Racing identity Bart Sinclair has thrown his support behind the Beaudesert Race Club, as the embattled business continues to count the cost of the damage caused by last month’s floods.
Mr Sinclair took up an invitation from Beaudesert MP Jon Krause to inspect the track and meet with Race Club staff to hear of the devastation caused by the wall of water that passed through the facility.
More than $1.2million in damage was done to the track after the floodwaters, higher than a metre in some parts of the track, ripped through the club.
Mr Sinclair said the Beaudesert track, along with the greater Scenic Rim region played a vital role in the racing industry in Queensland.
“Every year this club has 12 TAB meetings which is a significant amount and helps to keep the industry rolling along,” he said.
“Not only that, it is also plays a great role as a training centre for horses that might race in Toowoomba or on the Gold Coast or even in Brisbane.”
Mr Sinclair, who has been coming to the Beaudesert track since he was five years old, said the facility was beautifully located and the region is important now and into the future for the continued success of the racing industry.
“This part of the world is a massive thoroughbred nursery and is easily accessible for trainers who might want to race on a range of different tracks,” he said.
“As stables in high density areas like Eagle Farm and the Gold Coast get sold off to property developers, tracks that are TAB standard like this one will become even more important.
“That’s why it is integral that the public and government support the Beaudesert Race Club to keep it alive.”
Beaudesert MP Jon Krause said a great way for the public to support the club and local racing industry was to attend the Anzac Day races next Tuesday.
“I would encourage everyone to come down and enjoy a day out at the races to help this club get back on its feet,” he said.
“The Race Club is at the heart of racing in the Scenic Rim and is a big part of the economy here, so it’s important to support these local businesses and people.”
Beaudesert Race Club general manager Lisa-Marie Hartney said the local industry supported more than 850 jobs.
“There’s 45 trainers here with 170 horses that can’t use this track at the moment and that’s having a ripple effect down to stablehands and other people involved in the industry,” she said.
“They are having to spell their horses or travel to Ipswich or the Gold Coast to get trackwork in.”
Ms Hartney said to get the local industry back on track it was important the local public supported events like the Anzac Day races.
“This meeting is usually our biggest day of the year,” she said.
“And while we won’t actually have races, they’ve been moved to Gatton, we will still be having fashions on the field as well as pig racing and free activities for the kids.
“All the races will be broadcast so you can still bet on the races.”
Ms Hartney praised the work of local volunteers to get the facility ready for the raceday.
“More than 1000 man hours have been put in by members of the public to get the track ready again and we cannot thank them enough.”
Gates open at 11am on Tuesday.