Sponsors are firm favourites

CREDIT where credit is due, so congratulations to Rockhampton's Kalka Palms Hotel publican Max Brown and his family for their recognition of the Rockhampton Jockey Club's premiership award-winners.

The annual RJC and Queensland Racing Capricornia winners were announced at a function and presented with trophies at the Kalka Palms in North Rockhampton last Tuesday night.

Max Brown and the sponsors dug deep to reward the winners. These days for geographic reasons I'm not a pub man but that was not always the case, believe you, me.

From my experience, publicans here, there and everywhere are marvellous benefactors of racing and for that matter most sports.

Max Brown and family reflect the generosity of their counterparts in taking racing to heart.

Just think about it briefly, where was one of your first racing experiences ? most likely its origin came from a pub. From all reports in days past, pubs were the hubs of racing (forgive the pun).

It is said SP (starting price) bookmakers operated from some pubs throughout Australia in by-gone eras before the advent of official off-course legalised betting through the introduction of the TAB ? Totalisator Agency Board.

As an aside, did you know, that before 1958 that tote betting on the racecourse was only legal in Australia's eastern States?

It has been said that one SP bookmaker, Bob Askin, became a premier of New South Wales.

The first off-course TAB betting shops started operation in Victoria on March, 11, 1961, on a Flemington race meeting.

Just for the record, the opening of a TAB off-course in Queensland came on August 11, 1962. Gradual-ly the SP boys (very gradually I might add) began to fade.

I know this has nothing to do with the Kalka Palms, which boasts one of the busiest TAB outlets in Central Queensland.

Getting back on track, it is a shame for all the trouble the Browns went to last Tuesday night there wasn't a better roll-up.

Granted a midweek night after a raceday may not be ideal but for the sake of the sponsors and the recipients, the awards function deserved a bigger attendance.

The meal was sumptuous and the beverage was first-class. As for that matter, so was guest speaker, the Brisbane trainer Pat Duff.

In concluding ask yourself this: If you won an award, would you have been at the Kalka last Tues-day night?

Naturally, the answer is yes!

I'm not looking for any plaudits here, but how come if I could attend the function with a group, after having trained horses from 4am, wrote stories for The Morning Bulletin and broadcast the eight-race card and then drove home to Stanwell, why couldn't you?

All I am saying is, in racing too many of us whinge and whine and when an opportunity arises to showcase our best, we do not support it.

For the sake of Max Brown and all the sponsors' sake, I hope next year the function is packed.

To all the award-winners and the Max Browns of our racing community, I say with sincerity: Here's cheers ? well done.

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