GREYHOUND racing in Queensland is regulated by the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission (QRIC) – an independent statutory body which oversees all of the integrity and welfare standards concerning the greyhound, harness and thoroughbred industries.
The QRIC began operation on July 1, 2016, after it was established under the Racing Integrity Act 2016. The QRIC reports directly to the Minister for Racing and is held accountable by the state government.
The QRIC was established after the Commission of Inquiry into the regulation of the Queensland greyhound racing industry in April 2015 which launched following the live baiting scandal.
The Commission was tasked with investigating the regulation of greyhound racing in Queensland and making recommendations to the government in regards to ways to strengthen and improve the integrity and welfare outcomes of the sport.
The Commission’s report, often referred to as the MacSporran report, recommended a number of changes including the separation of the commercial and regulatory aspects of the industry.
Subsequently, the Queensland government established the QRIC with the former control body, Racing Queensland, taking over the commercial and business sides of racing.
Queensland greyhound racing tracks
There are currently seven tracks operating in Queensland, four of which conduct TAB-meetings on a weekly basis. The remaining tracks hold country class, non-TAB racing.
Albion Park: The premier track in the state, located in Brisbane along the banks of the Breakfast Creek. Holds multiple meetings per week, the main being metropolitan racing on Thursday nights.
Ipswich: Based in the south-east of Queensland, with racing every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday.
Bundaberg: Non-TAB venue in the south-east of the state which holds meetings on most Saturdays.
Capalaba: The only straight track in the Sunshine State, holding racing over 366m on Saturday afternoons.
Cairns: The gateway to the Great Barrier Reef is also home to non-TAB greyhound racing at Cannon Park on Saturday nights.
Rockhampton: Wednesday nights in Rockhampton feature TAB level greyhound racing in the north of Queensland.
Townsville: The north-east of Queensland features racing on Tuesday nights, with races conducted over 380m, 498m and 643m.
Feature racing in Queensland
The Sunshine State holds numerous feature events every year, three of which are at the highest level, group 1, with all three held at Albion Park.
There are also a handful of other group and listed races on the calendar, all of which attract the best greyhounds from Queensland and across Australia in pursuit of the big bucks.
– Group 1 Gold Cup (710m) – Albion Park
– Group 1 Brisbane Cup (520m) – Albion Park
– Group 1 Winter Cup (520m) – Albion Park
– Group 2 Vince Curry Memorial Maiden (520m) – Ipswich
– Group 2 Ipswich Auction Series (520m) – Ipswich
– Group 2 Bogie Leigh Futurity (520m) – Albion Park
– Group 2 Queensland Derby (520m) – Albion Park
– Group 3 Big Dog Cup (600m) – Albion Park
– Group 3 Townsville Cup (498m) – Townsville
– Group 3 Gold Coast Cup (520m) – Albion Park
– Group 3 City of Ipswich Gold Cup (520m) – Ipswich
History of greyhound racing in Queensland
The first official meeting of greyhound racing behind a mechanical lure took place at The Gabba on October 29, 1927, just five months after it was introduced to Australia.
The track was constructed by the Queensland Electric Coursing Association, with racing held over 550 yards and 825 yards.
The first meeting in Ipswich was held on the old Bundamba racecourse behind a mechanical hare on April 9, 1928.
In August 1929, the Bundaberg Coursing Association held an eight-race card, with all events over 350 yards. Racing continued in Bundaberg until 1950s, with the current track opened in 1977.
Back in the 1920s, betting was not permitted, although illegal betting did take place.
In 1930, the Queensland government outlawed greyhound racing behind mechanical lures, with the void filled by live hare coursing over distances of around 300 yards.
The first meeting in north Queensland held by the North Queensland Coursing Association took place at the Townsville Showgrounds on December 19, 1936, using live hares.
The Capalaba Coursing Club Proprietary Limited was established in 1947 with the grounds used for racing belonging to John Federicks who leased it to the club. The first race took place on February 28, 1949, with the first prize money being just $10.
In 1950, a breakaway group of owners and trainers obtained a licence to build another straight track nearby to the existing Capalaba track, which held its first meeting in June 1951.
Both tracks at the time still utilised a live lure which was given a 200-yard head start, but if it stopped before reaching the escape pen, children with cans were tasked with making enough noise to get it moving again.
The second Capalaba track closed in early 1952.
In the mid-1950s the government finally permitted mechanical lures.
In 1976, a new track built using a mechanical lure was built and opened at Townsville.
In 1987, the Capalaba Club moved and built a track at the current address on Tingalpa Creek.
The major revival of racing in the state was thanks to Alderman Clem Jones, who would later become Brisbane’s Lord Major, and John Hicks who was the press secretary to Deputy Premier Sir Gordon Chalk.
The two men became involved with the Gabba Greyhound Racing Club which was established in 1971 and successfully fought to have a track laid down at the Brisbane Cricket Ground.
The first meeting was held in April 1972, with a crowd of 11,500 in attendance.
The final meeting took place at the Gabba in 1993, with the Queensland Government offering the Club an incentive to relocate to the newly-established Albion Park track.
Best Queensland greyhounds through time
It is always divisive to talk about ‘the best’ greyhounds to have come out of any state, however we have hand-picked a few which we believe enthusiasts would find it hard to knock.
Flying Amy: The immortal bitch was a true superstar of the sport, facing the started on 59 occasions from which she managed 42 wins and 10 minor placings. The daughter of Amerigo Man and Tenthill Flyer was voted the 1994 and 1995 Queensland Greyhound of the Year and is a Hall of Fame inductee. A multiple group winner, the brindle bitch broke the 30-second mark nine times at Albion Park and set a mind-boggling track record of 29.73. Once retired to the breeding barn she continued to excel, producing superstar greyhound Just The Best.
Bogie Leigh: Trained by Tony Brett, Bogie Leigh was whelped in April 2001 and started in 13 group race finals, winning the 2003 Group 1 Brisbane Cup, the 2003 Group 1 Sapphire Crown Classic, the 2003 Group 2 Queensland Futurity, the 2003 Group 3 Lismore Cup, the 2004 Group 1 Golden Easter Egg and the 2004 Group 1 Australian Cup. Her victories saw her announced as the 2004 Queensland Greyhound of the Year, amassing $488,000 in prize money throughout her time on the track.
Dashing Corsair: The fawn flash became the first greyhound in the history of the sport to win both the National Sprint Championship (2009) and National Distance Championship (2011) finals. The iron dog retired with 57 wins and 30 minor placings from 124 starts, earning $455,000 in prize money.
Just The Best: The regally-bred greyhound only started on 15 occasions, netting nine wins and three placings, however his average winning margin was in excess of 11 lengths. Sadly, his career was cut short due to injury, however he went on to become a champion sire – producing star greyhounds Bogie Leigh, Surf Lorian, Elite State and Big Daddy Cool.
Glen Gallon: Another star from Tony Brett’s kennel, Glen Gallon was one of the most consistent greyhounds to race in the Sunshine State in recent memory. His 64 starts resulted in 36 wins and 12 minor placings, including three group 1 wins and $597,000 in career earnings.
Top Simbi: Won 30 races from 49 starts throughout the 1970s, with most of his wins being at the Gabba where he recorded 20 victories. The son of Millisimbi and Susie Voile was the Gabba Greyhound of the Year in 1973 and 1974, with the white and brindle chaser particularly famous as he lived on the lounge of his trainer, Bert Kennedy.
New Tears: The brilliant greyhound won 24 races and was a multiple track record holder at Ipswich, Tweed Heads and Olympic Park. He dominated the breeding scene when heading to stud, with his name appearing in the bloodlines of some of the best greyhounds the sport has seen such as Trojan Tears, Sobbing Sal and Light of Fire, with his daughters producing greats such as Brett Lee, Big Daddy Cool and No Intent.
Where to bet on Queensland greyhound races
All of our recommended online bookmakers offer fixed odds and pari-mutuel betting on all TAB covered greyhound events in the Sunshine State.
Most bookies release fixed odds approximately 20 minutes prior to the jump, which gives punters plenty of time to compare odds from different websites.
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