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WHEN THE PUSH-BACK TURNED INTO A SHOVE

By Graham Potter | Wednesday, October 24, 2018

By early this morning (Wednesday) the Racing Alliance has not heard a squeak out of government since last Thursday when the alliance confirmed it would follow through with strike action this Saturday.

On Monday, a day when Queensland racing identities were so well represented at the Tim Bell Memorial Golf Day, there was little to no movement in the race nominations office.

In fact, those officials could have had the day off as the racing alliance held firm on their industrial action position leaving the four of the targeted meetings on Cox Plate day on Saturday, October 27 (Doomben, Gold Coast, Toowoomba and Townsville) close to being filed in the ‘meeting cancelled’ file.

As per policy, nominations for these meetings were then extended until Tuesday but there was never going to be any change in the outcome. One horse was nominated for the Doomben meeting, Gold Coast and Toowoomba had no nominations and two horses were nominated for Townsville (by the same trainer).

That all translated into an empowering, united show of force by racing stakeholders and it lobbed the ball firmly in the government’s court.

The problem that government has is that horseracing stakeholders have heard all of the shallow lines before and are well aware of their propensity to deflect, delay, pause … whatever, so they can disappear again for six months without taken any action in the hope that the problem will go away with them.

The racing alliance will not fall for that sidestep again.

So, this time, if and when the government does come back with an offer, it has to be one of substance, well thought out and one that shows they are at least beginning to understand the value of the racing industry … and last but not least, the offer must be real enough to treat racing stakeholders with respect.

The chances of government doing that in less than a week and saving the Cox Plate race-days, after thumbing their nose at the industry, was always a long shot. It would have been the second miracle in as many weeks.

The first was the previously ununitable racing industry coming together and standing up for itself as a unified force and, ironically enough, after all this time it took government apathy to do it.

Who would have thought!

But, really, it doesn’t matter how they got there. The fact that they are united now is the most important point.

The government, in their ivory towers, might not be aware of what is happening on ground level.

If they cared enough to come down and have a look they would find that the racing stakeholder’s commitment to the cause at this time is absolute.

What they are doing is not an easy route for them to follow but they have now reclaimed their power and government would be well advised not to underestimate that force.

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Storm clouds over Queensland racing. 

This magnificent capture of the moment as the storm-front moved into the Caloundra on Sunday, taken from the infield, perhaps epitomises the current dark mood of the racing industry in the state

Photo: Mark Walker
Storm clouds over Queensland racing.

This magnificent capture of the moment as the storm-front moved into the Caloundra on Sunday, taken from the infield, perhaps epitomises the current dark mood of the racing industry in the state

Photo: Mark Walker
HRO photographs from Doomben race-meetings are now available for sale. NB to non-winning connections only.
Please direct all queries to photos@horseracingonly.com.au
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