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By Graham Potter | Sunday, August 17, 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

Monday will be an important day in the history of racing in Queensland.

An industry briefing is scheduled to take place at Racing Queensland’s Deagon headquarters at which time details of the changes to Queensland prize money levels across the three racing codes will be advised and clarified.

The revised prize money level strategy comes on the back of the new Racing Queensland / Tatts Group deal which was finalised at the end of June. At that time Kevin Dixon, the Chairman of Racing Queensland, stated, “There will obviously be increases in returns to stakeholders. We would hope to be able to make it a lot clearer how that would work within four to six weeks.”

Many people, myself included, expressed concern as late as last week when a date for a resolution to this matter was unable to be confirmed but, in the end, Dixon has come through true to his word with the much awaited announcement falling quite neatly within the timeframe he had originally estimated.

Which probably means you can expect some of his other statements at the time to prove to be accurate as well.

At the end of June Dixon also addressed the expectations of participants and was clear on the guidelines that Racing Queensland would follow in the matter of prize money distribution. Extracts from that interview Dixon gave to horseracingonly.com.au include …

“What everybody should be aware of from the outset is that we now have the opportunity to have a look at the structure of what we do … how we pay prize-money and the way in which we arrange our meetings. It would NOT be the right assumption to say that we will just simply uplift evenly. We’ll take the opportunity now to have a look at that structure and make sure we spend the money where we get the most return.

"Whilst that doesn’t mean we will be cutting everything out, it means everything cannot be treated equally. Remember it is a growth strategy and we must restructure the spending to achieve the best return possible to the industry.”

So you don’t even have to read between the lines.

Clearly, on the basis of the argument put forward by Dixon, some will be happier than others whatever the final draft.

Personally, as long as the details that are announced … the specifics that everybody has been waiting for … achieves the greater good for the greater industry I would be happy enough ... but I know that it will take a leap of faith for a similar attitude to be shown by each individual sector of the industry, particularly those feeling the most pressure in tough times.

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