Awards nominees named

RQ announces 2018 UBET Thoroughbred Awards nominees


Phillip Bate analyses news from the Queensland racing scene.


A SELECTION of Queensland’s leading racing industry participants and Thoroughbreds have been shortlisted to receive awards at the 2018 UBET Queensland Thoroughbred Awards Ceremony in Brisbane on Sunday, September 16. 

Horse of the Year trophies will be awarded for 2YOs, 3YOs, four years and older, plus the 2018 UBET Queensland Thoroughbred of the Year award. In total, 28 trophies will be awarded including trainer, jockey and apprentice of the year. 

RQ chief executive officer Brendan Parnell said he looked forward to celebrating the 2017/18 thoroughbred racing season with stakeholders at the Sofitel Brisbane Central, and encouraged all to join in the celebrations. 

“Racing is a 24/7 industry which is why it is important to enjoy this night out together to celebrate and reflect on the remarkable achievements of the season past,” Mr Parnell said.

Queensland premier trainer Ben Currie, metropolitan premier trainer Tony Gollan, Robert Heathcote and Toby Edmonds have been nominated for Queensland Trainer of the Year.

Matthew McGillivray has received his first nomination for Queensland Jockey of the Year, but will be up against experienced riders Jeff Lloyd, Robbie Fradd and Jim Byrne. 

Jag Guthmann-Chester, Taylor Marshall, Michael Murphy and Boris Thornton are all in the running to claim the prestigious Ken Russell Apprentice Jockey of the Year Award. 

The 2018 UBET Queensland Thoroughbred of the Year will be chosen from all nominees across the three equine categories. They are:

4YO and Older: Crack Me Up; Hopfgarten; I’m A Rippa; Most Important;  Savanna Amour

3YO: Another Dollar; Houtzen; Sniztkraft; Whypeeo

2YO: Boomsara; Ef Troop; Granny Red Shoes; Outback Barbie; Sesar

As part of the night RQ will also induct a number of new names into the Queensland Racing Hall of Fame. The categories are:

  • Horse
  • Jockey 
  • Trainer
  • Associate

Also awarded on the night will be:

Breeding Awards – Sponsored by Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland

  • Queensland Broodmare of the Year
  • Queensland Stallion of the Year
  • Champion First Season Stallion
  • Champion 2YO Stallion

Premiership Awards

  • Country Premiership Jockey
  • Country Premiership Trainer
  • Provincial Premiership Jockey 
  • Provincial Premiership Trainer  
  • Metropolitan Premiership Jockey
  • Metropolitan Premiership Trainer
  • Stewards Award

Horses of the Year

  • QTIS Horse (Prizemoney)
  • Country Horse 
  • Provincial Horse 

Apprentice Awards

  • Country Apprentice
  • Provincial Apprentice  
  • Metropolitan Apprentice 

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased by following the links on the Racing Queensland website – Tickets for the Thoroughbred Awards Ceremony are available to all industry participants and the general public, however early bookings are essential. 

Second Muster Cup for Fasta Than Light

NOLAN MUSTER CUP WINNER: Eight year old gelding Fasta Than Light with jockey Miki Nakao, Cedric Duff, owners Glen Abbott and his son Nathan, trainer Pat Duff, sponsor Terry Nolan, and Gympie Turf Club president Shane Gill.

NOLAN MUSTER CUP WINNER: Eight year old gelding Fasta Than Light with jockey Miki Nakao, Cedric Duff, owners Glen Abbott and his son Nathan, trainer Pat Duff, sponsor Terry Nolan, and Gympie Turf Club president Shane Gill.

THIS year’s dual Nolan Meats Gympie Muster Cup winner Fasta Than Light has a definite affinity for Gympie’s sand track.

Eleven times he’s raced there for six wins and three placings. Two years ago he won the 1600m Muster Cup by 10 lengths and placed third last year. This year the Cup distance was shortened to 1470m but Fasta Than Light was a 2.5 lengths victor having won the 1600m Bundy Cup at Bundaberg at his previous start. Trained at Deagon by Pat Duff, Fasta Than Light was ridden at Gympie and Bundaberg by Duff’s Japanese apprentice Miki Nakao who also celebrated her 27th birthday at Gympie.

Bred at Lyndhurst Stud, Warwick, Fasta Than Light was a $35,000 Magic Millions yearling purchase for Duff on behalf of long term Ipswich client Glen Abott. The 8YO gelding by Hidden Dragon from Cheer Girl now has 13 wins with the $14,000 Gympie Muster Cup first prize money boosting his earnings past $175,000.

Some 17 years earlier, I was in a racing partnership that had the option of buying one of two Lyndhurst-bred yearling colts – one by Celestial Dancer from Balwyn Belle and the other by Sequalo from Cheer Girl.

Having had success with another Celestial Dancer horse Solar Ranch, we opted for the Celestial Dancer colt which we named Solar Dancer. After one placing at Toowoomba, we then leased him to Augathella trainer Raymond Fraser. Under his guidance the horse won 12 races – notably the Springsure Cup – to earn just under $70,000.

The Sequalo/Cheer Girl colt we let go turned out to be star sprinter Holding! A member of  Sequalo’s second crop, Holding raced predominantly in Victoria to earn more than $274,000 with the best of his 10 wins being the  Listed VRC Century Stakes at Flemington.

I attended the Gympie Muster Cup as a guest at the Nolan family’ marquee. Always innovative, last year the Nolans were fortunate to have the 2015 and 2016 Cox plates won by Winx on display. This year’s feature attraction was a Punter’s Club run by Gold Coast-based race-day compere Mark Forbes.

Iconic carnival to be televised nationwide

QUEENSLAND’S iconic Birdsville Cup carnival (August 31-September 1) will be telecast Australia-wide for the first time this year, with half of the wagering proceeds generated going to the Drought Appeal.

Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said 136 years on from the first Birdsville race meeting, telecasting and betting technology will transform the Outback event. Each year up to 7000 local, interstate and international visitors cram into Birdsville for the tiny town’s race meeting and to have a true Outback Queensland experience.

 “Racing Queensland has finalised a deal for Sky Racing to telecast the entire race cards from Birdsville’s world famous two-day meeting. Racing Queensland will donate half of its net wagering revenue from Birdsville to the Drought Appeal, delivering much-needed funds for struggling Queensland farmers. This could raise thousands and thousands of dollars for the Drought Appeal,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

The Minister said the broadcast deal had been made possible by the Palaszczuk Government’s four-year $70 million Country Racing Support Package which supports more than 100 race clubs throughout the State, in recognition of the vitally important role they play in so many communities. “This partnership between the Palaszczuk Government, Racing Queensland and Sky Racing is great news for the Outback, country racing and drought relief,” he said.

“Birdsville is a magical part of our vast state and is no stranger to the extremes of nature. Just two years ago, the Birdsville Cup had to be postponed due to major flooding – and now the town, along with large parts of Queensland, are gripped in a crippling drought.

“As one of the world’s most colourful race meetings, the Birdsville Cup offers another great platform to raise awareness about the plight drought-affected Queensland are facing. The racing telecast is also another a great chance to showcase this unique part of Queensland and one our most iconic Outback events,” he said.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said: “Each year the Birdsville Cup delivers a vital economic boost to the town, and other centres along the way. That’s more important than ever now.

“Queensland farming and outback families need all the help we can get them. Punters right round Australia can give them a big hand up when they bet on the iconic Birdsville Cup and all the other races across the two-day meeting in August-September. It’s a wonderful opportunity for all racing fans to enjoy a bet and at the same time back in our struggling farmers,” she said.

Racing Queensland Chairman, Mr Steve Wilson AM, said: “The Birdsville carnival is a shining example of the racing industry’s ability to unite people and communities through unique events.

“When the going gets tough, as it is now for our Queensland farmers, you can rely on the racing industry to rally to the cause and we congratulate the club, Sky Racing and the government for their support,” he said.


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