AN EMERGENCY meeting between associates of the Queanbeyan Racing Club will be held on Monday evening in an attempt to assist the club with getting more racing meets and reducing its debt.
The meeting, to be held at the Queanbeyan Kangaroos club from 6.30pm with local trainers, jockeys, owners, suppliers and the public, has been called by members of Queanbeyan Racing who are concerned about its future viability with the next race meet some three months away on September 8.
The race club confirmed they were carrying a significant debt, and the Monday meeting will aim to discuss ways of bringing more than 12 racing meets per year to the club, as the club heads into administration under Racing NSW.
Famed and long-term Queanbeyan horse trainer Frank Cleary said the local club did not stand a chance in competing with other race clubs in the ACT and southern NSW region if plans for more race meets do not occur.
"This track has never been in better shape, and there's just no meetings," said Cleary.
"Over in Canberra and Goulburn there's a meet every two weeks. We need to try and get more meets in Queanbeyan because at the moment, it's just ridiculous...unless you're prepared to travel and pay the floating expenses, your horses [in Queanbeyan] just sit in the stables."
Cleary said a minimum of 18 race meets in a calendar year would be a better standard for the club to able to compete with others, but Queanbeyan Racing CEO Brendan Comyn said his club had already made improvements in its schedule this year.
"Our race meetings have been positioned on the calendar to coincide with better weather [avoiding cold winter season]," said Comyn.
"This year Racing NSW have given us 12 meets, and they've been good enough to assign us meets that coincide with two ACT public holidays, which is a first, and we were also given ANZAC Day this year, as well as two Sundays."
"Overall, that's a lot better than previous years."
Comyn said he had requested races on these days to Racing NSW to draw more racing fans, and money, to the club, and this had worked.
He said his club would like to get more races, but it was up to Racing NSW at the start of each year as to which clubs they assign races to.
"We would have to get extra race meetings off other clubs, and clearly no other clubs would want to give them away," he said.
"I would like to see more meets, but I think one or two more would be the absolute tops we could ever get."
But Cleary said for the many local trainers and people holding their horses at the club, one meet per month was not enough.
"We're all in the same boat here...it's as simple as that. If you put my races on you'll attract people, horses and trainers, and give people an interest. At the moment it's dormant," he said.
The meeting has been organised by former QRC chairman Col Morgan, who will be joined by state MP John Barilaro on Monday evening.
Besides the debt issue, Morgan said repairs and maintenance had also been lacking, with Mr Barilaro already in discussions with QRC administration on that matter.
"Not racing for three months is ridiculous...there's no income whatsoever," said Morgan.