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By Graham Potter | Sunday, May 4, 2014

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

The arrival of the Queensland Winter Racing Carnival means different things to different people.

In essence though, as with any showcase event, it provides an opportunity to positively promote racing in this state to a much larger audience than is usually the case and that responsibility, whatever any internal differences there might be, rests firmly with all participants in all sectors of the local industry.

That doesn’t mean we suddenly have to become blind to racing’s difficulties or naïve about its current situation, but surely if we are in the game because we want or need it to succeed, the least we can do is manage a timely shift in focus and leave behind the daily gripe for the moment and show the local industry strong support at a time when it will be of most benefit.

The carnival brings a change of pace which is significant. The better local horses come out to flex their muscles against runners from top southern stables. The quality of the jockey pool is revitalised and enhanced by visiting ‘name’ riders … and as the quality of trainer, horse and rider rises, so too do crowd numbers.

Now, albeit for too short a time, spectators come for the sport and the spectacle and the ‘good time.’ None of these new found fans give the proverbial hoot about who is right and who is wrong in any particular racing industry argument so let’s not bore them with details they would not even care to understand. Instead, let’s try and make the experience one that is enjoyed by all for the betterment of all … at least for the next couple of months.

Perhaps it would not be out of place if we could all see ourselves as ambassadors for the carnival.

Ok, maybe that’s too much of a stretch, but hopefully you get my meaning.

I know many race-track regulars dislike the disruption to their routine that the carnival brings and I also feel there is something not quite right about pampering people who are merely passing through the racing scene for their once a year visit, but the fact remains that there are times where we need to make the most of the promotional opportunity on offer at the time … like now.

If we could have the discipline to follow this script the chances are we would be doing ourselves a favour … and who knows what advantages that ‘better’ attitude might bring moving forward.


With the wear and tear factor on racetracks in south-east Queensland currently sparking lively debate, spare a thought for the Racecourse Manager at Corbould Park and the task he faces in the next few weeks.

While other tracks are being saved for their feature days, the Sunshine Coast Turf Club will host no less than eight meetings in May, twice its normal quota, including back to back meetings on Friday May 30 and Saturday May 31.

So often the ‘go to’ track when fixtures need a tweak, this effort translates to a fair commitment to the cause. It might not be a leading role during this time but it is a very real, if seldom acknowledged, contribution to the overall success of the carnival.

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