Queensland trainers up in arms over firm tracks

QLD Racing
Racing Queensland

Trainers have sought an urgent meeting with Racing Queensland officials to address problems associated with preparing raceday tracks.

RQ is expected to meet with a trainers delegation in Brisbane on Thursday to discuss the issue.

The matter came to a head when Ipswich was rated a Good 3 for Wednesday’s meeting.

There were 81 final acceptances with 16 scratchings.

After a request from the Queensland branch of the Australian Trainers’ Association, the scratching fee was waived for the meeting.

ATAQ secretary Cameron Partington said the problem of rock-hard tracks had been a worry for a long time.

He said he had spoken with at least 30 trainers on Wednesday morning who had expressed concerns about hard tracks – and not just at Ipswich.

“Firstly, I want to make it clear this isn’t an attack on track managers,” Partington said.

“What we are saying is they should be properly funded to be able to water tracks to a suitable level playing field.

“At the moment they are not. But it has become an even more vital question since Eagle Farm closed with the strain on staff and the tracks themselves stretched to the limit.”

Partington said it was obvious that hard tracks were not ideal for horses.

“People say it is Queensland and we have to expect storms. But if a track is watered and then hit by a storm forcing a downgrade we will just have to cop it,” he said.

“It is better than the alternative which is losing horses. If everything is going to be about turnover you don’t need mass scratchings because of hard tracks.”

Partington said the Doomben track at its most recent Saturday meeting was a good example of what trainers were talking about as a perfect racing surface.

“They were able to put enough water on it so it was a Soft 5 in the morning but by race time it was a Good 4 and played perfectly.”

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