A new two-level multi-purpose tower and expansion of the female jockeys’ room have been unveiled alongside other upgrades at the 162nd Warwick Cup.
Racing Minister Grace Grace officially opened the tower and other infrastructure upgrades at the track today before presenting the trophy to the winner of the Cup.
“This modern, safer tower is a vital upgrade for the Warwick Turf Club, and it’s great to officially announce at the Warwick Cup – a race that is one year older than the Melbourne Cup,” Ms Grace said.
“It accommodates judges, stewards, a race caller, a TV camera operator, the photo finish camera operator, and an external semaphore board that displays race results.
“The race caller’s room is soundproof and air-conditioned, making it the perfect environment to call thoroughbreds as they thunder down the Warwick track.
“Other upgrades have also been delivered this year including a new barrier shed, female jockeys’ room extension, additional tie-up stalls, a swab box and a veterinary prep room.
“I’d like to commend Racing Queensland and the Warwick Turf Club on working together to deliver these projects, which represent almost $630,000 worth of investment.
Minister Grace said the Palaszczuk Government is a staunch supporter of racing in Queensland.
“As Racing Minister I know just how important racing is to our regional communities,” Ms Grace said.
“Major race days are often the biggest social event on the calendar for these communities.
“The 2021 IER report found that racing in the Darling Downs, Maranoa and South West region generates $145 million for the local economy, a figure that has increased 41% since 2016.
“Racing in the region also engages about 5,700 participants and supports more than 1,100 full-time jobs.
“We’re also supporting regional racing by making sure the industry is getting a fair share of revenue it generates for wagering companies, increasing the share of the betting tax paid to Racing Queensland from 35% to 80% later this year.”
Warwick Turf Club president Barry Burgess said the tower would provide a superior view of the track and the finishing post.
“In a tight finish, the judges will have a better view of the heads of the horses,” he said
“We are installing two new semaphore boards so that all patrons will be able to view the winners and times from both ends of the course, not just the members, where the old manual board was placed.
“We have had a total of five new infrastructures built this year due to the improvements and or requirements taken on now that we are a Tier 2 Club, the tower is just one part of a bigger picture for the Club.”
Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said the Warwick judges tower was just one of several new infrastructure initiatives that have provided the industry’s valued participants with a safer and modern workplace.
“Once we identify that an asset needs upgrading or replacing, we work diligently with all stakeholders to deliver a modern purpose-built facility,” Mr Parnell said.
“Warwick Turf Club’s latest acquisition is one that will stand them in good stead for years to come and reaffirms Racing Queensland’s commitment to regional racing.”