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, August 13, 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.

I suppose you should practice what you preach.

This is “note to self” by the way.

Regular readers of this blog and listeners of my radio programs will know how often I ask administrators to think outside the square.

Be creative to make a difference.

So, you can understand how I felt conflicted when my immediate reaction to the just-announced Summer Carnival “enhancements” was one of concern.

Queensland’s summer carnival has been the emerging star on the nation’s feature race front for some time now.

Its lynchpin of Magic Millions day is a powerful anchor and the lead-up continues to expand with diversity of opportunity matched by rising stake money.

Several examples of that opportunity and stake money were released yesterday.

The obvious end game of such incentives is to lure more horses from south of the border or from across from the ditch. I believe that’s a good thing.


So why am I concerned?

It is a two-fold concern and centres on the inaugural The Gateway and the Grand Prix and available horse pools.

They actually go hand in hand.

Racing administrators always keep their fingers crossed that feature races will boast quality and quantity. Even more body parts are crossed when launching a new race or tweaking another.

Apart from Magic Millions aspirants, there is always a legitimate question to be asked of what horse pool is available for Queensland’s summer after the Melbourne and Sydney Spring Carnivals.

That question earns more legitimacy this year with the major enhancements afforded to Sydney’s spring.

The Gateway is a four-year-old only affair with a $250,000 purse. Can it attract a capacity top-line field in Brisbane in the summer?

It’s an obvious question that administrators must, or should, have asked themselves.

And it has to be said those administrators are in the “box seat” to make a decision based on the intel and information at their disposal.

But, again, my concern has legitimacy.

And it’s also worth asking why is the four-year-old age group privileged to earn a Stradbroke ballot exemption?


Similarly, is the summer pool of three-year-olds enough in quality and quantity to stage the Grand Prix at $250,000?

It’s worth pointing out only eight three-year-olds contested the Eagle Way Final at last year’s Carnival with long margins between the contestants.

However, on balance, it’s heartening to see this race re-emerge as a feature in its own right rather than serve as a lead-up to the Queensland Derby.

That was the original intention when it was launched at the 1971 Winter Carnival when the Derby was located in the Spring.

So back to where I started.

It’s no point saying one thing and arguing another.

Concerns aside, the odds are the 2019/20 Summer Carnival will be our best ever.

More articles

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