RACING Queensland has a new Chief Executive Officer – experienced media, wagering and sports executive Brendan Parnell.
Announcing the appointment on Friday, April 20, Racing Queensland chair, Steve Wilson said Mr Parnell was well qualified to lead Racing Queensland into a new era of prosperity and growth.
“We engaged the best executive recruitment specialists to find candidates for this important role and Brendan Parnell stood out as offering a diverse set of skills and capabilities that we feel will benefit racing across all three codes. We welcome him to the role. Officially the new CEO will start on May 14 and we will be liaising with him between now and his official start date,” Mr Wilson said.
Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said he looked forward to working with Mr Parnell and the team at Racing Queensland to grow and prosper racing throughout the State. “Under the Palaszczuk Government, Racing Queensland has become more financially resilient and the organisation now has a stronger commercial focus. This has resulted in the allocation of $15 million in extra prizemoney and RQ is forging ahead with major investments in new racing infrastructure,” the Minister said.
Mr Parnell has substantial experience in racing and wagering and was most recently the Chief Operating Officer, Wagering, of Tatts Group, which operated UBET prior to Tatts Group’s merger with Tabcorp in December 2017. He also held senior roles at Tabcorp and Sky Channel and has undertaken a Senior Executive Program at Stanford University.
Mr Parnell said he was honoured to be selected to head-up racing in Queensland. “Racing in Queensland is a massive sport and business which impacts almost every town and community across the sunshine state. How we connect and enhance racing is critical for its more than 41,000 participants. I'm excited by that challenge and the many opportunities in coming years," he said.
Mr Wilson said the new CEO will have a number of focus-points for his first three months in the role including the Queensland Winter and Summer Racing Carnivals, growing revenue and increasing returns to participants after the previously announced $15 million annual boost to prize money.
“The incoming CEO will also be acutely aware of the importance of Racing Queensland’s delivery of our infrastructure projects across the state including the return to racing of our premier thoroughbred venue Eagle Farm,” he said.
Mr Wilson also nominated infrastructure projects in country and regional areas, the Ipswich Turf Club and the Gold Coast Turf Club as being key priorities. The search is also continuing for land for possible new or replacement sites for greyhound and harness racing to the south and west of Brisbane.
Mr Parnell will relocate from Sydney to Brisbane for the new role. Mr Wilson thanked Racing Queensland’s General Manager of Racing Simon Stout for acting in the CEO role until Mr Parnell arrives.
UBET $595,000 sponsorship
NORTH and central Queensland are major beneficiaries of a new $595,000 UBET sponsorship deal across all three codes of racing for this year’s Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.
Racing Queensland and UBET announced the deal at the Channel 7 Brisbane Racing Carnival Launch which began with three listed races at the Brisbane Racing Club (Doomben) on Saturday, April 21.
The significant sponsorship deal showcases Tabcorp’s commitment to enhance its sponsorship and promotion of Queensland racing, following its merger with Tatts Group in late 2017.
The bonus money across the three codes includes:
- $350,000 UBET ‘Northern Crowns Series’ for North Queensland Thoroughbreds
- $125,000 UBET ‘Origin Greyhound Series’ for Albion Park in July
- $120,000 UBET ‘Grand Slam’ for the Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake in July
Racing Queensland acting CEO Simon Stout said the generous sponsorship from UBET and Tabcorp will ensure horses aimed at the North Queensland Winter Racing Carnival will race for up to $2.29 million across seven feature race days beginning at Rockhampton on July 6 and ending at Cairns on September 8.
Bonuses of $150,000 (Stayers) and $100,000 (Sprinters) will be offered to any horse, which can win three of the five nominated UBET Northern Crown races across feature meetings at Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and the FNQ Amateurs. The bonuses will be split between the winning owner (80 percent) and trainer (20 percent).
The bonus will rise to $200,000 for stayers, and $150,000 for sprinters if any of the three wins includes races on Far North Queensland Amateurs day at Cairns on September 8, 2018.
Tabcorp’s Adam Rytenskild, Managing Director – Wagering and Media said the new bonuses came at an important time for both RQ and Tabcorp with the major Queensland carnivals looming and the racing spotlight on the Sunshine State.
“UBET sponsors the headline event in each code - the Stradbroke, the Blacks A Fake and the Gold Cup. These new sponsorships provide additional incentives for connections to chase lucrative prize money in Queensland and will enhance interest from punters.
“Through our partnership with Racing Queensland, Tabcorp will continue to support the industry through funding commitments, sponsorships and wagering initiatives, which help secure a sustainable future for the thousands employed in racing,” he said.
Details for the $350,000 UBET Northern Crowns, UBET Origin Greyhounds and UBET Grand Slam are available at www.racingqueensland.com.au.
Spirit Of Boom Colt record
A COLT by Eureka Stud's sire sensation Spirit of Boom sold for a record price of $120,000 at the Inglis VOBIS Gold Yearling Sale held in Melbourne on Sunday, April 22.
Offered by Rosemont Stud, the colt by Spirit Of Boom from Moxie Doll was the subject of a fierce bidding duel before eventually selling to Melbourne-based Gelagotis Racing and Anthony Panozzo.
"The stallion is doing incredible things and we’re really thrilled to get a nice running style of a horse like him by a stallion in the top three or four in Australia at the moment," Manny Gelagotis said.
Success for Wanted progeny
CLEAR Mountain Fairview's Group1-winning stallion Wanted added a Group race success when 3YO Australian-bred gelding Mister Yeoh (Wanted/Wai Lin) posted a strong front-running win in the second leg of the Singapore Three-Year-Old Challenge, the Group 2 Singapore 3YO Classic (1400m) held at Kranji racecourse in Singapore on Sunday, April 22.
Mister Yeoh improved his record to two wins and a placing from five starts. Trainer Cliff Brown said Mister Yeoh would not run in the Group 1 Singapore Guineas (1600m) on May 26 and instead would head for a spell.
Bred at Highgrove Stud, Westbrook, Wanted (Fastnet Rock/Fragmentation) was an $800,000 yearling at the 2008 Inglis Australian Easter yearling sale. Trained by Peter Moody, Wanted only had a short racing career of just 15 starts for three wins and six placings. But a closer examination reveals 14 of those were at the elite black type level. Indeed his nine Group 1 starts provided victory in the prestigious Newmarket Handicap at Flemington plus three seconds and three fourths.