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By David Fowler | Tuesday, November 28, 2017

David Fowler is the principal thoroughbred caller for Radio TAB. David, who is a keen form student and punter, has enjoyed a lifetime involvement in the racing media. His personal blog, ‘My Call’, appears exclusively on HRO.

Why is the level of prizemoney generally singled out as the most accurate barometer of the health of the racing industry?

Perhaps, it's the easiest route to take. Banging a drum and asking for more money doesn't require too much thought process.

Several significant points need to be put on the table before proceeding further.

Firstly, I'm not against prizemoney increases. Far from it. This isn't the point of the argument.

Secondly, have you ever heard this line ... "Yes the prizemoney levels are just right" ... of course you haven't and you never will. More is always needed.

Thirdly, owners should not expect entering into a contract will automatically produce a racing profit. It can but there is no guarantee in the fine print. That is why it's called PRIZEmoney not wages.

A robust racing industry undoubtedly needs strong financial returns to succeed but to suggest increasing prizemoney will keep all stakeholders safe and sound is so simplistic that it's embarrassing.

The prosecution of my belief is simple. Not everyone wins prizemoney!

Do the figures and you won't be too surprised that the lion's share of stakemoney lands in the pockets of the upper market.

And there is nothing wrong with that but EVERYONE has costs. Owners and trainers have to pay up with nil wins on the board.

The racing industry will ultimately suffer if the lower market is forced out by rising expenses.

And that leads to the central point. Why don't Governments and racing administrations try to discover ways to reduce costs so all participants can benefit?

Of course there are no easy answers but at least attempts should be made.

I don't know how many times over the last 36 years I've seen small time owners, trainers or breeders drop off the map because they couldn't make ends meet.

And, make no mistake, there are many stakeholders in the upper market who do it tough when they strike a run of outs.

This comment is not decrying prizemoney boosts but it hopes to show there is a flipside that isn't going away.

I often tell a story that I will share with you. In hindsight, I probably shouldn't have said what I did.

An irritating trotting trainer approached me at Albion Park one night and pointing his finger at my chest asked "what are you going to do about the prizemoney situation?"

"It's none of your business," I replied.

"How dare you say that. I've been in the business for 40 years," he barked back.

"it's none of your business because you don't win any" I said and walked off.

Cruel but true


It annoys me no end when you are painted "team red" or "team blue"

Again,a simplistic argument.

It's no secret I preferred the LNP racing policy for a number of reasons but it wasn't to be.

So we accept the peoples' decision and look for the potential strengths in racing under an ALP government.

Continuity or time (four years) is clearly the biggest winner for Racing Queensland and their strategies. They've got clear air.

Several financial pipelines can be tapped. There is a strong case for opportunity.

We haven't been presented with a scenario like this for a long time.

It should be acknowledged and supported.


It was wonderful to perpetuate the memory of race broadcaster and journalist Keith Noud through the running of the Listed feature last Wednesday.

We also remember the late Wayne Wilson on Stradbroke day with a Listed mile event.

Note to race club officials and racing administrators. The late Vince Curry richly deserves the same acknowledgment.

Arguably, Queensland's most accurate race broadcaster and was the commercial voice of the stage when the industry was at its zenith in the sixties and seventies.

He is honored annually in the greyhound industry. The thoroughbred code needs to catch up.


GRAPEVINE: Yamanto, an Ipswich suburb, 45km from Brisbane, is the likely location of a new state-of-the-art greyhound track.

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David Fowler
David Fowler
Queensland's Own www.horseracingonly.com.au Queensland's Best