Following last week’s announcement by Racing Queensland (RQ) to increase the Metropolitan penalty threshold to $15,000, we continue to receive feedback regarding the change.
The Queensland Harness Racing Board (QHRB) first raised the proposal to increase the threshold in line with other states in November 2013 and then sought feedback from stakeholders and industry groups.
Feedback was received supporting both an increase to the threshold and for it to remain at the current level. All feedback was duly considered by the members of the QHRB before the decision to increase the threshold was voted upon.
The QHRB considered that the benefit of increasing the threshold outweighed any potential drawbacks. The decision was made to benefit the wider harness racing industry in Queensland and in particular owners.
The QHRB placed particular value on the ability for Queensland horses to race in Career Penalty assessed races locally for greater prizemoney than that offered in most other states. Additionally, the potential for Queensland horses to race interstate in lower assessed Metropolitan Penalty racing when travelling was also considered a benefit of the change.
As an example;
A horse that starts a campaign out as an M1 C11 R11 competes under the existing threshold and wins an M1 assessed race, then an M2, an M3, and finally M4 with one of these being the $16,000 final. Its total earning would be circa $31,700 and would end the campaign a horse assessed M5 C15 R15 throughout Australia.
Under the new system the same horse would win a Q1 assessed race, a Q2, a Q3, and a Q4 with one of these being the $14,999 final. Its total earnings would be circa $31,000 and would end the campaign a horse assessed Q5 C15 R15 in Queensland, however outside Queensland it would be assessed as M1 C15 R15.
This leaves the opportunity for four metropolitan graded wins outside of Queensland before reaching the same mark. This could amass a potential prizemoney earning of between $40,000 and $50,000.
As with all changes introduced by RQ, the implementation will be monitored to ensure that the foreseen benefits are realised.
RQ will continue to work with RISE to implement this change.