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Headlines Today is 27/06/2016
As usual Justracing has "exclusive" photos like this one that show how Eagle Farm was last Saturday, in Race 1, in a pivotal part of the track, photographing the horses from behind as they approached the home turn. Today on my website there's the first of three days of photos from Tattersall's Tiara day last Saturday and today's montage has more track photos. Here you can see the size of a clod that was kicked back in Race 1. The Chairman of the Brisbane Racing Club, Neville Bell, is quoted in today's outhouse assistant, The Courier Mail, as saying, "There's hardly a footprint within 5m of the rails. It wasn't even tested in there". Well these horses are clearly on the fence in Race 1 and what jockey would want to stay in where they were kicking clods this big back Sir? Imagine a horse or jockey copping this clod back in their melon? And this is Race 1 when they had first use of the track - so it's not going to get any better as the day wears on. And at least the industry can now acknowledge that all the negative criticism of Justracing leading into the reopening of Eagle Farm has come home to roost and as such this was the sole media outlet in Australia to read this new Eagle Farm track correctly - from months out.

Well the Brisbane Racing Club is well and truly under the whip and going up and down in the one spot in recent days – in fact a trifecta of bad press hit the club over a three day period last week.

Last Thursday on this website, I reluctantly broke the story about my being asked to leave the Eagle Farm enclosure on Stradbroke day by a Brisbane Racing Club official being told, “You’re not accredited to be in here and they don’t want you in here” whoever “they” might be. Even showing the official correct accreditation and advising him, “I’ve been accredited by the BRC for just on a month” for that specific day which required special accreditation apart from the normal media accreditation - made no difference to the end result. That story could have been resolved behind closed doors and needn’t have been written publicly here, but in the end I was left with absolutely no alternative when my integrity was questioned. Since last Friday I’m working with Brisbane Racing Club CEO, Dave Whimpey on that matter now and have forwarded a photograph of my Media Pass from the Brisbane Racing Club on that day. Dave Whimpey has since advised me that he “had absolutely no idea” that I was asked to leave the enclosure on Stradbroke day. I have asked certain questions of the Brisbane Racing Club in two emails to Dave Whimpey last Friday and am awaiting a response from those emails. I attended the Tattersall’s Tiara race day last Saturday and was in the Eagle Farm enclosure with no problems, which is exactly what should have happened on Stradbroke day – but didn’t.

So that was last Thursday’s negative publicity for the Brisbane Racing Club. Then the track that the Brisbane Race Club dished up for participants last Saturday has already copped plenty of flack all over the place, so that topic has already been amazingly well covered in mainstream media, so that took care of Saturday. And on the score of the Eagle Farm track last Saturday, today my website visitors get a balanced look at a series of “exclusive” photos that I’ve put up publicly on my website comparing last Saturday’s Eagle Farm track with the track that was in play on Stradbroke day. Why are they “exclusive” photos? Well I was the only media person with a camera in the 800-metre to home turn section of the track last Saturday. As an aside, there will also be more photos from the race day go up on that website tomorrow and Wednesday.

But between my website story Thursday and last Saturday’s track there’s Friday. So did anyone have anything negative to say about the Brisbane Racing Club on Friday? The answer is a very emphatic “Yes”. In another body blow for the thoroughbred racing industry in Queensland, the Sandgate and Districts Chambers of Commerce issued a Press Release late last Friday afternoon advising that the popular annual dual code (thoroughbreds and harness) Deagon Picnic TAB race meeting that has been held at the venue for the last couple of years will not be happening in 2016. Naturally the silence in mainstream media has been deafening on the topic, so today I’ll put the full Press Release up here and to that end here’s how it reads:

Sandgate and Districts Chamber of Commerce

Press Release

Friday, 24 June 2016

The Sandgate and Districts Chamber of Commerce (SDCOC) has announced that they will not be in a position to host the Deagon Community Picnic Race day in 2016.

Chamber President, Bill Gollan said “It is with a heavy heart and great disappointment we have come to this decision. We have tried to negotiate a reasonable deal with Brisbane Racing Club to run this year`s races. Their substantial fee increase in 2016 exposes the Chamber to too much financial risk. In light of the falling crowds and financial loss from last year`s races the chamber came to the sad but responsible decision.”

Brisbane Racing Club has exclusive rights to the track under it`s lease with Racing Queensland. This made it impossible to seek another Racing Club at a reduced fee to run the infrastructure for the day.

The SDCOC had planned a major revamp for the day which would have the races being brought back to a country picnic race day. “We would have had an old fashioned party of this areas lifestyle with a celebration of our proud local racing industry.” Racing Queensland fully supported our concept. Unfortunately BRC would not budge on their fee.

The Chamber is also in dispute with Brisbane Racing Club from monies owed to chamber from last year`s Race day which needs to be resolved before entering into any further agreements with BRC.

The Chamber insists that it has not given up on reviving the day for next year. It hopes the various issues can be resolved by then to give us clear air to plan for 2017.

We have lost one of our marquee events this year. However, the chamber is committed to planning another event in place of this. Watch this space.

So after reading that Press Release, it seems the Sandgate and Districts Chamber of Commerce are seemingly apportioning the blame for the Deagon meeting not proceeding on the basis that “unfortunately BRC will not budge on their fee” ( to rent the track out on the day). Then it got worse when it was noted in the Press Release that, “The Chamber is also in dispute with Brisbane Racing Club from monies owed to chamber from last year’s Race day which needs to be resolved before entering into any further agreements with BRC”.

Surely to goodness, Racing Queensland hierarchy can immediately intervene in this dispute between these two parties now that I’ve bought it to public account - and act as a moderator - so that a resolution, suitable to both parties, can be achieved hastily, as surely it’s part of the Brisbane Racing Club’s mission statement to “lead by example in assisting the thoroughbred racing industry to flourish in Queensland”, given they are the biggest race club in the State of Queensland. Whilst I’m expressing no opinion on who is right and who is wrong in this dispute between the two parties, how the hell can cancelling a Sunday Picnic race meeting be in anyone’s best interests – particularly the community from the Deagon/Sandgate area, who have got behind the project so well in the past? In short it can’t. Put simply, too much work by too many people has gone into the concept to have all parties suddenly be unable to reach an agreement.

The reason Racing Queensland needs to get involved forthwith is that on the same day this dispute about the Deagon meeting surfaced, Racing Queensland employed footballer Billy Slater to promote the three codes of racing. In the Racing Queensland Media Release issued last Friday in respect of Slater’s appointment, it was noted in part, “The new partnership will put Slater at the forefront of a state-wide campaign to increase awareness of the racing industry and appeal to a wider audience of fans”. So, on the one hand we employ someone to try to help the racing industry “appeal to a wider audience of fans” and boost the industry out of the doldrums, but on the other hand we cancel a proposed race meeting, because two parties can’t reach an agreement. The whole thing is ridiculous and needs resolving. It would take me about a day to fix – and that’s only if I was having a bad day – it would take a few hours on a good day..

And thinking aloud, and without knowing exactly what dollar amounts are involved in the aforesaid dispute, surely there’s some what I’d call “fat on the meat” at the Brisbane Racing Club, when the club can charge an individual $45 admission at the gate to attend Stradbroke Day and amounts like hundreds of dollars per person, to attend a specific Stradbroke day function at that meeting. Maybe just a little bit of that “fat on the meat” can be transferred across to help reduce the fee the BRC wants to charge the Sandgate Chambers of Commerce to hire out Deagon for one day in 2016 and beyond?

Please note Lindsay Gallagher’s normal Monday bookmakers betting ring report will resume here next Monday following next Saturday’s Caloundra Cup meeting. Ipswich Cup meeting and the following Saturday meeting are the two meetings that a betting ring report doesn’t go up annually, so the other 50 meetings, excluding standalone Saturday meetings of the Gold Coast, Ipswich and Toowoomba are all done.

Today on as advised earlier in this text, there’s the first of three days of photos from Eagle Farm last Saturday.

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