RJC?s Doyle: Could not do more

ROCKHAMPTON Jockey Club chairman Justin Doyle has defended his club's position over Queensland Racing's policy of not dividing a race when funds were available.

The policy led to the scratching of three horses last Saturday at Callaghan Park when no jockeys were available to ride them.

At acceptance deadline last Thursday, Queensland Racing scrapped the Class 6 when only five horses were declared runners, thereby retaining $5000 in prizemoney.

However, Queensland Racing refused to reallocate that $5000 to split the 16-horse Maiden into two fields of eight, despite being aware that there was a severe jockey shortage in Rockhampton.

Doyle said yesterday the RJC's executive-manager, Bruce Slattery, had contacted Queensland Racing on two occasions on Thursday morning advising them of the predicament and requesting them to split the Maiden.

"Bruce tried twice. I believe he spoke to Queensland Racing's Paul Brennan and was told they would not under their policy split a race with under 18 acceptances. They won't bend the rules, stating that is their guideline.

"In the past on occasions as well we have fought and fought for races to be split but have been given an unequivocable answer of no,'' Doyle said.

Doyle said he wanted to make it clear that his club was not to blame for Saturday's disappointing situation.

"I was attacked when I got to the races (Saturday) from people saying we (RJC) didn't do anything about splitting the race. That is not the case, we could do no more,'' Doyle said.

When asked what subsequent action the RJC could take in protesting about Queensland Racing's decision, Doyle responded:

"It is a useless process. I have written a letter to the Bully.

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