Today’s race meeting at Doomben narrowly avoided a meltdown after some cool heads calmed down what had the potential to be a volatile situation.
There has been an ongoing licensing disagreement between the Brisbane racing Club and Racing Queensland which almost shut down the entire race program.
Only a last minute truce avoided that situation when BRC chairman Kevin Dixon threatened to abandon the meeting and kick out all licensees and patrons.
“The BRC currently has a licence from January 1 to December 31 but we received yesterday a new licence from Racing Queensland which came into effect from July 1,” Dixon said.
“Some of the terms and conditions in the new licence are unacceptable and we haven’t had the chance to negotiate it with Racing Queensland.
“We assumed the new licence superseded the current licence.
“I suggested in order for things to go on unaffected we continue to operate under our current licence while we negotiate but Racing Queensland refused.
“We were told to operate under the licence presented to us yesterday but we said we couldn’t do that.”
There was a 20 minute delay early in the day while Racing Queensland Integrity Services manager Jamie Orchard decided whether or not the meeting could continue under the old license.
The main gripe Dixon has and the one he most wants to renegotiate is the ability of Racing Queensland to assume control of running a race meeting.
“If for some reason the BRC decided it couldn’t hold a meeting, Racing Queensland could step in and stage it,” Dixon said.
Orchard meanwhile says things have been blown way out of proportion over what should be a relatively minor issue.
“This is not really an Integrity issue,” he said.
“The BRC was issued with a new licence for the new financial year from July 1 and they want to take issue with a couple of points which is fine.
“Traditionally club licences operate on financial years and there was some correspondence last year to say we were looking at moving to a calendar year but that process didn’t happen.
“It was a simple misunderstanding.”
When racing finally began at least there was a couple of new things to talk about including a find for trainer Mike Moroney.
His horse Devonshire Duke won the Padua College Maiden Plate over 1200m and has early aspirations as a Victoria Derby hopeful.
He came home late to win the race by a narrow margin over One Green Bottle in a highly impressive racing debut.
Moroney purchased him as one of four yearlings and was very happy with what he saw today.
“We buy four yearlings we hope will make stayers each year and this is the second one to run,” Moroney said.
“I might head south with him to Melbourne for the spring and he’d make a nice Derby horse down there.
“But I’ve got the feeling he might be more of an autumn horse and he could well go back home for a spell.”
It wasn’t all good news from Doomben though with jockey Glen Colless involved in a nasty race fall.
He fell from Favours Traded in the Blackwoods Handicap and has been taken to hospital for precautionary x-rays.
Colless fell as they rounded the home turn and was concussed on impact.