,” he said.

Sun City and Boomsara star on road to Magic Millions race day

James McDonald rides Sun City (left) to victory in the Magic Millions B.J. McLahclan Stakes, during Road To Magic Millions Race Day at Doomben Racecourse on December 29. Picture - Albert Perez.

James McDonald rides Sun City (left) to victory in the Magic Millions B.J. McLahclan Stakes, during Road To Magic Millions Race Day at Doomben Racecourse on December 29. Picture - Albert Perez.

SUN City and Boomsara burst into contention for the two feature races on the $10 million Magic Millions Raceday at the Gold Coast on January 12 after both impressively won important lead-ups at Doomben, Brisbane on Saturday, December 29.

Sun City booked his place in the field for the Magic Millions 2YO Classic when he scored a strong win in the Group 3 BJ McLachlan Stakes (1200m). The Tony McEvoy prepared colt by Zoustar is now second on the order of entry for the 2YO Classic behind Unite And Conquer.

Seeking back-to-back triumphs after winning the 2018 race with brilliant Zoustar filly Sunlight, McEvoy looked for similar bloodlines in last season’s crop of yearlings prior to paying  $525,000 for a Zoustar colt at the Magic Millions Yearling sales last January. Sun City is the second stakes performer produced by the stakes winning Flying Spur mare Roulettes.

Queensland-bred 3YO gelding Boomsara showed he will be a major contender in the Magic Millions 3YO Guineas (1400m) with a dominant 4.5 lengths win in the Group 3 Vo Rogue Plate (1350m). Prepared by Chris Munce, Boomsara becomes the sixth stakes winner for his sire Spirit Of Boom and his first Group 3 winner in Australia following the Group 3 win by Spirits Aubeer in New Zealand.

A $45,000 Gold Coast March Yearling Sale buy from Eureka Stud, Boomsara won the inaugural QTIS Jewel for 2YOs in March last year on the Gold Coast and is now chasing another rich feature at the same track. The win was timely for the McAlpine family's Eureka Stud. They retained a share in Boomsara – one of four winners from the Tsuimai mare Passara – and, importantly, are offering his full brother as Lot 3 at the upcoming 2019 Gold Coast Yearling Sale.

NQ mare Shoreline qualifies for MM Country Cup

SHORELINE, a 6YO mare trained by Mackay-based Tracy Simmons, has qualified for the $250,000 Magic Millions Country Cup through winning a 1200m Open Handicap at Townsville on Thursday, December 27.

By I Am Invincible from Littoral, Shoreline has a 50 percent win-place strike rate with eight wins and 12 placings from 40 starts. A $54,000 purchase at the 2014 Magic Millions March yearling sale, Shoreline had been with five previous trainers before winning first-up at Townsville in November for her current trainer Tracy Simmons 

The Townsville race was one of four regional races where the winner, if eligible, will be exempt from ballot from the final which has a field size of 16 plus five emergencies. In fact, the Townsville race was originally programmed for Saturday, December 15 however the race day was abandoned due to the threat of Cyclone Owen.

In addition to being Magic Millions graduates, race conditions stipulate no horse will be eligible if it has won a race at a Metropolitan status race meeting in the period January 1, 2017 until Acceptance deadline, for which the prizemoney for the winner was greater than $29,000. Further, the horse must have started in at least five races which were conducted at either Provincial or Country (including Non-TAB) level in the period January 1, 2018 until midnight January 2, 2019.

Other regional race winners were:

  • Sunshine Coast, December 16 (1200m): Monsieur Gustave, Darryl Hansen;
  • Warwick, December 26 (1200m): Wonder Boom, Paul Butterworth; and
  • Rockhampton, December 29 (1200m): Four Excel, Lyle Wright. 

Monsieur Gustave and Wonder Boom were both Magic Millions yearlings however Four Excel was sold at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling sale.  

MM wildcards

TWO Queensland-bred horses – Sold For Song and Fiery Heights – have won wildcards into Magic Millions races being held at the Gold Coast on Saturday, January 12.

The Road To Magic Millions Day at Doomben on Saturday, December 29 featured four races carrying ballot exemption to select races on Magic Millions Raceday. The races were: 

  • Shoot Out Quality – $1 million Magic Millions Trophy. 
  •  Falvelon Quality – $1 million Magic Millions Snippets. 
  • The Buffering –  $1 million Magic Millions Cup.
  • Nudgee Stakes – $1 million MM Fillies and Mares. 

The well-named 6YO mare Sold For Song – a $2500 Gold Coast January Book 3 Yearling Sale buy from Burwood Stud (but not paid-up) – won a wildcard into the Magic Millions Cup (1400m) for Toowoomba trainer Kevin Kemp by winning The Buffering (1350m) and Fiery Heights trained by Brisbane-based Barry Lockwood earned a berth in the Magic Millions Snippets (1200m) with success in the Listed Falvelon Quality (1110m).

A dual Listed black type winner, Sold For Song is by deceased dual Group 3 winner Collate from the New Zealand-bred O’Reilly mare Buena Chava. While records show there was a 916 days gap between wins, Sold For Song kept the cash-register ringing with around $200,000 earned during the past three seasons with six black type placings – a Group 2 in Melbourne, two Group 3s and three Listed events. A further study of her race record shows that 27 of the mare’s 32 starts have been in black type races in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne and that she has earned cheques in 20 of those races.

Homebred 6YO gelding Fiery Heights is by Hidden Dragon from the winning Monashee Mountain mare Mountain Of Love. Not offered at public auction in Australia or New Zealand, Fiery Heights recorded his first black type win in extending his race record to nine wins and 12 placings from 33 starts.

The other two wildcards went to Godolphin trainer James Cummings with Tally (Shootout Quality) and Manicure (Nudgee Stakes) providing a stable double. Both horses are homebreds and were not offered at public auction making them eligible for MM wildcards.

The final pieces of the Magic Millions puzzle will fall into place with next week's meetings – especially with a $100,000 juvenile race at the Gold Coast on January 5.

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