Queensland's Own Welcome to the best coverage of racing in Queensland Queensland's Best
Horse Racing Only
www.horseracingonly.com.au Horse Racing Only logo
Home Racing Queensland National International Blogs Photo Gallery Links Contact Us


By David Fowler | Tuesday, February 12, 2019

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.

What tracks are poised to be "lit up" in south-east Queensland?

The answer may well be delivered after Racing Queensland meets with the TAB clubs to discuss the 2020-21 racing template this week.

It's no secret the controlling body sees twilight and night racing as a key driver for the thoroughbred industry's future with healthier turnover being its strongest sales pitch.

Some cynics might suggest it's the only one it can put on the table. Opposition to later starts among licencees is not a voice here or there.

The longer hours now experienced from early morning trackwork to racing's conclusion present several unwelcomed spin offs.

And some clubs find the same proposition a hindrance to their commercial model.

Despite this, RQ appears not for the turning and late finishes it will be.


Gold Coast, Doomben and Ipswich are the three tracks that could potentially secure lighting for night racing purposes.

The lighting scenario is bolstered by the strong likelihood Queensland will take on a twilight / night spot on Thursday to coincide with Pakenham in Victoria.

The chatter of lights at Aquis Park Gold Coast has been in the marketplace for some time and you would consider them odds on to be first in line.

But there has to be some economic rationale to this lighting proposition.

It's not a cheap exercise so any track that gets RQ's nod will have to make full use of them.

Make them pay.

It's a significant point because while the Gold Coast club are not against having lights, they are also not keen to lose their Saturday afternoon timeslot.

The committee is savvy enough to know they can't have their cake and eat it too but its location is too tempting to rule out the lighting prospect all together.

Rule them in.

The talk of lighting at Doomben hasn't been as powerful but it has also been raised in despatches.

Doomben may well be the "pea" for the Thursday timeslot. I'd suggest the BRC is not against the idea of the timeslot or the lights.

And that leaves Ipswich who might be considered the longshot but they are far from the worst 100/1 chance you have seen.


A key tenet of this week's pow wow apart from lights and new dates is the how the weekly template will shape.

Many would say Queensland was the envy of other states when it boasted the most consistent weekly racing calendar until the Eagle Farm situation threw that on its head almost five years ago.

Ipswich had been well established as the "Friday" club in those times and it's no secret they want things to return as they were.

So, it's worth thinking of these points.

While Sunshine Coast presently holds the Friday twilights / nights, they also don't want to give up Sunday afternoon. Maybe less cake for them, like Gold Coast.

It can be argued Ipswich is the most accessible track to get to on a Friday compared to the two Coasts,

And which track encounters summer heat issues and cancellations more than any other south-East Queensland TAB track and would be suited to racing early evening / night?

Maybe the 100/1 is over the odds when these factors are taken into consideration.

It would be a surprise if all three have the lights turned on but two out of three is a distinct possibility.

And Thursday twilight / night racing is a dead cert.

More articles

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