‘Queensland racing back on track’
There have been many claims that racing in Queensland is dead and buried, predominantly at the hands of the state government, but long-time leading North Queensland trainer Roy Chillemi says the sport’s demise has been greatly exaggerated.
Chillemi predominantly trains for leading Cairns owner Tom Hedley and was the original handler of Group 1 placegetter Tyzone (Written Tycoon), while he is happy to keep reinvesting with the uplift in prizemoney making it more viable to race horses in the north of the state.
“It is the best it has been since I have been in racing. The TAB meetings, the showcase meetings, they pay down to tenth,” Chillemi said. “That was unheard of. The increase in prizemoney helps foot the bill for the owners. “We were getting the maximum of $7,800 to the winner and now it is $10,500. That is a great improvement. It has never been better.
“I am buying ten per cent shares in horses and I have done really well out of them, such as with a horse like Grey Missile.” Chillemi revealed that his talented sprinter Grey Missile (Red Element) would soon be joining Tyzone in the Toby and Trent Edmonds stable at the Gold Coast to continue his career. The five-year-old, who is a $35,000 Magic MIllions Gold Coast 2YOs In Training Sale graduate, has won nine of his 28 starts for Chillemi.
He was placed in the recent Cairns Newmarket (1400m) and the North Queensland Amateur Sprint (1200m) at Townsville before being spelled.