Club had been refused on 'three separate occasions'
RACING Queensland has banned the Gold Coast Turf Club from running its 'bikini stakes' down the main straight, unless it can submit a revised proposal which includes attire more attune to an elite sports event.
A disappointed RQ chairman Bob Bentley yesterday revealed the Bundall club had been told on three separate occasions approval would not be granted to use racing facilities for the event in its current format.
Mr Bentley said he was responsible for the image of racing and had an issue with the bikini listed as the only outfit which can be worn in the race.
It came as debate continued yesterday over whether the event was suitable for the 'sport of kings'.
It is understood the peak racing body would allow the event if it was promoted as a more athletic-orientated event.
Mr Bentley left the country last night for an international racing conference but a RQ spokesman confirmed the directive.
"Racing Queensland Limited has confirmed it advised the Gold Coast Turf Club on three separate occasions, including yesterday, it was not authorised to use racing facilities for a proposed novelty race in its current format," said the spokesman.
"RQL, as a governing body, is responsible for maintaining the professional image of the racing industry at large. It also holds direct responsibility for race tracks, stabling areas and mounting yards on scheduled race days.
"GCTC management have been invited to resubmit a proposal that better reflects a gathering of elite athletes, running in appropriate attire."
The Bulletin understands RQL sent the Gold Coast Turf Club a letter on August 17 offering to assist the club in identifying an alternative location.
Turf club chief executive Grant Sheather last night said the club would look at resubmitting the proposal with more detail.
"We are currently working on providing further detail regarding the promotion and conduct of the event," he said.
Mr Sheather said a key aspect would be to attract elite athletes, in particular beach sprinters.
"We haven't given up hope -- we are getting more detail together."
If approval is not granted, the club would consider holding the event on their lawn, adjacent to the racecourse.
RQ denied they were trying to ruin fun.
We agree - RQ are not 'denying fun.' They have taken steps to ensure women's equality in racing. Thank you Racing Queensland.
We also notice their event page has undergone some significant changes.
They've also wiped all of the negative feedback from their event page (luck we took screen shot) - and there was no positive comments at all. We will be happy when they wipe the sexist attitudes from their club.
The Gold Coast Turf Club is still attempting to make the event happen in some other way, we encourage you to still write to Racing Qld and congratulate them for making a stand on this event. Contact details at the end of our previous post.
Just received this response from Racing Qld:
Thank you for email concerning the so called bikini track sprint.
The race was a proposal developed by the Gold Coast Turf Club and initially put to Racing Queensland Ltd (RQL) in early August. The Club came to RQL as to hold events on the track during a race meeting, RQL’s permission (as the racing control body) is required. From the outset, RQL has refused permission for such a race to take place as we do not consider it consistent with the image of our sport. Indeed, the Club was advised in writing for the third time earlier this week that the proposed race was not to take place.
I can assure you that the proposed bikini race will not be proceeding. We hope that what people will be admiring on track on race day will be the performance of the horses and the skill and courage of the (female and male) jockeys.
Thank you Racing Qld!