After much speculation Racing Queensland has decided to retain the Queensland Thoroughbred Investment Scheme (QTIS), although the structure of the scheme will undergo some key changes.
The QTIS 600 scheme, which was an extra bonus for Queensland bread 2 year olds, has been scrapped and rolled into a new all-encompassing QTIS scheme. To offset this Racing Queensland have announced that there will be a redistribution of prize money to two and three year old races.
The fee structure for registering horses will also slightly change. In the past breeders could choose whether they wanted their horse to be involved in the QTIS 600 scheme. Only 25 per cent of breeders took up the option, so the $3000 QTIS 600 fee has been scrapped and replaced with a once only $900 nomination fee. Stallion owners in Queensland will now also be forced to pay 50 per cent service fee levy.
The old QTIS scheme produced $11.03 million in added prize money, whereas the new scheme only makes $9.26 million available, however breeders and trainers alike are calling it a win.
After a discussion paper on the QTIS scheme was released earlier in the year, the were fears that that it would be scrapped altogether, however after negotiations between the Queensland Thoroughbred Breeders Association and Racing Queensland the scheme has been retained.
President of the Queensland Thoroughbred Breeders Association Basil Nolan said he was pleased at the outcome after he previously thought there was no hope for the future of the scheme.
“I will be honest and say six weeks ago I thought we had no hope,” Nolan said.
“We did a lot of homework and, thanks to my co-breeders, we have worked with Racing Queensland to come up with a new and better model.”
Nolan also said that he feared for the future of the industry when it was announced that the scheme could be scrapped.
“Our livelihood was at stake, so it was imperative we did everything possible to ensure the retention of a QTIS scheme,” he said.
In the past it was up to the breeders to pay the fee for a horse to be included in the scheme, however owners will also now have to pay to be a part of the scheme.
The redistribution of prize money to two and three year old events is set to be a major boost to the Queensland racing industry. All metropolitan two and three year old races will carry a minimum purse of $95,000.
“Group races in Sydney like the Skyline and Sweet Embrace Stakes are worth $125,000, yet you can run for $95,000 every week in Brisbane now.” Nolan said.