RACING Queensland is set to showcase some of the state's most iconic regional events over the next 12 months including the Barcaldine Tree of Knowledge Festival and the Mt Isa Rodeo.
RQ has announced it will provide TAB opportunities to a further seven regional Thoroughbred clubs, including national television coverage on Sky Racing, following the success of the 2018 Birdsville Cup as it continues to unlock commercial outcomes for the industry.
In addition, Birdsville, which enjoys an annual pilgrimage of close to 7000 fans to the remote Simpson Desert town, will retain its status on the TAB circuit in September with the concept expanded across the state to include Barcaldine, Dalby, Emerald, Innisfail, Mount Isa, Warwick and Yeppoon.
"Racing plays an important role in regional communities right across Queensland and we're delighted to be able to showcase them in this manner. By providing non-TAB clubs with TAB opportunities we are able to deliver increased prize money for participants, greater wagering returns back to the industry and can broadcast our regional clubs to national and international TV audiences," RQ deputy chair Sharon Dawson said.
In addition to the Barcaldine Tree of Knowledge Festival and the Mt Isa Rodeo, the Longreach Cup will be broadcast nationally for the first time, while the likes of Emerald and Innisfail will trial mid-week timeslots on SKY1.
At the beginning of last year, the Queensland government announced more than $70 million in funding to support country racing and to recognise the social and economic benefits it provides to regional communities, as well as the racing industry more broadly.
"We're great supporters of country racing and our $70 million investment over four years is providing the support the industry needs at the grassroots level," Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said.
"Country racing brings local communities together, helps to drive visitation to regional towns and boosts local economies. Racing helps to define country Queensland and the government will continue to support clubs and participants because of the benefits the sport delivers," he said.
With RQ committed to delivering events and experiences that showcase Queensland - bringing people together through the thrill of racing - Tourism Industry Development Minister Kate Jones said RQ's announcement coincided with the Premier's Year of Outback Tourism.
"Growing the tourism industry in the outback is an important part of our strategy to grow the economy and create jobs in west Queensland. We know that people travel to see great events. That's why major events like these are so important," she said.
Non-TAB meetings to run as TAB meetings throughout 2019/20 are:
- July 23, 2019: Yeppoon Turf Club.
- August 8, 2019: Mount Isa Race Club.
- August 20, 2019: Warwick Turf Club.
- September 6-7, 2019: Birdsville Race Club.
- September 28, 2019: Longreach Jockey Club.
- November 1, 2019: Dalby & Northern Downs Jockey Club.
- January 4, 2020: Innisfail Turf Club.
- February 18, 2020: Warwick Turf Club.
- March 10, 2020: Emerald Jockey Club.
- May 2, 2020: Barcaldine Racing Club.
Battle of the Bush qualifiers
FOUR more horses have joined Fab's Cowboy and Marksfield as qualifiers for the Battle of the Bush final in Brisbane on Saturday, June 22 following heats at Longreach, Mt Isa, Gordonvale and Warwick held last Saturday, May 11.
'WE'LL be in Brisbane with bells on" is how co-owner Gary Stoll reacted after Kakakenny booked a start in the Battle Of The Bush final for the second year in succession with back-to-back wins in the Longreach qualifying heat held on Saturday, May 11.
Trained at Ilfracombe by Rodney Little, the 7YO gelding by Murtajill from the winning Red Ransom (USA) mare Ransom Claim now has eight wins and eight placings from 40 starts. Coming with a late outside run to win in a photo-finish, Kakakenny showed great versatility to win the 1100m sprint having run second in the 1600m Barcaldine Tree of Knowledge Cup at his previous start.
Kakakenny began his racing career in northern NSW where he won two races at Coffs Harbour. He then moved to southern Queensland where he won a race at Goondiwindi before ending up in central-western Queensland where he's won further races at Emerald, Blackall, Corfield and now Longreach.
FURTHER north-west at Mount Isa, local trainer Robert Burow prepared his second qualifier in succession with Split The Atom - having won the previous year with former Victorian galloper Galea Warrior.
A 7YO gelding, Split The Atom is by Statue of Liberty (USA) from the winning Hussonet (USA) mare Chilean Miss who cost $310,000 at the 2007 Magic Millions yearling sale at the Gold Coast. Having begun his racing career in Victoria and a further stint in central NSW, Split The Atom has developed an affinity for the Mt Isa sand track with five wins - the last three in succession in March, April and May.
In an interview before last year's Battle of the Bush final, Burow told Racing Queensland webnews he was a boxing trainer for 25 years before he began training horses. "When I moved to Mount Isa there wasn't a lot to do on the weekends, so we ended up owning a horse or two and the trainer actually retired. After helping him out in the stables he said 'why don't you have a go?' So, I've been doing it ever since."
A SIX months spell in far north Queensland has been the springboard to 6YO gelding Bold Avenue qualifying for the prestigious Battle of the Bush final to be held in Brisbane's Eagle Farm racetrack on Saturday, June 22.
He qualified by winning the 1100m open sprint at Gordonvale for local trainer Ralph Baker to boost his race record to seven wins and 11 placings from 43 starts. Baker has had the horse for 12 starts for two wins and four placings having acquired him from Garnett Taylor who paid $50,000 for him at the 2014 Magic Millions yearling sale at the Gold Coast. Alternating between Rockhampton and Sunshine Coast training bases, Bold Avenue won races at the Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast and Rockhampton before moving north to Gordonvale.
Bred at Arrowfield Stud, Scone, NSW, Bold Avenue is by Golden Slipper winner Flying Spur and is one of four winners produced from French-bred mare Numerous.
APTLY named sprinter Machu Picchu hit the heights at Warwick last Saturday when he won a Battle of the Bush qualifying heat.
The heat was the feature race at the Warwick Picnic Races attended by Racing Queensland's Battle of the Bush ambassador Peter Moody. Trainer of unbeaten international sprinter Black Caviar, Moody grew up in Charleville and spent much of his adolescence travelling to country racetracks across Queensland. Next stop for Moody will be his old stomping ground at Charleville on May 18 followed by Nanango on May 25.
"Country racing is an integral part of Queensland life. It contributes so much to local communities both socially and economically. Nothing beats the thrill of a country race meeting. Everybody you speak to wants to win the Battle of the Bush. It's fair to say this series exceeded all expectations during its inaugural year and I can't wait to see who'll take out the prize in 2019," Moody said.
Built in the 15th century and later abandoned, Machu Picchu is an Incan citadel set high in the Andes Mountains in Peru, so it was a natural progression for a foal produced by Fantastic Light (USA) mare Manu Peru to be named Machu Picchu.
His Queensland-bred sire Krupt also hit the heights when he won the 2008 Group 2 Todman Stakes over Blue Diamond Stakes winner Reaan but was injured in the lead-up to that year's Golden Slipper Stakes. A $450,000 Inglis Easter yearling purchase, the son of Flying Spur originally retired to stud at Lincoln Farm in the Hunter Valley. Kooringal Stud was his next port of call and he stood at the Wagga nursery for six seasons before being transferred to Kingsley Park in Tasmania where he served 17 mares before he had to be put down in late November 2017.
With seven wins to his credit, Macu Picchu is one of more 60 winners for Krupt which also include recent Adelaide black type winner LiL Kontra plus Caulfield winner Flying Krupt. Originally raced in southern NSW where he won two races, Machu Picchu was on-sold to Nanango trainer Brian Laherty who has won a further five races with him at Caloundra, Nanango, Dalby and now Warwick.
Japanese superstar to stand in Queensland
NEOREALISM - conqueror of local champions Werther and Pakistan Star in Hong Kong's Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Cup - is heading to stud in Queensland after being secured to stand at Oaklands Stud.
Also a Group 2 star in his native Japan, Neorealism will provide Australian breeders with a great outcross as they plan to breed the racetrack's next star.
A son of Sunday Silence's influential sire son Neo Universe, Neorealism won eight of his 23 lifetime starts for trainer Noriyuki Hori and was ridden in his big Hong Kong success by one of the world's great riders, Joao Moreira.
Neorealism is a three-quarter brother to dual hemisphere Group 1 winning stallion Real Impact. Both Real Impact and Neorealism, as well as two other stakes performers, are from the top producing Meadowlake mare Tokio Reality.
"We are thrilled to be able to stand a horse as well-bred and internationally performed as Neorealism. He has the attributes to develop into a successful sire and he is a great addition to the sire ranks in Queensland." Oaklands Stud's Neville Stewart said.
"The horse is a wonderful individual, very strong, perfectly put together and has a great temperament. Neorealism will not only be supported by Oaklands, but a syndicate of Japanese breeders will also retain interests in the entire and he will get every chance at stud," Stewart said
The introductory service fee for Neorealism in 2019 is $9900 (inc GST).