Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Where Is the Unified Voice? in Such a Workers' Town, Strangely Trainers Have No Association

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Where Is the Unified Voice? in Such a Workers' Town, Strangely Trainers Have No Association

Article excerpt

Byline: Racing Around

ROCKHAMPTON racehorse trainers are not helping their cause by not having a unified voice in the form of a local trainers' association to represent their numbers during such a crucial time with so much happening in the industry.

In this regard Rockhampton has gone backwards; when I first came here in the late '80s there was a very active Rockhampton Trainers Association in operation.

Really, it is astonishing to think in a workers' city such as Rockhampton and such a massive racing centre, that this does not exist in 2009 and has not done so for more than a decade at least.

Morning in and morning out at Callaghan Park at track work, there is so much "mourning" going on about this and that.

It is a gossip pit where individuals - and I am not exempting myself in this regard - seize on the slightest bit of information from individual trainers.

In my role as a racing journalist, I am fortunate that I can quickly speak to administrators and get to the truth.

Take this week's rabble-rousing rumour that sounded so authentic I was almost a true believer and proliferator. It has been doing the rounds for some time that track fees set at $1.50 per horse ($1.65 including GST) at Callaghan Park were definitely going to rise substantially.

"I've been told they are going up to $4.50 a horse plus GST," at least five trainers told me, some in more eloquent fashion with the odd swear word and curse thrown in.

When I met RJC boss Denis Cox on Friday afternoon to get to the bottom of this statement of fact, I'm sure he thought I was back on the good old VB.

"I haven't heard that one. No that is not happening or been mentioned, but I can tell you on-course stable rental is being reviewed to increase," Denis said.

As I've said so often in horse racing, one plus one does not add up to two but 11.

In Rockhampton, the gossip horse racing capital of Australia, one plus one makes 111!

Back to my original point. It is not my job to be the trainers' devil's advocate.

Goodness knows how many times I've almost been ordered by fellow mentors to write "this or that" diatribe about contentious issues emanating from Callaghan Park. …

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