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Dalrello loss a worrying trend for region's racing

Crack Me Up ridden by Jeff Lloyd at the 2016 Weetwood day Dalrello Stakes could be the last winner to claim the $100,00 prize-money at Toowoomba's Clifford Park.
Crack Me Up ridden by Jeff Lloyd at the 2016 Weetwood day Dalrello Stakes could be the last winner to claim the $100,00 prize-money at Toowoomba's Clifford Park. Nev Madsen

A potential decision to move the Dalrello Stakes from Clifford Park back to Eagle Farm in 2017 could see the Toowoomba Turf Club lose out on $100,000 worth of prize money on the iconic Weetwood race day.

Racing Queensland moved the Dalrello Stakes to Toowoomba in 2014, but after a change in administration the governing body is now tabling plans to take the race back to Eagle Farm as of next year.

The move of a marquee race from Toowoomba would be the second in two years after the Bernborough Handicap was transfered back to Brisbane in 2014.

Toowoomba Turf Club chairman Peter Turnbull is worried what this trend means for the long-term future of racing in the region.

"It is a disturbing pattern as far as we are concerned, as it shows no respect for racing in provincial centres," he said.

The loss of the Dalrello Stakes could see a number of high-profile metropolitan trainers and horses skip the 2017 Weetwood should the plans be confirmed next week.

The turf club is currently negotiating a compromise with the governing body and Turnbull is prepared to recoup what the club would lose in finances should things not go their way.

"The compensation we will be looking for would be to keep the prize money so we can at least build a race day around it," he said.

Topics:  clifford park news racing queensland toowoomba turf club weetwood


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