Industry uproar and concern from participants over the recent RQ prizemoney restructure has forced Racing Queensland to revise its recent changes. Owners and trainers stood tall and took their concerns to RQ who listened and responded in haste. The changes were immediate.
On Thursday 12 of September 2013 – the following changes were made to take effect from 1 October 2013.
“The board has retained the strategy to increase from six to seven TAB race meetings across South-East Queensland each week which are vital to maintaining revenue and market share.
The budget has now been reallocated to provide for:
- one class 1 meeting at Albion Park (Thursday),
- three class 2 meetings at Albion Park (Monday & Wednesday) and Ipswich (Saturday)
- three class 3 meetings at Albion Park (Sunday) and Ipswich (Tuesday & Friday)
There has been a slight reduction in the prizemoney for the top graded race which is run at Albion Park on Thursday nights.”
The board further announced a new grading policy that will become effective on the 1 November 2013. The major changes will see distance categories being extended from two to four groupings. Heats and finals will now count as one win and not two as per past policy.
Firstly, as critical as I have been in the past towards RQ, credit must be given where credit is due and it is pleasing to see that they listened to the calls and cries of the industry in relation to this ONE issue. Unfortunately it continues to highlight incompetence at the top level. The industry wasn’t consulted in the first place and this backflip just further embarrasses the RQ brand.
Social media has been abuzz since the last release and its gives further evidence that the industry needs change. Racing Queensland listened. The Bundaberg Greyhound Club were furious as were the UQGA. The quick change from RQ was well received.
“UQGA congratulated the board for revising the prize money restructure – stating that the extra race meeting on Saturday night at Ipswich will position the industry well for the new product co distribution next year by increasing turnover even further.” – Source Facebook.
As previously mentioned by ARG and countless other new sites, the issues that face Queensland Racing stem from within RQ and previous boards. The underlying concerns impacting growth and the future of the industry are failing to be acknowledged and acted upon. Queensland Racing needs a complete overhaul and it needs to start from within.
As mentioned last week the prizemoney boost is just smoke and mirrors. It doesn’t address the concerns that the greyhound industry is still missing its entitled TAB distribution. We keep propping up the harness code. If RQ fight for what they are entitled to – the flow on affect will take care of prizemoney itself. A small boost here will not stop the industry decline – nor should anyone be fooled into thinking that it will.
RQ would like participants to believe that the proposed grading changes will present an exciting opportunity in Queensland. Greyhounds will now be entitled to win over 4 grades, instead of the previous 2. This presents implications for race quality and the betting consumer.
Our breeding has been off for some time – we have catered for the speed dogs. We race small fields and the spectacle is ruined by poor layout and track design. We rarely see greyhounds missing out on a run – no matter what the dog’s ability.
The problem facing RQ is the lack of dogs available to make up quality fields. I agree that RQ needs to cater for all classes and ability of greyhound but to sell the product and move forward we need to improve the product to the consumer. The industry needs an overhaul.
The change to the grading proposal isn’t correct. It needed to change but not the way that it has. The changes will force poor dogs to perform over unsuitable distances. RQ will support this so that fields can be filled. Corner starts already impact results – dogs are hampered and disadvantaged by box draws and track layout. With dogs racing over unsuitable distances this will only be heightened further as the new grading proposal takes effect. The result – the standard of racing will decrease, the product that is on show will decrease and so too will the few remaining consumers who support it.
Changes are needed – but these changes should be industry driven – not from a board who have lost touch with the product they are supposed to control.