Today’s race meeting at Doomben Racecourse in Brisbane went ahead as planned, despite a dispute between Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) and the Brisbane Racing Club (BRC) that threatened to cancel it.
BRC chairman Kevin Dixon said he would cancel the mid-week meeting should RQL reject his plea to negotiate new terms for their licence.
The licence, which was issued to the club on Tuesday, has new terms that were deemed unacceptable by the BRC.
“The BRC currently has a licence from January 1 to December 31 but we received yesterday a new licence from Racing Queensland which came into effect from July 1,” Mr Dixon said.
“Some of the terms and conditions in the new licence are unacceptable and we haven’t had the chance to negotiate it with Racing Queensland.
“We assumed the new licence superseded the current licence.”
Mr Dixon said the threat of cancelling today’s meeting was a last resort option, after RQL refused to allow the club to operate under the stipulations of their old licence while negotiations into the matter took place.
“I suggested in order for things to go on unaffected we continue to operate under our current licence while we negotiate but Racing Queensland refused,” Mr Dixon said.
“We were told to operate under the licence presented to us yesterday but we said we couldn’t do that.”
The BRC particularly disagreed with Racing Queensland’s ability to take over the running of any race meeting they may choose under the new licence rules.
“If for some reason the BRC decided it couldn’t hold a meeting, Racing Queensland could step in and stage it,” Mr Dixon said.
Racing Queensland’s Integrity Services manager Jamie Orchard believes the row came about due to a misunderstanding.
“This is not really an Integrity issue,” Mr Orchard said.
“The BRC was issued with a new licence for the new financial year from July 1 and they want to take issue with a couple of points which is fine.
“Traditionally club licences operate on financial years and there was some correspondence last year to say we were looking at moving to a calendar year but that process didn’t happen.
“It was a simple misunderstanding.”
There was a 20 minute delay before Doomben’s first race until Racing Queensland gave the BRC permission to operate today’s meeting under their old licence rules.