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ATA Report - March


The ATA is currently negotiating several issues with Racing Qld, which we are hopeful for favourable outcomes soon. All members are being kept informed and have opportunities to add their thoughts and suggestions to the discussions, along with providing support or questioning the direction being taken.

Some of the issues currently on the table are the introduction of True Weights to provincial and country racing, changing of the Dual Acceptor rule for provincial and country racing to allow more time to make the choice, reviewing the compensation policy to better reflect each horses actual financial outlay to be reimbursed, implementing a better process for the refund/waiver of fees charged to horses trying to secure a run, and reviewing the Feature Race acceptance fee policy that currently charges trainers these fees rather than the more practicable way of deducting it form prizemoney.

Members will continue to be updated on these and other issues.

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Don’t forget if you haven’t got onto the WhatsApp technology you are missing out on so much very important information. The ATA (Qld) uses the WhatsApp platform to send the majority of its messages to members – in any week you could receive up to 10 important messages on subjects ranging form race programming and additions and amendments (usually as they happen), through to track conditions and rule changes. 183 trainers (ATA members) in Qld currently receive these updates, if you aren’t one of them, now is the time to get in touch with Cameron and add yourself to the list.

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Racing Queensland recently increased the minimum field size policy from 5 to 7 after it had been reduced from 7 back to 5 about 8 year ago, after pressure from ATA when at the time prizemoney was significantly lower and industry was struggling across the board. Since then the amount of race options has significantly increased along with the prizemoney, hence RQ has taken the stance to wherever possible have races run with a field size of 7 or more “genuine” acceptors.

· RQ look at every race individually before applying the “7 genuine accepts rule” – genuine being the important word here. To be “genuine” RQ need to determine if the acceptance is intending on running without unforeseen circumstances etc.

· Often a race is run with less than the 7 (5 generally the bare minimum) based on the importance or uniqueness of the race, and the upcoming alternatives for that class/distance etc. On occasion a race may also be run (with less than 7) because 1 or more other races on the day may already have been abandoned, putting pressure on the meeting as a whole. Obviously in this case, the race chosen to go ahead over others, would be carefully considered.

· ATA regularly gets involved to try and encourage races to go ahead, offering additional information from trainers to assist the RQ decision process. This may need trainers to take actions to show RQ their preferred intentions (cancelling acceptances or scratching from other races) which is advised to trainers as a way to help get their race preferred race to proceed. Without this ATA involvement often RQ can only use the information at hand to make the decisions, which than can produce not the preferred result for the trainer.

· ATA also pressures RQ to reschedule any races that are abandoned within the next week or so, giving the race a 2nd opportunity to proceed. When you see these abandoned races rescheduled it’s important to note this is not RQ “adding” another race out of perceived necessity, rather just giving the horses who missed out another chance to have their programmed race.


In summary the ATA believes RQ is doing the best they can to balance the process of the policy they have along with ensuring sufficient opportunities are given to all horses. Every race that is abandoned is carefully considered, taking into account the many factors influencing the decision process. The ATA will continue to pressure RQ to run as many races as possible, rescheduling those we lose and working with trainers as often as possible to get desired outcomes. If you are in a race that is looking doubtful, your best option is to call the ATA to assist.

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This month the ATA facilitated a trainers meeting in Toowoomba, tackling the normal industry issues with a focus on local concerns for members at the Toowoomba Turf Club. RQ board member Thoroughbred representative Graham Quirk and QRIC Deputy Commissioner Natalie Connor along with local Steward Clayton Warren and TTC Chairman Jason Ward, Vice-Chairman Kent Woodford and CEO Lizzie King joined 28 trainers in the discussions. The main aim was to strengthen the relationship with the Club, and implement a better process for the communicating of problems and concerns. We are very pleased with the outcomes and will continue to follow-up to ensure the positive progress continues. Thanks very much to the TTC for the willingness to welcome our suggestions and for their commitments given, and also for the hospitality extended to the ATA and it’s members.

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The 2022/23 TAB Wayne Wilson Medal for the month of February has been won by the training partnership of Steven O’Dea & Matt Hoysted, for winning the Group One Oakleigh Plate with Uncommon James. The 4yo gelding by Cable Bay (sire now standing in India) out of the mare Pickabee which was also raced by the Lavin family, has now won 6 of his 8 starts and over $800k in prizemoney.


Named after a fashion accessory label “Uncommon James”, and also James being a very strong name among the Lavin family, this win certainly is up there with the Magic Millions win in 2008 with Heart of the Citi. As an extra bit of luck and encouragement Caitlyn had taken a piece of tail hair from Pickabee down to Melbourne and made sure James knew his mum was right there with him.


For Steve and Matt winning their first Group One is a fantastic and well deserved achievement, on the back of what has already been a great season. The future for Uncommon James is certainly bright, and just may be our best chance for a Queensland horse to challenge the worlds best sprinters in races like The Everest.


The O’Dea & Hoysted team are now in the running for the for the 2023 TAB Wayne Wilson Medal.



The Wayne Wilson Medal 2022/23

August: Ricky Vale winning the Townsville and Cairns Cups with Namazu.

September: Jack Bruce for Axe winning the Weetwood Handicap.

October: Clinton Taylor winning 5 from 5 with Chinny Boom including his first Sat metro winner.

November: No Winner

December: Tony & Maddy Sears for Yellow Brick winning the inaugural King Of The Mountain.

January : Chris Munce winning the Magic Millions F&M race with Centrefire.

January#2 : Tony Gollan winning the Magic Millions 2yo race with Skirt The Law.

February : Steven O’Dea & Matt Hoysted winning the G1 Oakleigh Plate with Uncommon James.

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