Queensland's Own Welcome to the best coverage of racing in Queensland Queensland's Best
Horse Racing Only
www.horseracingonly.com.au Horse Racing Only logo
Home Racing Queensland National International Blogs Photo Gallery Links Contact Us


By Graham Potter | Sunday, April 14, 2013

Graham Potter writes a weekly column for the Sunshine Coast daily. Due to demand from those having trouble accessing the paper these columns are now also published on HRO courtesy of the Sunshine Coast daily

Racing is a school of hard knocks. Few who enter its domain escape a bruising and the battlefield is strewn with ‘battlers’ struggling to stay upright.

But while that may be true of most of the general racing landscape, there is another side to this world … the side where huge amounts of money change hands between largely well-heeled participants after a frenzied battle of bids with the whole exchange being played out in public in a drama-charged atmosphere … as it was at the Inglis Australian Easter Sale which concluded earlier this week.

Events in the sales ring are arguably the most critical barometer in terms of the future of breeding and ownership confidence in the horseracing industry and, as such, the results of the Ingles sale made a statement in support of an industry.

Inglis Managing Director Mark Webster summed up the sale: “The fantastic results recorded are a clear endorsement of the strength in both the local industry and the respect that the international community has for our product.”

Over $90 million was spent at the sale and the average price rose by thirty-two percent. These statistics will, for the moment at least, up the oxygen intake of an industry that has been struggling to breath on many fronts.

At very least it translates into a welcome injection of positive news.

Another plus is that the top priced yearling will be staying in Australia to hopefully continue a legacy created by his famous family members, the mighty Black Caviar and All Too Hard.

The half brother to Black Caviar came into the sales ring as Lot 131 and left the arena as the highest priced yearling ever to be sold in Australia. The hammer fell at a cool $5 million!

There were plenty of other striking, individual lots on offer who landed big price-tags which obviously pushed up the sale average but, with business being brisk, it seems reasonable to conclude that many vendors and buyers went away happy with the outcome of the sale … and that is always a happy outcome for the industry.


Another million dollar story was worth noting this week.

Racing Queensland announced it has increased the first prize stake money for the Stradbroke Handicap to $1 million.

That is an increase of $360 000 on last year’s stake. The minor stake money returns remain the same as before.

There can be no doubt that any incentive to secure the presence of the best performed horses in the country for the state’s richest race must be commended. Full stop.

There is no ‘but’ at the end of that sentence. Rather let’s just call the following an ‘aside’.

While that decision can be applauded, it also does create some confusion. All too often the perceived ills that plague racing in Queensland are written off against the backdrop of lack of funds.

So where does the $360 000 come from?

I’m not knocking what it is being used for. I’m just wondering where the magic wand came from and if it can be used on other overdue projects where more stakeholders will benefit than just those connections who are fortunate enough to be involved with the winning Stradbroke runner.

More articles

Graham Potter
Graham Potter
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best