The Verdict: Another candidate for the ballot botch

BALLOTING conditions for Queensland two-year-old races need an urgent overhaul, despite warnings dating back to last December.

The Queensland branch of the Australian Trainers’ Association vented its frustration on Saturday after the fillies race was robbed of interest — and turnover dollars — when two well-credentialed fillies were balloted out.

Both Cailini (second emergency) and I’m Rosie (third emergency) had placed in trials at Doomben and Gold Coast respectively, while fillies that had been unplaced in trials were placed ahead of them, not to mention others that had not even trialled publicly.

Cailini would have challenged for favouritism, given she trialled well in the same heat as eventual winner Pony Power.

“How can this happen in a state so driven by turnover and also so intent on wanting to bring in mandatory trials for all horses before they start?” said Cameron Partington, the ATA’s Qld branch representative.

“It’s not rocket science. Why do RQ constantly think it is?”

This should have been fixed long ago.


Little bolter: Pony Power, ridden by Ron Stewart, wins the fillies division of the 2YO races at the Gold Coast. Picture: Grant Peters, Trackside Photography


Last December, Houtzen was made second emergency for her debut at Doomben, despite having won a Gold Coast trial — as a result of untrialled runners beating her in the ballot.

Fortunately, there were scratchings and she was able to take her place in the field — otherwise, she may never have had the chance to win the Magic Millions.

RQ has dragged the chain on this for too long and it only took the first metropolitan day of two-year-old racing for the season to expose the flaw again.


Story courtesy Nathan Exelby – Brisbane Courier Mail.


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