Chinchilla club helps keep country racing alive during COVID
NEW revisions made to Racing Queensland’s designated racing zones has brought some good news for the Chinchilla Race Club, with racing to return to the track this weekend.
After the coronavirus forced many country race clubs to cancel their race meetings, Racing Queensland introduced the regionalised meetings to enable racing to continue in the bush but also to help stop the spread of the coronavirus.
In March this year, Chinchilla was placed in Darling Downs Zone with trainers and jockeys only allowed to compete in Roma Charleville and Dalby.
However, with the easing of restrictions, Racing Queensland reviewed their zones and combined them into larger zones.
Chinchilla is now situated in the Greater SEQ zone which combined the Metro-North and Metro South West Zones and South East Regional Zone.
As a result of the change, Racing Queensland contacted the Chinchilla Race Committee to conduct four COVID-19 meetings.
President of the club Don Critch said he was honoured to be called upon.
“We are thrilled to be in a position to be able to help with this request,” he said.
“Several larger Clubs were approached to take up these meetings but were not in a position to assist.
“While these meetings do not provide any financial gain to the club, our small committee is more than happy to ensure that country racing continues.”
The meetings will be held on June 6, July 4, August 8 and August 29 this year, however, will be closed to the public.
“We would love to have everyone trackside but due to COVID-19 only key club personnel and racing participants can attend,” Mr Critch said.
Hoping that racing with spectators will be made possible, Mr Critch stated that when they return within the 12 months, it will be a very different racecourse.
The club is undertaking major facility upgrades including fixing the saddling enclosure, an $80,000 kitchen revamp and upgrading the inside and outside running rails.
“It’s an exciting time for the race club,” he said.
“The end game will hopefully be obtaining a regular TAB meeting for Chinchilla.”