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By David Fowler | Tuesday, February 20, 2018

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.

To trial or not to trial.

Apparently that is the question again!

Whether a first starter has to trial officially or can go into a race unknown has been a question long debated in racing circles.

The element of possible surprise has held up until now but I sense the scales of justice are now swinging the other way.

To put it another way, the notion of a horse having to trial officially at least once is gathering momentum.

Not that I agree with it.

The divide is clear.

I support owners having the right to do what they want with the animal they purchased.

Punters argue they deserve the opportunity to know a horse's ability, or lack of, in their pursuit of making a dollar.

Both sides are vehement they put the party on.

Both are actually correct.

But I will point out you have to put your hand in your kick to pay for a horse. There is no rule you have to bet in every race.


There is an old line that you might like sausages but you don't need to know how they're made.

I have adopted a similar approach to the remaking of the Eagle Farm track.

Frankly, I'm not interested in how the process unfolds step by step.

Why would I be? I have no knowledge of this sort of business.

You can imagine my reaction if a turf company informed how I should call a race.

Of course there are primary facts worth reporting and, sadly, one had to be the first makeover failed.

There's plenty of chatter inside the beltway about this issue but most outside of that bubble simply want to know when the track will be ready for race resumption.

Racing Queensland who run the project, not the Brisbane Racing Club, are firm in their resolve it will be a spring return.

If it isn't they will be held accountable for their actions.

Can we leave it at that?


Racing editor Nathan Exelby provided an interesting quote in Courier Mail's Monday edition surrounding the stoush between Queensland and New South Wales over the coverage on Sky Thoroughbred Central.

Queenslanders have been right to complain about several aspects of the coverage but Monday's story threw a totally different light on affairs.

Exelby's source said the contract implicitly stated New South Wales provincial racing had preference over the Brisbane metropolitan meeting.

To quote, "The current contract is unambiguous. NSW provincial has priority over Queensland"

Exelby is a professional journalist. I have no reason to doubt the veracity of the unnamed source.

So it begs a powerful question. How did Queensland administrators allow this to pass through?

Apparently the deal breaker is for Brisbane to sign up with Sydney and secure a 52 week free-to-air deal on Channel 7.

Exelby's source's offering was a jaw dropper. But who knew?


Saturday's Sofitel Girls Day Out at Doomben this weekend is the traditional opener for big time racing at the city circuit.

In fact, this day grows in stature year by year.

Importantly, $5 out of every general admission ticket will go to the Cherish Women's Cancer Foundation.

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