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Racing Queensland introduces racing regions

Turf clubs across the country have been put into specific race regions with only specific clubs being allowed to host races.

Racing Queensland is doing all it can to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and has introduced new designated racing regions and has limited the amount of courses available for races.

The decision splits Queensland into eight different regions, with each region being separate and exclusive to one another, meaning no horses can travel to a different region to race.

Trainers and stable staff are also under the same restrictions and are not permitted to travel to a different region for race purposes.

As part of the decision, thoroughbred racing will be consolidated to 15 racetracks and jockeys will be permitted to race in one of the five designated regions.

Mareeba Turf Club President Rex Petersen is disappointed about the northern region only having Cairns and Townsville races.

“It’s going to be a huge loss for racing,” he said.

“Cairns and Townsville will be the only two places racing in the northern region.

“We can’t do anything at the club at the moment including venue hire.”

This news is a big blow to the Mareeba Turf club and Tableland residents as racing may not return to the region for some time.

Funding relief has been released by Racing Queensland with $2.4 million being available to TAB clubs in the short term.

Racing Queensland has released $1.8 million in immediate cash flow relief and will provide a further $600,000 in emergency support for its clubs until the end of the financial year.

RQ Chairman Steve Wilson AM said the organisation had approved the funding as part of a multi-staged approach to providing financial assistance to its clubs.

“The Queensland racing industry is indebted to the role our clubs are playing in ensuring the continuation of racing during this extraordinary time,” Mr Wilson said.

“This is not the sole financial support we will provide for our clubs – it is merely the first step in a multi-staged approach that will be required to enable our industry to recover.”

Racing Queensland is currently assessing the financial impact of COVID-19 on its racing clubs and will release further funding announcements when the report is finished.

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