COVID-19 (Coronavirus) Important Information
Update - Tuesday, 23 June 2020
Brisbane Racing Club is delighted to welcome more Members and Owners back to the track under Racing Queensland's industry COVID Safe Plan which has been approved by Queensland Health.
Commencing this Saturday 27 June, we are permitted to have a restricted number of Members and Owners to the racecourse with 20 people per designated space. We have identified up to 25 designated spaces that we can host patrons.
Members and Owners must apply for ticketing. Only those Members and Owners with booking confirmations are permitted to attend the raceday.
For Member Ticketing Information - click here.
For Owner Ticketing Information - click here.
Attendees will need to adhere to strict social distancing and bio-security measures throughout the day.
Any other access will be permitted to licenced and authorised participants only. General public are not permitted to attend.
Update from BRC Chairman Neville Bell - Thursday, 18 June 2020
Thank you for your ongoing support of the Brisbane Racing Club. These last few months have been among the toughest in our combined history of more than a century of racing. There has never been a time when we have been unable to welcome patrons for so long at our racetracks or at our venues such as Gallopers Sports Club and Souths Sports Club.
The COVID-19 restrictions presented the BRC with unavoidable financial and administrative challenges during the time of our Brisbane Racing Carnival. Regrettably, we had to temporarily reduce our workforce, although the Federal Government’s JobKeeper initiative was much welcomed.
TAB Stradbroke Season
We completed our abbreviated winter racing season last Saturday with Quincy Ladies’ Day – the last of four days of our TAB Stradbroke Season. It was a relief to have some black-type racing given Racing Queensland’s initial decision to abandon all feature racing through our normal carnival time. Through the commitment of all southeast Queensland race clubs, some feature racing was reinstated.
The clubs also fought for live free-to-air coverage, which we received via Channel Seven. That opened our racing to homes around the country. This feature racing was only enabled by the continued operation of the BRC’s tracks and training facilities, which was met by our own resources and the support of Racing Queensland.
We have been very appreciative of Members who have understood the impacts of the last few months on your Club. We were disappointed that Members were unable to attend any of the TAB Stradbroke Season racedays in meaningful numbers.
Return to Venues
Our priority remains for Members and their guests, owners and general public to be allowed to responsibly return to our tracks as soon as possible.
Until such time as an Industry Plan for Racing Clubs is approved by Queensland Health we are guided by the Government’s rules on gatherings of people.
As a minimum we can plan for crowds again from our first Saturday meeting after the Stage 3 COVID-19 Roadmap date of July 10, which is on Saturday July 25.
From July, the Club will be permitted to have one person per four square metres operating under a COVID-plan which will allow us to have hundreds of patrons on-course spread over each venue. The BRC team will provide Members with details regarding returning to the Races from July including how to register to attend.
Your membership will be particularly valuable from July as Members will enjoy priority access to our venues. Our venues will be split into zones of two categories being either a licensed racing zone (no interaction with customers) and a premium customer zone that will operate like an expanded Members’ and Owners’ reserve. There will be no general admission areas during this phase.
Membership Subscriptions 2020-21
During our communications in recent months, we have assured Members that we would recognise the fact that racing has been off limits during our most popular time of the year.
We encouraged our Membership and Marketing team to look for one-off activities to maintain engagement with Members. We thank the many Members who made the most of these opportunities.
Your Board has intentionally delayed final decisions on our response for Members to COVID-19 in the hope that we would have more clarity regarding the lifting of restrictions. However, we are conscious of the time limits imposed by our Constitution so we wanted to keep you updated with our deliberations, which follow generous feedback from many Members.
Membership Fees for 2020-21 are summarised as follows:
• There will be no increase in fees relative to 2019-20. For example, $295 for Members aged 30 years and above. Importantly, our Constitution is clear on the need for payment of fees, and the time-frame for our Annual General Meeting.
• Members whose subscriptions are paid before 1 September 2020 will receive $100 credit (2 x $50) on their Rewards Card. These credits will be applied on 1 September 2020 and 1 February 2021. They will have a three-month expiry period.
• Members whose subscriptions are paid after 1 September will receive $50 credit on their Rewards Card on 1 February 2021, with a three-month expiry date.
• Members who held guest cards for the current year can renew these guest cards for 2020-21 at a reduced rate of $150 (usually $210).
• Members who have purchased dual-Carnival packages since 1 January will be contacted by the Membership department to discuss options available.
• Unused credits on Rewards Cards as of 31 July 2020 will be rolled over into the new season.
Please note that, as per the Constitution, fees become due and payable on 1 August 2020. I am pleased to advise that Members are free to avail themselves of a payment plan (six equal payments over 12 weeks).
As a current Member you will receive your Membership Renewal Pack in approximately two weeks. If you do not receive it, or have any questions about your membership, please contact the Membership department on 3268 2171 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
I sincerely hope that you will continue your support for the Brisbane Racing Club. I give you my assurance that your Board and Executive recognise the critical role played by you as a Member and will be striving to re-instate your on-course experience as soon as we are allowed.
Neville Bell OAM
Update from BRC CEO Tony Partridge - Friday, 12 June 2020
We would like to thank our Members for the many messages we received over the last fortnight as we staged some feature races during the TAB Stradbroke Season. It was wonderful to see two Queensland horses win our Group 1 features on Saturday. Not long after Eagle Farm-trained Rothfire claimed the XXXX Dry J.J. Atkins, Tyzone got the best of an old-fashioned finish to the TAB Stradbroke Handicap.
For a very brief moment, the racing helped to take our minds off the fact that COVID-19 has so heavily impacted our Brisbane Racing Carnival. We shared the frustrations of our Members when only 20 spectators were allowed into Eagle Farm last Saturday for TAB Stradbroke Day. We would have loved to welcome more people in a similar way to how clubs, pubs and restaurants were able to have 20 people in segregated zones from last weekend.
Here’s the current situation for the BRC:
The BRC had been told that we could not have more than 20 patrons on course because race clubs are still subject to an order from Racing Queensland (RQ) that clubs must conduct patron-free racing. The BRC argued that race clubs should not be treated less favourably than restaurants and that there are many reasons why race clubs should be permitted many more than 20 people. It was then confirmed that race clubs may have 20 patrons. We know that allowing 20 people is impractical when we have 3000 Members.
BRC continues to argue that race clubs should be permitted to adopt the Hospitality Industry COVID-Safe Plan for its areas like lawns, bars and restaurants outside of the licensed racing zone. Unfortunately, this option is not available. Racing Queensland has been asked to submit an Industry Plan for race clubs. RQ assures the BRC that it is working very hard to finalise the Industry Plan. BRC must then follow an Industry Plan for crowds to return once approved.
Our venues are made up of multiple zones. Our COVID-Safe Plan provided to Racing Queensland outlines how we can have over 1000 patrons and still have only one person per four square metres. If we were allowed 1,000 patrons we would permit Members and Owners to book first.
With one day’s notice last week to invite 20 patrons, we conducted a ballot that included the name of every Member. A number of Members were drawn but could not attend in which case we drew another name until we filled the room. We felt that was the fairest way to invite Members.
During this challenging period we are proud that Eagle Farm and Doomben race meetings have generated hundreds of millions of dollars of wagering turnover. A percentage of the revenue flows to Racing Queensland for distribution to participants and the Government. We fought hard for feature and Group racing to occur when the Brisbane Racing Carnival was cancelled and won the right to our TAB Stradbroke Season. The BRC received a compensation package from Racing Queensland to compensate for some of the lost carnival income.
Now that we have moved from protecting the Club during the crisis to recovery phase, we are focussed on getting Members back to the races and acknowledging that Members have not had the benefit of their membership since March. Our Board is considering all options to thank Members for their patience as part of the upcoming renewal process. Our Chairman will write to Members shortly explaining that process and the Board’s decision.
Whilst the adverse effects to income will be felt for some time, we are satisfied that the BRC has weathered the COVID-19 storm in a fiscally responsible manner so that we may continue to uphold our traditions and allow our Members to enjoy the live racing experience at our famous tracks. If you have any questions or comments please call our Membership department on 3268 2171 or email@example.com. We welcome the opportunity to talk through your concerns or answer your questions.
Thank you for your continued support of the BRC.
Chief Executive Officer
Update - Friday, 5 June 2020
Dear Members and Patrons,
We are working hard to get permission for Members to return to the races. The easing of some Covid restrictions in the past week is a good sign that crowds will return to race meetings soon.
In the past week the Government brought forward permission for many businesses to have 20 customers and today pubs and clubs had their Covid plan approved that allows for multiple groups of 20 customers prior to further easing of restrictions mid-July.
We have been following the lead of the QHA and Clubs QLD preparing and submitting our own Covid plan along with Gold Coast Turf Club and Sunshine Coast Turf Club.
In our case, our industry plan must go through Racing Queensland (RQ) who we speak to every day. RQ expects the plan for race clubs to be approved by Queensland Health within a week or two.
Whilst the timing is not good for attending TAB Stradbroke Season it would mean a return to some crowds earlier than the experts were predicting.
Realistically, we don’t expect hundreds of people will be permitted on course until Saturday July 25 being our first Saturday meeting after the Government’s Stage 3 Covid Roadmap date.
If we are restricted to a few groups of 50 or 100 people, priority will be given to Members and pre-registration will be required. We will make good use of all lawn areas and to maximise how many Members may attend. Members will likely be spread out around the venue and not just in the Members Reserve.
Of course we will inform Members of all measures that are in place to protect their health and safety. A copy of our Covid-plan once approved will be provided to Members. We have made a number of changes to the operation and we will continue to have strict bio-security measures in place for the licensed racing areas.
Update from BRC Chairman Neville Bell - Saturday, 11 April 2020
Dear Members and Patrons,
It seems that every time we have written to you in recent weeks, it’s been to inform you of more bad news for the racing industry as we all deal with the COVID-19 response.
Finally, we can share some positive news after a decision to reinstate some black-type racing for this winter, ensuring we can run the TAB Stradbroke Handicap among other races.
When we last wrote to you, Racing Queensland had cancelled the Brisbane Racing Carnival when it implemented strict biosecurity measures that prevented the movement of horses between new racing zones.
Racing Queensland has now lifted the restrictions on those horse movements, enabling some black-type racing to resume. The restrictions on the movement of people between those zones remain while all race meetings will continue without patrons.
Racing Queensland has released a program of feature races for the next two months, which includes five meetings at the BRC with the following schedule:
Saturday May 9, Doomben
• Group 3 $125,000 BRC Sprint (1200m)
• Listed $85,000 Daybreak Lover (1600m, 3YOs)
Saturday May 23, Eagle Farm
• Group 2 $175,000 Victory Stakes (1200m)
• Group 2 $175,000 Champagne Classic (1200m, 2YOs)
• Group 3 $115,000 Gunsynd (1800m, 3YOs)
Saturday May 30, Doomben
• Group 3 $125,000 Chairman’s Handicap (2000m)
• Group 3 $125,000 Fred Best Classic (1350m, 3YOs)
• Listed $125,000 Helen Coughlan Stakes (1350m, Fillies & Mares)
• Listed $115,000 Pam O’Neill Stakes (1600m, 3YO Fillies)
• Listed $115,000 Hinkler Handicap (1110m)
• Listed $85,000 Bill Carter Stakes ($85,000, 2YO Fillies)
Saturday June 6, Eagle Farm
• Group 1 $350,000 TAB Stradbroke (1400m)
• Group 1 $350,000 JJ Atkins (1400m, 2YOs)
• Group 3 $175,000 Rough Habit Plate (2200m, 3YOs)
• Listed $85,000 Mick Dittman (1000m, 3YO)
Saturday June 13, Eagle Farm
• Group 2 $175,000 Dane Ripper Stakes (1400m, F&M)
• Group 2 $175,000 The Roses (1800m, 3YO Fillies)
• Group 3 $175,000 Tattersall’s Cup (2400m)
• Group 3 $125,000 Eagle Farm Mile. (1600m)
• Listed $85,000 Ascot Handicap (1200m)
• Listed $85,000 Dalrello Stakes (1200m, 2YOs)
The full schedule of races can be found at this link.
Unfortunately, this means that we won’t have the likes of the Doomben 10,000, Kingsford Smith Cup, Queensland Derby or Queensland Oaks in 2020. We also won’t have the inaugural running of the EVA Air Q22, which had been an exciting prospect for the Carnival. However, the BRC accepts that these matters are out of our control. We also acknowledge that other clubs have lost races that are dear to them. We will host the Tattersall’s Cup on June 13 which has been run so well by the Tattersall’s Racing Club for many years – we look forward to that race returning to Tattersall’s in 2021. While all clubs were desperate for these races to continue this winter, we understand that the extraordinary circumstances of these times means that those races will not be held.
This programming has only been made possible by the success of club raceday staff and QRIC. We have worked together to ensure that the strict biosecurity measures have been maintained at all times. This enables racing to continue at this time while other sports are unable to proceed. We remain grateful for this however we are mindful that many stakeholders within the industry have been impacted by these difficult times.
While patrons will be unable to enjoy our upcoming feature races, we hope that you can watch on television and enjoy the fact that races like the Stradbroke and JJ Atkins – such important launching pads for Australia’s best horses – will be held in 2020. The Brisbane Racing Club, in all of its forms for more than a century, has never missed a winter for feature racing. Even during World War I, the Spanish Influenza outbreak and World War II, we were able to race. Interestingly for some time during WWII, the Doomben 10,000 continued but the Stradbroke was not held. We have the reverse this year but we look forward to our racing returning to normal as soon as health authorities decide it is safe.
We continue to send our wishes to all in the wider BRC family who are feeling the effects of COVID-19. We have you in our thoughts and we look forward to seeing everyone back at the track as soon as conditions are safe.
Neville Bell OAM
Brisbane Racing Club
Update from BRC Chairman Neville Bell - Wednesday, 1 April 2020
Dear Members and Patrons,
I would like to update you on the measures your Club is taking to protect the health of our community and to ensure the viability of racing and the BRC during this challenging time.
It has been over two weeks since we started racing without patrons. We are grateful that we can continue to race and that we can help to keep the industry moving by adhering to strict health and safety measures. We all share a passion for racing and we know there is nothing better than the live experience particularly during our Carnival days. However, I hope you can take some comfort knowing that your Club is playing a critical role in keeping racing going so Australians can still place a bet on Brisbane racing.
Please be aware that the Club is now operating on minimal staff. Sadly, this week we had to stand down over 40 full-time and part-time staff across departments including operations, marketing, finance and sales. Hundreds of loyal casual staff had already been told that we did not have shifts for them. These were necessary financial measures but difficult due to the great respect that we have for our wonderful staff members. We explained that while race meetings were continuing, we were unable to generate revenue. The financial model within Queensland racing has been found wanting during this crisis because Clubs must keep racing without any raceday income and no direct revenue from wagering. While Clubs receive a subsidy from Racing Queensland for racing costs, the subsidy is only a fraction of the actual costs of operating and maintaining the racecourses, particularly for metropolitan racing.
Race Clubs in other states that receive some direct wagering revenue have the option of cutting prizemoney. The BRC does not have this option. We are advised by Racing Queensland that a Clubs compensation programme will soon be announced.
Fortunately, the BRC’s property Master Plan and diversification strategy started five years ago continues to cover our debt commitment. Along with our media rights income, the BRC can meet commitments including racing operations, venue maintenance and debt repayments. As we have previously announced, the cancellation of the Channel Seven Brisbane Racing Carnival will incur a loss of about $3 million. The cancellation of the Carnival means Members cannot enjoy our best time of the year. We appreciate your support and will acknowledge this support before we reopen.
As well as responsibly managing finances during this crisis, BRC staff are going to extraordinary lengths to protect against a COVID-19 case shutting down racing. Following are some examples of initiatives in place:
• Eagle Farm racecourse and infield stables precinct have been locked down and trackwork is restricted to on-course trainers exclusively
• Doomben is open to off-course trainers for trackwork
• Tie-up stalls and barriers are disinfected prior to and after trials/jumpouts
• Access control points have been secured at both racecourses
• Every person entering the racecourse must be on a list. Gate staff require identification and a mobile number
• Temperature testing began on Wednesday 25 March and continues every race day
• Jockeys have been set up in break out areas – Falvelon Bar (Doomben) and Legends Bar (Eagle Farm). Zones have been marked out in line with guidelines of four square metres per person
• Additional cleaning measures are undertaken prior to and throughout the day
• Saddlecloths and barrier gear are washed regularly with disinfectant
• Hand sanitiser stations are provided for use in all areas
• Key racing staff are cross-trained as a contingency if staff become sick
We are incredibly proud of the response from our team and from all Queensland race clubs working for the industry we all love. Every stakeholder is making some sacrifice in this difficult time but the race clubs are certainly doing their part.
Thank you again for your support. We are very much looking forward to bouncing back after this crisis and seeing all of our Members back at the races.
Neville Bell OAM
Brisbane Racing Club
Update from BRC CEO Tony Partridge - Monday, 16 March 2020
Dear Members and Patrons,
Australia’s response to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) has impacted industries across the country, including the racing industry. I know that you would have been following many of these developments.
In response to the Federal Government’s advice on combatting the spread of the virus, Racing Queensland has issued a statement advising that all race meetings, trials and trackwork across the state will be conducted without patrons until further notice.
We do not know how long this situation will be in place. The COVID-19 developments are unprecedented in modern times and we simply don’t know the answer to some questions.
However, I can assure you that our Brisbane Racing Club team has been working tirelessly to ensure we are prepared for various possible scenarios in the near future.
This includes collaboration with Racing Queensland and with industry stakeholders regarding the most practicable way to continue to race.
We will keep you informed during this period and provide updates on the status of planning for the Brisbane Winter Carnival.
We support the measures to prioritise the health and wellbeing of our industry participants.
We are grateful that racing can continue for now while other sports face interruption.
While patrons are unable to attend race meetings, we hope the industry can demonstrate its worth by continuing to generate excitement, revenue for our Government and employment, in a challenging time.
Now, as much as ever, we value your support and understanding.
Please CLICK HERE read the statement from Racing Queensland.
Brisbane Racing Club
Update from Racing Queensland - Monday, 16 March 2020
Racing Queensland has advised that all TAB and non-TAB meeting across the state will be conducted without patrons until further notice.
Following the Federal Government’s advice that all non-essential, organised gatherings of more than 500 people be cancelled to manage the spread of COVID-19, RQ has confirmed that all future meetings – along with trials and trackwork – will be limited to key race-day personnel.
Access will be permitted to licenced participants who have a horse or greyhound engaged at the meeting, along with essential club, QRIC and RQ staff; broadcast services; approved accredited media; and associated staff required to conduct racing activities including veterinarians and ambulance services.
Access will not be permitted to the general public in any code, nor owners or on-course wagering providers.
“We are experiencing a unique and complex situation which requires Racing Queensland to adopt a uniform approach,” RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said.
“The health and safety of our 40,000 participants, including those who are employed in the industry, remains our top-priority and we will continue to work with our clubs, QRIC and participants to navigate this period.
“We are mindful of the carnivals we have on the horizon - and the impact that this decision may have on our clubs – but it is important that we restrict on-course access in the short-term to limit the potential spread of COVID-19 and the potential impact to our industry.”
Additionally, access will not be permitted to any key race-day personnel in Queensland that:
Is suffering from COVID-19 symptoms or is otherwise unwell;
Has been to a country considered at higher risk of COVID-19 in the past 14 days;
Is subject to self-isolation requirements imposed by the Government; or
Has been in close contact with a person suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19.
Update - Friday, 13 March 2020
The Brisbane Racing Club continues to monitor the COVID-19 updates from public health authorities.
The Federal Government has advised that all non-essential gatherings of more than 500 people will be restricted from Monday, 16 March.
Tomorrow's Paddyfest event has been cancelled. The Brisbane Racing Club will refund all tickets purchased. More information regarding Paddyfest can be found here.
While the BRC does not have a race meeting this weekend, we will attend a meeting with all major southeast Queensland thoroughbred clubs on Monday to discuss multiple issues including the COVID-19 response.
That meeting will help to determine the next steps for the racing industry ahead of our meetings at Doomben on Wednesday 18 March and Eagle Farm on Saturday 21 March.
In the meantime, the BRC urges all of our stakeholders to be aware of the latest public health information to ensure the best measures can be taken against the spread of the virus.
We thank you for your understanding.
If you have any questions, please contact our office:
(07) 3268 2171 (weekdays)