Country racing awards

Queensland Country Racing Awards to be held in Emerald


Phillip Bate analyses news from the Queensland racing scene.


A TOTAL of 56 finalists across eight categories have been selected from 76 nominations received for the inaugural On The Bit Queensland Country Racing Awards Night which will be held in Emerald on Saturday, February 16.

The awards recognise those in the Queensland Country Racing Community who have excelled or gone to great lengths for the industry.

Online racing broadcast media company On The Bit will host the evening with the support of Queensland Racing as major sponsor. Guest speakers include noted jockey Jim Cassidy, former race commentator Alan Thomas, former Australian test cricketer Andy Bichel and  renowned poet Rupert McCall.

While the inaugural event will be held in Emerald, On The Bit creator Matt Peters plans to take the awards scheduled at the end of the each racing season to different regions throughout the state. 

Having started live racing with some race meetings, On The Bit plans – with the support of the awards event – to buy eight upgraded cameras (one per region) for use at all non-TAB race meetings across the state.

With the technical upgrade, On The Bit will also work with all race clubs to broadcast their races and help push the potential for race day sponsors with race day coverage, advertising and sponsorship.

The Awards categories are:

Hall of Fame: Nominations can be for a trainer, jockey, horse and/or racing participant (owner, administrator, volunteer, organisation) past or present and will be assessed against longevity in the industry with an outstanding record of successes and/ or achievements, that have produced exemplary and industry setting standards and enhanced the standards of country racing as well as individual careers.

Race day of the year:  a) country TAB meeting b) country non-TAB meeting: Awarded to the race meeting that best demonstrates what is great about country racing and sets a model standard for other clubs to aspire to and further enhance the standard of country racing. Nominations need to detail indicators such as crowd size, race field growth, prizemoney growth, significance to local community and economy, social and other unique aspects of the meeting that produced a “wow factor” to the day that makes that race meeting stand out against other country race meetings.

Race of the year: Awarded to an individual race that was a highlight for country racing because of the type of finish, outstanding performance by a horse, basis for a horse/jockey achieving a significant milestone and /or particular significance to owners and which above all enhanced interest in and image of country racing.

Racing newcomer award: Awarded to an individual or horse that in the first year in the industry has made a noteworthy start to a career measured by number of wins, feature race wins and/or contributions to country racing.

Racing media award: Awarded to best coverage of country racing either through print story, social media, radio or photography that best portrays country racing or race day and promotes a greater interest in country racing

Club person/volunteer of the year award: Awarded to a club member and/or official who has demonstrated longevity in supporting country racing through their role/position, has enhanced their local race club and has performed above normal expectations of their role/position.

Racing personality award: Awarded to an individual who plays an active role in country racing and over an extended period and has gained the respect of racing participants, contributed to the betterment of country racing through their deeds/actions that have gone “beyond the call of duty” and in turn improves country racing for all participants.

For further information or booking enquiries contact: Matt Peters, On The Bit Creator, phone: 0434 211 418 or email:

Peter Overell was racing all-rounder

PROMINENT Queensland racing identity Peter Overell has died aged 72 in Toowoomba after a long battle with cancer.

Peter Overell, Croxley Stud, Oakey (right), watches Thoroughbred judging the 2015 Royal Queensland Show with Queensland Country Life bloodstock writer Phillip Bate and Trevor Alexander, Myall Lodge, Chinchilla.

Peter Overell, Croxley Stud, Oakey (right), watches Thoroughbred judging the 2015 Royal Queensland Show with Queensland Country Life bloodstock writer Phillip Bate and Trevor Alexander, Myall Lodge, Chinchilla.

One of Queensland's true racing all-rounders, Peter acquired national prominence as the owner of Danehill stallion Special Dane. Bought at the Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale in Sydney, the 3YO colt won the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (ahead of Al Mansoor and Might And Power) at Caulfield and the Group 2 Sandown Guineas before standing at stud.

Originally trained by Darryl Gollan at Toowoomba before going to Melbourne-based Brian Mayfield-Smith, Special Dane has left a mark on the Queensland breeding industry through his daughter Temple Spirit – dam of Group 1 winners Temple Of Boom and outstanding second-season sire Spirit Of Boom.

However, Peter had wide-ranging success as a breeder, trainer and racing administrator. He and his late wife Ann ran Croxley Stud near Toowoomba for many years and stood Cox Plate runner-up Prince Ruling late in his stud career.

Chairman of the Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland Association (TBQA) for a number of years, Peter was a key negotiator in the establishment in 1996 of the Queensland Racing Incentive Scheme – the forerunner of the Queensland Thoroughbred Incentive Scheme (QTIS) which is internationally recognised as the best bonus incentive program in Australia. Peter also served more than 20 years on the Toowoomba Turf Club committee – 15 as deputy chairman.

Having acquired his trainer’s licence in 2001, Peter’s horses won around 200 races mainly on the Darling Downs and in country areas but he had city-class gallopers such as Sir Bisc and What A Tale. In recent times he had success with multiple winners Scarlet Poet and Poetic Dragon plus Dalby Plough Inn Cup winner Landed. His last winner came at Goondiwindi in December 2018 with Cocktailsallaround – a mare co-owned by Peter’s long-term assistant Kirsty Mason.

Peter developed his love of horses at the family property Kelmscott, Bonshaw, NSW, which was the base for his considerable success with campdrafters and hacks on the southern Queensland and northern NSW show and rodeo circuits. His parents Geoff and Audrey Overell were stalwarts of the nearby Texas Jockey Club where Geoff was a former president. Geoff and Audrey also raced several horses including Doomben 2YO winning filly Lost Vision (Stupor Mundi/Light Anchor) who they raced in partnership with my step-father and mother Frank and Patt Maclean, Umbercollie, Goondiwindi.

Changes to Inglis Sales Season 2019

AFTER extensive discussions with clients, Inglis has announced a number of improvements to its sale format for 2019.

A record 1000 horses will be catalogued for the 2019 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale, which will extend to a fifth day for the first time. The Classic Sale – the first of five Inglis Select Yearling Sales annually – will begin at Riverside Stables on the night of Saturday February 9, directly following the Inglis Millennium Race Day at Warwick Farm which will feature the inaugural $2m Inglis Millennium for 2YOs and $1m Inglis Sprint for 3YOs.

Among the changes to the Inglis sales season are:

  • Classic Book 1 will run from February 9-12 and consist of 800 horses, with another 200 lots to be offered in Book 2 (to be known as the Highway Session) which will take place on Thursday February 14.
  • A Warwick Farm race meeting is being scheduled for Wednesday February 13 and will feature two Highway Handicaps – one for Country-trained horses and one for Provincial-trained horses.
  • If the winner of either Highway race on Feb 13 is an eligible Inglis graduate, the winning trainer will receive a $50,000 credit voucher to spend at the Highway Session at Riverside Stables the following day.
  • The Melbourne Premier Yearling Sale will run for the four days of March 3-6 at a newly-renovated Oaklands Junction. A more select Book 1 at Premier will be held over the first two days with the second two days devoted to Book 2.
  • The flagship Australian Easter Yearling Sale will be streamlined into one Book and will run for three days from April 8-10. It will feature the traditional blue-blooded yearlings with a mix of yearlings that are simply great types by hot commercial sires spread across the three days. This format is aimed at making the Easter Sale more accessible to trainers and syndicators.
  • The Chairman’s Sale will move to the evening of Thursday May 2 and will see a select offering of high class racing and breeding prospects catalogued, plus stallion shares and breeding rights. The sale will be significantly more selective than it was in 2018 and will not include weanlings - they will be offered in the Weanling Sales in Sydney and Melbourne.
  • The Australian Broodmare & Weanling Sale will run for three days following the Chairman’s Sale on May 3, 5  and 6.
  • The Melbourne Gold Sale takes the place of the Vobis Gold Sale and will be open to all horses – not just those paid up for Vobis.

The story Country racing awards first appeared on North Queensland Register.


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