Story and Photos courtesy of Graham Potter and www.horseracingonly.com.au
By Robert Heathcote | Thursday, April 5, 2012
Robert Heathcote is the leading racehorse trainer in Brisbane. 'Rob's Shout' - the personal blog of the multi-premiership and Group 1 winning trainer will appear every Thursday on HRO.
The word quickly spread around the Ipswich racetrack last Friday about the appointment of the new Racing Minister!
Fair to say there was plenty of confusion and even bewilderment as no one seemed to know anything about Steve Dixon!
I guess there were those also who have felt that once again the racing portfolio has been handed to a junior minister and seen as an insignificant contributor to the state's economy? I can only hope that is not the case and the level of enthusiasm generated by the change of government carries through to the new Minister of Racing!
Of course it is not possible to make a call on his performance until he is allowed a fair go, but I would certainly like to see Mr Dickson at the races sooner rather than later ... or, at very least, a press release from him to the industry giving us an early idea of what to expect and perhaps a time-frame!
I can only assume that Mr Dickson and his assistant, Mr Mander are hard at work getting to know and understand the problems within the Racing Industry and the enormous task that lies ahead.
The enormous question exists! How should Mr Dickson engage with the industry?
The new Minister has just been sworn in. There is no doubt his first task of preparing and presenting the new legislation which will see a new control structure installed to replace the Bentley board will be a vital responsibility but, should he just liase with the big-wigs or should he do a bit of reconnaissance to get a front-line perspective (like coming to the track)?
Obviously there is a need to get a new Racing Act through as quickly as possible but, on top of that, there is also an absolute need to give racing something soon ... some improvement, no matter how small, so we can see we are moving in the right direction!
We know in this industry that you have to be an optimist ... trainers getting up at 3am everyday and punters backing up week in and week out makes you so. We just know something good is just around the corner which is what racing is often all about ... chasing the dream!
That is why we need to see some positives and see them early on from the new regime, especially in the light of the vibes emanating out of NSW with their recent High Court victory in the race fields legislation case!
The new legislation regarding the race fields and the corporate bookies having to pay for the usage perhaps highlights the wrong decision made by our board in accepting the percentage of the gross profit model instead of the turnover model.
Whilst hindsight is a wonderful thing, NSW will reap a real cash bonanza by sticking to their guns!
I just hope that Queensland Racing ... and through them owners, trainers and jockeys ... will still have the opportunity to claw back some of the lost ground.
While a lot of what continues behind the scenes may be out of my hands it is business as usual on the race track where the Patinack juggernaut is now hot on my heels in the local Metropolitan Trainers' Premiership!
I said earlier in the year in a previous blog that it would be a keen contest and little doubt that Nathan's team will always be a powerhouse up here if he committed his full resources to our racing. I think their presence great for our local racing.
Sure, I am not gonna lie down and concede just yet as there is still a long way to go but, as I said in a recent email I sent to John Thompson, the head trainer of Patinack, I would be proud to run second to John and his team as the help that the Patinack team has given me in Melbourne with Woorim and Buffering was invaluable and a major factor in the success we had with the sprinters during the recent Autumn carnival!
Yeah, I owe John a huge debt and anyway, I have three of the plastic statues I got for winning the last three titles! Moods said he got three grand's worth of wine for winning the Melbourne premiership so just as well I don't drink as much anymore!
Mind you, if the new regime threw some plonk into the deal, maybe I might just try a bit harder!
I see the connections have decided to bypass the Slipper and run All Too Hard in the Sires Produce. For me it makes complete sense as a Group 1 under his belt makes him an extremely valuable commodity which ever Group 1 it happens to be.
Don't forget who this young horse's sister is! That's the massive decider in my eyes! Slipper or no slipper, he could be a star at stud and there is no better master at handling the career of a superstar than John Hawkes!
Great to see Mr Tinkler get a real good one as reward for his massive investment in the industry. A T H may well be the superstar he has been waiting for?
The barrier trials on Tuesday at Doomben were perhaps just a glimpse of what's just around the corner for the local punters here.
I know the focus is now very much on Sydney with their Autumn Carnival in full swing but it won't be too long before the focus is back on us.
Great to see the return of few of our local stars. Tuesday morning saw the likes of Adebisi (awesome trial), Spirit Of Boom, Havatryst, Fillydelphia, Listen Son, Rocker and Excellantes make their return to the track so the next few weeks will see some good horses back!
Superior horses, fine weather and good tracks ... just the recipe the punters like!
Buffering came back into my yard on Wednesday so we are a little bit excited to have our very own star back home after his successful trip away with a Group 1 runner-up and two Group 1 thirds.
No wins on the track, but he was a big winner in my eyes!
Till next week. Good luck backing the winner of the Slipper.
Samaready for me, but she's easy to pick ... an awesome filly!
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