Prize money levy to support equine welfare

Prize money levy to support equine welfare

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Phillip Bate analyses news from the Queensland racing scene.

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RACING Queensland will implement a state-wide 1 per cent prize money levy for all Thoroughbred and harness racing to support Queensland's equine welfare.

Announcing the levy last Saturday, Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the figure equated to about $1.5 million a year and would be levied from January 1.

Mr Hinchliffe said the Queensland Racing Integrity Commission was also making $70,000 available from its Racing Animal Welfare Grants Program for projects that retrain and re-home racehorses at the end of their careers, including the Standardbred Association of Queensland, the Maryborough Active Riders Club and the University of Queensland

"We've made this move as the Martin Inquiry gets under way but we know that we're at the very beginning of the process that will provide better futures for Queensland's racehorses. This announcement doesn't in any way preclude any findings that come from the inquiry and is the first step in a broader government response to re-homing retired racehorses," he said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced an independent inquiry by QRIC and the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries to investigate the operation of abattoirs and other facilities accepting horses for slaughter, and the management of retired race horses, including horses moved from inter-state.

The battle for prize money is often tense as this finish at the recent Townsville Amateurs meeting shows. From January 1 next year all prize money for Thoroughbred and harness racing will incur a 1 per cent prize money levy to support Queenslands equine welfare. Picture: Mike Mills

The battle for prize money is often tense as this finish at the recent Townsville Amateurs meeting shows. From January 1 next year all prize money for Thoroughbred and harness racing will incur a 1 per cent prize money levy to support Queenslands equine welfare. Picture: Mike Mills

RQ chairman Steve Wilson said the levy was made in advance of the inquiry's findings as the first step in providing additional equine welfare support. "As an industry, we have a collective responsibility for the safety and wellbeing of our horses and are committed to working collaboratively alongside QRIC in the coming months," he said.

"We will also continue to work closely with Racing Australia and other principal racing authorities to seek federal government support for a National Traceability Register for all horses, which is pivotal to the industry moving forward. We will also advocate for technological improvements to simplify our participants' ability to comply with the industry's equine welfare rules and to ensure that the current access to data is more transparent and robust," Mr Wilson said.

QRIC commissioner Ross Barnett said he welcomed the announcement of the levy as the entire industry works together to improve the welfare of racing animals in Queensland. "Both the government and the commission take animal welfare matters very seriously and are committed to ensuring that all racing animals are afforded the appropriate standards of animal welfare," he said.

Roma Cup will complete Country Cups Challenge

A TOTAL of 21 nominations have been received for this Saturday's 1640m Roma Cup - the 16th and final race in the second Country Cups Challenge series with the final to be held in Brisbane on Saturday, November 30.

The progressive Roma Turf Club, which races on a sand track, has received 136 nominations for its eight-race program which has TAB and Sky Racing 2 coverage.

Among the Cup nominations that will be reduced down to 12 starters plus five emergencies are at least three horses already qualified - French Hussler (Longreach Cup), Fab's Cowboy (Blackall Cup) and Money Ad (Charleville Cup) - while this year's Battle Of The Bush final winner Hanover Square is seeking a last chance qualification win. So is this year's Gympie Muster Cup winner Grande Casadora who has an affinity with sand tracks while last year's Charleville Cup winner Eschiele winner is also nominated.

Latest qualifiers for the final are two mares Money Ad and Hidden Budget - winners respectively of this year's 1620m Charleville Cup and 1400m Kumbia Cup both held on Melbourne Cup Day, Tuesday, November 5.

An 8YO mare by Ad Valorem (USA) from the winning Naturalism (NZ) mare Quintesentially, Money Ad joins Fab's Cowboy in the final for Miles trainer Bevan Johnson. A $6000 purchase at the 2013 Scone Select yearling sale, Money Ad began her racing career in northern NSW where she won five races - all at Taree. Since moving north to Miles, she's won a further 10 races including the Charleville, Booringa (Mitchell) and Jandowae Cups which gives her an overall record of 15 wins and 22 placings from 81 starts.

Oakey trainer Graham Banks had a winning double at Kumbia with Hidden Budget winning the Kumbia Cup and News Director winning the 1200m Burnett to the Valley QTIS Class 2 Plate. Originally trained by Kelly Schweida, Hidden Budget is a 6YO mare by Hidden Dragon from the Dehere (USA) mare Blown Budget while News Director is a 5YO gelding by Bradbury's Luck from Got News For You.

Black type wins for $600,000 MM yearlings

Flemington Group 3 winner Sisstar sells for $600,000 at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale. Picture: Magic Millions

Flemington Group 3 winner Sisstar sells for $600,000 at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale. Picture: Magic Millions

TWO yearlings with strong Queensland links that both sold for $600,000 at the 2018 Gold Coast Magic Millions yearling sale have both won their first black type races during the Melbourne Cup carnival.

Three-year-old filly Sisstar won the Group 3 Red Roses Stakes for 3YO fillies (1100m) on Oaks Day, Thursday, November 7, followed by 3YO colt Banquo winning the Listed Springtime Stakes for 3YOs (1400m) on Saturday, November 9.

Both also have Group 1 winning siblings. Sisstar (Zoustar/Solar Charged) is a sister to three times Group 1 winning mare Sunlight while Banquo (Written Tycoon/Noondie) is a brother to this year's Oakleigh Plate winner Booker.

Queensland family in winning Sisstar syndicate

All smiles after 3YO filly Sisstar won her first black race, the Group 3 Red Roses Stakes, during Melbourne Cup week were (from left): Rae Fletcher, (owner), Billy Hutchinson, Shannon Fletcher (owner), Dan Fletcher and Doug Gibson, The Fletcher family and Doug Gibson are all from Emerald while Billy Hutchinson is from Tambo.

All smiles after 3YO filly Sisstar won her first black race, the Group 3 Red Roses Stakes, during Melbourne Cup week were (from left): Rae Fletcher, (owner), Billy Hutchinson, Shannon Fletcher (owner), Dan Fletcher and Doug Gibson, The Fletcher family and Doug Gibson are all from Emerald while Billy Hutchinson is from Tambo.

EMERALD-based Rae Fletcher and daughters Jordan and Shannon are members of two all-female syndicates that own Sisstar and her sister Sunlight - both trained by SA-based Tony and Clayton McEvoy.

The Fletcher connection with Sisstar and Sunlight occurs because Rae's husband, Dan Fletcher, is listed as a co-breeder of Sunlight after he joined up with Widden Stud in a mare ownership venture that includes Sunlight's dam - the Group 3 winning Charge Forward mare Solar Charged. Consequently, when the filly sold for $300,000 at the 2017 Magic Millions yearling sale the Fletcher family decided to retain an interest. The next year when Sunlight won the Magic Millions 2YO Classic and her yearling sister sold for $600,000 the Fletchers again bought into the filly which was subsequently named Sisstar. Their yearling brother will be offered at next year's prestigious Inglis Easter yearling sale in Sydney.

In fact, their sire Zoustar was foaled at an Innisplain property near Beaudesert that has seen numerous name changes and is now owned by Dan Fletcher. Zoustar was foaled there in 2010 when the property was called Racetree. The property has now undergone a further name change to Telemon Thoroughbreds with Dan expanding his Thoroughbred interests by acquiring the property in late 2016 and taking over operations when the lease to previous occupier Sun Stud expired.

Telemon gained national prominence earlier this year when Kiamichi - a daughter of recently acquired first season sire Sidestep - won the world's richest 2YO race, the Group 1 Golden Slipper.

Listed winner has Queensland parents

IT'S been a remarkable eight months for Queensland-bred broodmare Noondie and her Written Tycoon progeny Booker and Banquo.

On February 23, her then 4YO daughter Booker won the Group 1 Oakleigh Plate at Caulfield having run fourth as a 3YO filly one year earlier. That was sufficient for Noondie to be catalogued in this year's Inglis The Chairman's Sale for elite breeding prospects in Sydney on May 3 where she sold for $600,000 in foal to Written Tycoon - also Queensland-bred.

Flemington listed winner Banquo sells for $600,000 at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale. Picture: Magic Millions

Flemington listed winner Banquo sells for $600,000 at the 2018 Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale. Picture: Magic Millions

Having foaled a colt on September 21, another seven weeks later her 3YO colt Banquo became her second black type winner after victory in the Listed Springtime Stakes for 3YOs (1400m) at Flemington on the final day of the Melbourne Cup carnival. Although foaled in SA, Banquo was sold for $600,000 at the 2018 Magic Millions yearling sale while his three-quarter yearling brother by Written Tycoon's Golden Slipper winning son Capitalist (also Queensland-bred) is catalogued for the Magic Millions Gold Coast yearling sale in January next year.

Noondie bred at Bellagio Lodge

BY Golden Slipper winner Flying Spur from the Umatilla (NZ) mare Creatrix, Noondie was bred at Paul Sweeney's Bellagio Lodge on the Gold Coast and then sent to Tooloonganvale Stud, Scone to be prepared for the 2010 Inglis Premier yearling sale in Melbourne where she was sold for $50,000 to Belmont Bloodstock Agency.

In fact, two years earlier Belmont had paid $300,000 at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling sale for Creatrix's first foal - a filly by Redoute's Choice. Named Tranquility, the filly - racing in Bob Peters' colours - subsequently won the Listed WATC La Trice Classic, was twice Group 3 placed and ran fourth in the Group 2 Perth Cup. In earning black type, Tranquility emulated Creatrix who won a Listed race in Perth before being sold off the track for $90,000 to Paul Sweeney who sent her to Redoute's Choice for her first mating.

Noondie didn't reach the same lofty heights recording a solitary win at Seymour and three placings in Victoria and SA. With her last start occurring at Gawler in March 2013, she was subsequently offered for sale at an Inglis August sale but was passed in at $18,000. It was a wise decision as her first foal was Booker subsequently sold at the 2016 Inglis Melbourne Premier sale for $230,000, Banquo selling for $600,000 in 2018 and ultimately Noondie selling for $600,000 in May this year.

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