Some of Queensland’s best bush gallopers will vie for Winter Carnival riches at Doomben in June as part of an exciting new country racing series.
Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe announced the new Battle of the Bush series at Thangool Races in Central Queensland last weekend.
“The Battle of the Bush series will give country participants the chance to share in the excitement of a Group 1 race day,” he said.
“It will bring 16 qualifiers from eight country regions to Doomben for a rich $100,000 final on Tattersall’s Tiara Day on June 23, the climax of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival.
“Battle of the Bush will also give country trainers a chance to shine on the national stage at a time when all racing eyes will be on Brisbane.”
The qualification races will kick off at Cunnamulla on Anzac Day, 2018, and wrap up in Barcaldine on June 9, 2018.
To be eligible to compete in a qualifier, a horse must have started in a minimum of five non-TAB races in Queensland in the 12 months immediately preceding the acceptance date for that qualifier specifically.
It is restricted to horses that have not won a metropolitan race in the period from June 24, 2016 to June 23, 2018.
Longreach racing enthusiast Julie Eggerling, who has bred and raced many horses in the central-west, said the event will only showcase the open sprinting horses trained in country Queensland.
“It is just a snippet of what we have on offer in the bush,” she said.
“It is certainly encouraging to be given the opportunity to race at a metropolitan level.
“It is unfortunate the qualifying race dates and eligibility criteria have been slow to be released, with the series due to kick on off on April 25.
“Certainly if Go Sai can measure up to this competitive level he will be having a crack at it and there is a possibility that country trainers may even attempt to source a horse to fit the criteria to qualify for this race.”
Queensland Hall of Fame trainer Peter Moody has thrown his support behind the Battle of the Bush series.
“Racing is a way of life for people living in country and regional Queensland, and I welcome any new idea which aims to shine the spotlight on the hard-working participants that exist within these regions,” he said.
Racing Queensland Chief Executive Officer Dr Eliot Forbes said in an effort to alleviate the cost of travelling to Brisbane for the final, Racing Queensland will offer qualifiers float subsidies of up to $2000.
“Racing Queensland will make every effort to assist qualifiers make the journey to Brisbane to take part in this celebration of Queensland thoroughbred racing,” Dr Forbes said.
The date, club, race and prizemoney Battle of the Bush series races will be included at the following following race meetings:
25/04/2018 Cunnamulla DRC Open Plate (SW), 1200m. $10,000.
28/04/2018 Emerald JC Open Plate (SW), 1000m $10,000.
5/05/2018 Bundaberg RC Open Hcp 1212m $10,000
12/05/2018 Gordonvale TC, Open Plate (SW) 1100m, $10,000
12/05/2018 Longreach JC, Open Plate (SW) 1100m, $10,000
12/05/2018 Mount Isa RC, Open Hcp 1100m, $10,000
12/05/2018 Warwick TC, Open Hcp 1100m, $10,000
19/05/2018 Burdekin RC, Open Hcp 1180m, $10,000
19/05/2018 Charleville Central Warrego RC, Newmarket Open Hcp, 1200m, $10,000
26/05/2018 Thangool RC, Open Hcp 1200m, $10,000
26/05/2018 Nanango RC, Open Plate (SW) 1200m, $10,000
2/06/2018 Atherton TC, Open Hcp 1200m, $10,000
2/06/2018 Bowen TC, Open Plate (SW) 1100m, $10,000
2/06/2018 Cloncurry & DRC Open Plate (SW) 1000m, $10,000
2/06/2018 Goondiwindi RC, Open Plate (SW) 1200m, $10,000
9/06/2018 Barcaldine RC Open Hcp 1200m, $10,000
23/06/2018 Doomben Final Rest 0MWL2Y, Quality Hcp 1200m,$100,000