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By David Fowler | Wednesday, October 31, 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.

One statement seemed to get lost in the afterglow of the thoroughbred prizemoney windfall last Friday.

Blackmail would be too harsh, a threat also over the top, but a gentle reminder from Government seems the most appropriate tag to the guarantee of the $8 million being delivered in six months on the back of the $18 million already in the Racing Queensland bank.

"An expectation to support industry reforms to ensure racing's long-term sustainability " is that very tag.

There are several ways to interpret the tone of the statement and what are those "industry reforms?”


Changing non-TAB to TAB status for selected country meetings appears high on the priority list.

Good luck with that.

Firstly, these meetings are primarily social events for the town in question and, as such, run on a Saturday.

A special day for family and friends.

Switching the lever to TAB status would require a move from that slot.

Potentially, a Sunday alternative could work but any Monday to Friday date would destroy the essence of these meetings.


Secondly, surely the vision provider (Sky) and the betting partner (Tabcorp) require some minimum levels in terms of acceptance if they are to carry TAB status?

Take a quick peek at the number of races and number of runners at any non-tabber in Queensland on a Saturday and you'll get my drift.

Thirdly, the costs of the broadcast would have to be a serious consideration in any business case presented on this matter.

The only way to make this conversion work is the "r" word … rationalisation.

Is that an "industry reform?”


Is another "industry reform" a zealous push to twilight and night racing in South-East Queensland which will see stakeholders work longer hours?

Interestingly, does the statement extend to State Government reforms as well as levers that Racing Queensland has the power to pull?

State Government is in the driver's seat to remodel the current merger of the three racing codes and also oversee QRIC and QCAT.

And are these not issues that have been hot topics in the Queensland racing industry for some time?

A lot of question marks in the aforesaid you might say.

The Government's "gentle reminder" has been the catalyst for all of them.

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