The Queensland Greyhound Racing Authority (QGRA) has approved the new TAB race date schedule effective from Monday 4 August.
The repositioning of race meetings has occurred as a result of the Gold Coast Greyhound Racing Club having to cease racing at the end of July, due to the State Government taking possession of the land that the track occupies to make way for the new Gold Coast University Hospital.
Prior to determining the new race date schedule, the QGRA held a number of discussions with the following entities; Sky Channel, Queensland Harness Racing Board (QHRB), Albion Park Raceway Management, Product Co and the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Ipswich clubs.
A number of alternative timeslots were put forward to Sky Channel, in particular to accommodate the Tuesday twilight meeting. This was due to the Ipswich GRC currently racing of a Tuesday night and harness racing being conducted at Albion Park in the afternoon. The alternatives considered included Saturday night/twilight, Monday twilight and Sunday twilight, all of which were not suitable to Sky Channel in their current race programme format.
To maintain the current timeslots, Sky Channel’s suggestion was for Ipswich GRC to swap and race Tuesday twilight and Albion Park race Tuesday night, but this required the agreement of the QHRB due to the afternoon harness meeting at Albion Park. As a result of discussions, an agreement was reached for greyhound racing to be conducted on Tuesday night at Albion Park, albeit at a later start time, to allow harness racing to finalise their meeting. Further information regarding the Albion Park Tuesday night meeting will be advertised in a separate release.
The QGRA was keen to maintain the current timeslots as should one of the timeslots be relinquished an interstate club would certainly be quick to take it up and it could well be lost to the Queensland industry .
The QGRA was left with few options but to re-allocate the current timeslots between the Brisbane and Ipswich clubs in a workable fashion to take into consideration the Classes of tracks from a grading perspective for owner/trainers and also attempt to maximise race fields.
The new race date schedule effective Monday 4 August will be:
- Monday Night – Albion Park (Class 1/2)
- Tuesday Twilight – Ipswich (Class 2)
- Tuesday Night – Albion Park (Class 3)
- Wednesday Twilight – Albion Park (Class 2)
- Wednesday Night – Ipswich (Class 3)
- Thursday Night – Albion Park (Class 1)
- Friday Twilight – Ipswich (Class 3)
The transfer of the Friday twilight meeting to Ipswich from Albion Park has been made to allow Albion Park to continue racing on a Monday night as a Class 1/2 which will still provide the opportunity for trainers to pre-grade and race at the Class 1 Thursday meeting. The change will also allow trainers the opportunity to race their greyhounds from the Tuesday meetings into the Friday Ipswich meeting. The Ipswich feature races will in all likelihood switch to Wednesday nights to suit the club’s promotional and contractual arrangements.
The QGRA appreciates that the new schedule is not ideal for the industry or the clubs concerned. The loss of the one turn Gold Coast track will deny those specialist one turn greyhounds the opportunity to race in Queensland until a new facility has been constructed. We would appreciate your assistance during this time until we can establish a suitable alternative to Parklands.
The QGRA would like thank Sky Channel, QHRB, the Albion Park Raceway Management, Product Co and Gold Coast, Brisbane and Ipswich Clubs for their assistance and patience during this process.