RQ welcomes $10.5 million funding package

RQ welcomes $10.5 million funding package


Sport
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Phillip Bate analyses news from the Queensland racing scene.

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A $10.5 MILLION prize money package will be delivered to Racing Queensland's three codes from June 17.

Late last year, the Queensland government announced it would fund a $26 million prize money increase for the Thoroughbred code to be delivered in two stages. They were:

  • An immediate $18 million increase effective November 1, 2018; and
  • A further $8 million in six months following the implementation of reform measures.

At the same time, the government and RQ agreed to co-fund a $5.5 million increase for the greyhound and harness codes in 2018, with RQ providing an additional $2.5 million in 2019 after the implementation of similar reform measures.

Across the three codes, $34 million will be delivered to address industry viability and long-term sustainability with the latest funding increase to begin from June 17.

"Racing Queensland remains extremely grateful to the Queensland Government for their funding support. As an industry, we were committed to delivering reform measures and enhancing our viability, long-term sustainability and competitiveness with other racing jurisdictions," RQ chairman Steve Wilson said.

"Over the past six months, significant progress has been achieved, and while more work still needs to take place, I look forward to further progress as we deliver on our strategic and commercial priorities," he said

As part of the additional $8 million in Thoroughbred funding, RQ will abolish starters' fees to significantly reduce the cost to race in Queensland.

"The removal of starters' fees will benefit all thoroughbred representatives. We've also made a concerted effort to elevate mid-week metropolitan prize money, while our SEQ participants indicated that a weekly feature race would be warmly received. By allocating funds in such a broad manner across all three codes, RQ aims to drive improved field sizes which benefits wagering revenues which underpin our industry," Mr Parnell said.

Thoroughbred highlights include:

  • Removal of starters fee: $2.5 million benefit to owners across all Queensland race meetings.
  • Metropolitan Saturday restricted races increased from $45,000 to $50,000 (+10 percent).
  • Metropolitan mid-week prizemoney raised from $30,000 to $35,000 (+17 percent).
  • Mid-week metropolitan maidens raised to $27,500 (+10 percent).
  • A feature $30,000 race to be programmed at SEQ Provincial meetings on a weekly basis (GCTC, ITC and SCTC).
  • Northern Provincial midweek increased to $17,000 and Saturday Provincial 2 meetings to $15,000.
Mareeba Battle of the Bush heat winner How Can I Help ridden by Australian Hall of Fame jockey Robert Thompson returns to scale. Picture - Mike Mills

Mareeba Battle of the Bush heat winner How Can I Help ridden by Australian Hall of Fame jockey Robert Thompson returns to scale. Picture - Mike Mills

Potent combination help themselves to Mareeba BOB heat win

HOW Can I Help - an 8YO gelding trained by Atherton-based Janel Ryan and ridden by Cessnock, NSW-based Australian Racing Hall of Fame jockey Robert Thompson - claimed the final spot in this year's TAB Battle of the Bush final to be held at Eagle Farm, Brisbane on Saturday, June 22, by winning the postponed Mareeba heat reprogrammed to Cairns on Monday.

The Mareeba heat was to be held on Saturday, June 1 but the meeting was called off because of heavy rain and the race moved to the Cairns meeting.

The Ryan/Thompson combination has been a potent mix at Cairns over several years with at least two Cairns Cups winners We Just Love It (2018) and Seafight (2015) plus 2018 IGA Cup winner Binary.

Bred at Patinack Farm and sold at the 2013 Magic Millions National racehorse sale for $12,000, How Can I Help is by Husson (Arg) from the Encosta De Lago mare Lent and now has nine wins and 18 placings from 66 starts with wins spread from Doomben in Brisbane to Innisfail in Far North Queensland.

Hanover Square wins Barcaldine BOB

HANOVER Square - a 5YO gelding having his first start for Miles trainer Bevan Johnson - has given Johnson a two-pronged attack in this year's Battle of the Bash final in Brisbane on June 22 following victory at Barcaldine on Saturday.

It's the second year in succession Johnson will have two runners in the BOB final with last year's stable representatives being Fab's Cowboy and Exstratum. Johnson - who already has veteran sprinter Fab's Cowboy qualified again his year after heat wins at Gladstone and Cunnamulla - took over the training of Hanover Square from nearby Chinchilla trainer and friend Leonard Mawn.

Mawn still co-owns the horse with partner Jo Rayner but interstate work commitments prompted him to ask Johnson to take over training duties. A 5YO gelding, Hanover Square took his earnings past $100,000 and now has six wins, six seconds and six thirds from 42 starts. Resuming from a spell, Hanover Square had finished third in the Charleville BOB heat on May 18 then less than three lengths seventh from Music Scene in the Goondiwindi heat on June 1 - both times coming from well back in the field.

A $45,000 purchase at the 2015 Magic Millions yearling sale, Hanover Square is by Manhattan Rain - a Group 1 winning half-brother to Redoute's Choice - and is the ninth winner produced from the unraced Scenic (Ire) mare Beam. She in turn is from the Golden Slipper winner Bint Marscay which makes her a half-sister to three black-type winners including Group 1 winner Bollinger.

Having begun his racing career with Peter and Paul Snowden who prepared him to win a Kembla Grange 2YO maiden at his second start plus three subsequent placings, Hanover Square was on-sold several times before moving to Hawkesbury, NSW trainer Hawkesbury, NSW trainer Brad Widdup who trained him for a Goulburn Class 2 win and two places from four starts before moving to Leonard Mawn in April last year.

Townsville Great Northern 2YO Classic winner was 2YO filly Bold Eos pictured with Townsville owners Robyn and Graham Cleary (left), jockey Ryan Wiggins and Sunshine Coast trainer Garnett Taylor. Picture: Mike Mills

Townsville Great Northern 2YO Classic winner was 2YO filly Bold Eos pictured with Townsville owners Robyn and Graham Cleary (left), jockey Ryan Wiggins and Sunshine Coast trainer Garnett Taylor. Picture: Mike Mills

Taylor-made success along Queensland coast

BRISBANE, Townsville, Cairns - Sunshine Coast trainer Garnett Taylor and jockey Ryan Wiggins have made their presence felt at all three coastal centres in the past nine days.

Just nine days ago on Saturday, June 1, Taylor achieved national prominence when his 3YO filly Dawson Diva - owned by four central Queensland graziers - ran second in the Group 1 Queensland Oaks at Brisbane's Doomben racetrack starting at odds of 150-1.

A week later, Taylor shifted his attention north to Townsville's Cluden Park where 2YO filly Bold Eos won Townsville's premier 2YO race - the 1200m Great Northern QTIS 2YO Classic - by three lengths. Then two days later on Monday, June 10, Taylor had a double when 2YO Bold Style won a 2 and 3YO maiden (950m) on debut followed by Bold Xavvi winning the 950m Cairns Race to the Reef Open handicap. All four horses were ridden by Ryan Wiggins.

With QTIS wins at Townsville and the Sunshine Coast, Bold Eos has now earned $104,750 including $27,300 in QTIS bonuses while Bold Style collected $19,000 which included an $8500 QTIS bonus. Bold Xavvi has now won three of his past four starts to take his race record to eight wins and eight placings from 28 starts.

All three horses race in the colours of Townsville breeders Graham and Robyn Cleary - long time clients of Garnett Taylor. Bold Eos is a 2YO filly by outstanding young sire Spirit Of Boom from the Spinning World (USA) mare Arctic Eclipse while Bold Style is a 2YO gelding by dual Listed winner Whittington from the Show A Heart mare Showellen. Bred at Baramul Stud, Bold Xavvi is by multiple Group 1 winner Testa Rossa from the Mister C (USA) mare Morning Glow.

Tyzone runner-up in Group 1 Stradbroke

FORMER North Queensland sprinter Tyzone has collected his biggest cheque in his 32 starts racing career by being runner-up in Queensland's premier race - the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m) run at Brisbane's Eagle Farm racetrack on Saturday.

A 5YO gelding by Queensland-bred sire Written Tycoon from the Hussonet (USA) mare Rezonet, Tyzone is raced by a Far North Queensland syndicate headed by Cairns Turf Club president Tom Hedley and began his race career with Atherton Tablelands trainer Roy Chillemi who prepared him for 10 wins before being sent south.

The $270,000 Stradbroke runner-up cheque takes Tyzone's total earnings past $862,000 with the vast majority earned from 16 wins and six placings. In fact, in the past six months from January 5 to June 8, Tyzone - now trained by Gold Coast-based Toby Edmonds - has amassed more than $473,000 with prizemoney earned at all six starts. Five have been at the elite black type level with wins at Group 3 (BRC Sprint) and Listed level (Gold Coast Goldmarket) and second in the Group 1 Stradbroke.

Godolphin managing director Vin Cox, jockey Kerrin McEvoy and trainer James Cummings celebrate their horse Trekking's victory in the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

Godolphin managing director Vin Cox, jockey Kerrin McEvoy and trainer James Cummings celebrate their horse Trekking's victory in the Stradbroke Handicap at Eagle Farm on Saturday. (AAP Image/Glenn Hunt)

Godolophin book-ends major carnival success

GODOLPHIN'S Australian operation has book-ended Queensland's major race days with wins by Exhilarates in the Magic Millions 2YO Classic at the Gold Coast in January and Trekking in the Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap last Saturday.

Godolphin's head Australian trainer James Cummings decided to target the winter with a strong team after Exhilarates won the Magic Millions 2YO Classic in January.

Racing and Sports webnews reports Cummings sent foreman Nacim Dilmi to Brisbane in early May with a team he believed would be suited in Brisbane. It paid off as Godolphin has won six stakes races this winter - Stradbroke (Trekking), Silk Stocking (Demerara), Chief DeBeers (Isaurian), Grinders Coffee Stakes (Savatiano), Lightning (Plague Stone) and Helen Coughlan Stakes (Multaja). Throw in a Group 1 second by Osborne Bulls in the Doomben 10,000 and a third for Trekking in the Group 1 Kingsford Smith Cup and it has been a $2 million winter.

Trekking's win was the Australian operation's 200th for the season and lifted it to a tick under $29 million prize money. It was also Godolphin's eighth Group One win for the season, seven for Cummings and one for Anthony Freedman, putting it in second place behind Chris Waller (17) on the Australian list.

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