April 29, 2012
The South Burnett Race Club has scored a major victory with the news that an Anzac Day meeting has been scheduled at the Wondai Racetrack next year.
The club held Anzac Day meetings annually at Wondai between 1970 and 2009. But in 2010, Queensland Racing forced the club to stop by awarding the date to Beaudesert and then – in 2011 and 2012 – to Chinchilla.
However the Wondai meeting will resume in 2013 and the club is hopeful this will permanently restore one of the region’s long-standing, and very popular, racing traditions.
SBRC Patron Roy Radunz, 83, who served as the club’s secretary or president for 50 years until his retirement in March 2011, told southburnett.com.au today that he was “genuinely delighted” the race date had been returned to the club.
“Our Anzac Day meeting was always the club’s biggest meeting of the year. It was also a great fundraiser for Legacy because we always donated part of the proceeds from every Anzac Day meeting to them. So the loss of this date not only hurt the club – it hurt Legacy, too.”
Mr Radunz said the club had protested loudly in 2010 when the State Government gave the date to Beaudesert and it had kept re-applying for the date ever since. Its latest application was lodged last October.
It only found it had been successful in re-acquiring the date when the 2012-13 race dates were released last week.
Mr Radunz said he’s also hopeful the new LNP State Government will reform Queensland country racing as it’s pledged to do over many years.
“The most sensible proposal I’ve heard is that the government will freeze the total number of race meetings at current levels but increase the amount of money given to race clubs,” he said.
“This would put country racing on a much more equal footing with city race tracks.
“The simple fact is that city race tracks need country races.
“Nearly all racehorses are bred and trained in the country. And jockeys have to gain experience on country race tracks before they can compete on metropolitan ones. So restricting or reducing country racing – which is what’s been going on for many years under the former State Government – actually hurts city tracks too over the long run.”
In addition to the 2013 Anzac Day meeting, the club will also hold race meetings on July 21 and October 20 this year.