October 5, 2022

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Queensland’s horseracing calendar is covered with red crosses due to wet weather and it is costing the industry hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Twenty-two non-TAB race meets were scrapped between January 1 and July 30.

Two more country meets; Talwood and Cunnamulla, have been cancelled this month due to wet weather.

Regional turf clubs say it has had a heavy impact, with some cancelling their only social events of the year.

This weekend, Roma Turf Club will host extra races for horses that have been unable to compete.

But it means some competitors must travel more than 500 kilometres for the last-minute detour.

Roma horse trainer Craig Smith said the wet weather had been exceptional.

“I’ve been here 34 years and it seems to be every 10 years or so we get this sort of season,” he said.

“Most [regional tracks] are dirt. It doesn’t give them enough time for them to dry out.

“It’s an ongoing thing at the moment.”

Mr Smith said many horses from remote areas had pulled out of competing at all this month due to the extra travel or different track conditions.

“It takes a bit of doing,” he said. 

“Racing Queensland are trying their best, putting on the extra money and extra races for us.

“But it’s one of those things we’ll have to battle on with it and do the best we can.”

Horse racing starting gates
Races have now been added to Roma Turf Club this weekend, with eight races now running.(ABC News: Michael Franchi)

Prize money lost with the wet

Racing Queensland chief executive Brendan Parnell said most cancelled meets have had their races moved to other venues.

“It’s been an unusually wet period,” Mr Parnell said.

Racing Queensland allocated $5.7 million in prize money to non-TAB events this season.

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