QUEENSLAND Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe has placed drought relief at number one, launching the '1 for the Bush' fundraising campaign to be held at racetracks across the state this weekend.
Under the '1 for the Bush' initiative, Racing Queensland will donate $1000 every time the number one runner is victorious across the state's three racing codes, with the funds to be directed to the Queensland Country Women's Association's Public Rural Crisis Fund.
Across Thoroughbred, greyhound and harness racing, more than 120 races are scheduled to be held on Saturday, November 30 and Sunday, December 1 - this includes 68 TAB and non-TAB thoroughbred races, 34 greyhound races and 21 harness races.
In addition, the top-three place getters from the TAB Country Cups Challenge Final, which will be staged at Doomben, will also be awarded $5000, $3000 and $2000 to donate to a rural charity of their choice.
Mr Hinchliffe said the devastating effects of drought continued to affect communities across Queensland. "In many of these regional, rural and remote communities, racing plays an important role in their social fabric. As part of the fundraising campaign, we will be generating much needed proceeds for the QCWA's Public Rural Crisis Fund, which continues to play a critical role supporting communities and families in need," he said.
Race meetings will be held on Saturday at the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Kilcoy, Barcaldine, Innisfail, Goondiwindi, Thangool and Mount Isa. Sunday race meetings will be held the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Redcliffe, Capalaba and Nanango.
Racing Queensland chairman Steve Wilson said racing had the power to unite communities and engender hope, but with the lingering drought conditions affecting most of the state, help was needed.
"I'd encourage as many people as possible, including betting operators, to follow Racing Queensland's lead and support this important initiative. As an industry, we all have a role to play," he said.
Cowboy doubles up
MILES-BASED galloper Fab's Cowboy has the rare distinction of being top weight for the first two series finals of Racing Queensland's Country Cups Challenge and Battle of the Bush.
ANZ Bloodstock website reports that 8YO gelding Fab's Cowboy recently won his 35th race, eclipsing the modern day record for wins in Queensland held by 1980s country star Sleep Walk (Exiled), with 34. Fab's Cowboy has a 45 per cent win strike-rate and has amassed $272,815 prize money, but has never won in Brisbane, with his best effort a second in the corresponding final behind Baker Boy (Statue Of Liberty) at Doomben last year.
The veteran galloper is one of three horses prepared by Bevan Johnson that have made the final which comprises 15 starters plus five emergencies. Fab's Cowboy and Money Ad are in the final 15 while Artie's Shore is second emergency.
They'll be competing for increased prize money which has jumped 30,000 from $75,000 to $105,000 for the metropolitan final of its second 'Country Cups Challenge' to be held on one of the Summer Racing Carnival's most popular days - the Group 3 George Moore Stakes Day at Doomben on November 30.
Last year's Country Cups final carried $75,000 with the winner Baker Boy receiving $42,700. This year's $105,000 total prize pool - up 40pc - comprises: 1st $61,000; 2nd $20,500; 3rd $10,500; 4th $5000; 5th $3000; 6th to 10th $1000.
Similar to this year's Battle of the Bush final, a QTIS Bonus of $30,000 will be paid to the winner if it is a QTIS registered horse, irrespective of the horse's age. In the case of a dead-heat the bonus will be divided.
With the inaugural series held last year, the exciting challenge complements the Battle of the Bush Series - also launched last year - which again brought sprinters from the country to the city on Sky Racing Tattersall's Tiara Day held on June 22.
Tambo's a real mate for Dalan
HANDS up all those outside North Queensland (myself included) who thought that last Saturday's Listed Recognition Stakes (1350m) winner at Doomben Tambo's Mate had links with central western Queensland town Tambo.
Instead, the 4YO gelding was bred and raised by Townsville-based Dalan Tamblyn and for eight months back in 2017 the then un-named yearling/2YO and Dalan were virtually inseparable as they both recovered from serious leg injuries - hence the name Tambo's Mate.
The 40th stakes winner for Mossman from the winning Canny Lad mare Passagemaker, Tambo's Mate was catalogued for the Magic Million March QTIS yearling sale but was withdrawn when x-rays showed he had a fractured sesamoid. This led to Dalan moving the horse from Glenlogan Park, Innisplain, where he was being prepared for sale to his 5.2ha 'backyard' near Townsville to recuperate.
About the same time, Dalan suffered his own serious knee injury, plus life threatening blood clots, when sparring with his personal trainer. Consequently, Dalan spent the next eight months on crutches and walking frame with Tambo's Mate for company. "While I prepared his feed, which included bone strengthening supplements, I had to feed him on the other side of the fence in case he bumped my leg," Dalan said.
While Tambo's Mate's black type win was exciting, it doesn't match the emotion Dalan experienced over a week in January 2015. First off, his wife Jodi gave birth to their first child Ruby late Monday night, January 5. Then, five days later on Saturday night, January 10, he sold his first yearling - a colt by Northern Meteor from To Please A Lady (dam of Lightfeet Lady and a half-sister to the dam of Victoria Derby winner Rebel Raider) - which sold at Magic Millions Gold Coast for $550,000 to James Harron Bloodstock/Snowden.
Named Popigai, the colt was unplaced at seven starts from Brisbane to Cairns. Now retired, he has the distinction of being the only horse now living in Dalan's backyard which he shares with two other playmates - Dalan's daughters Ruby (4) and Xanthi (3).
Third generation bookmaker
A THIRD generation bookmaker on the north Queensland racing circuit, Dalan Tamblyn began racing horses in 1995 before expanding to breeding. Among the first horses he bred were multiple winners Lightfeet Lady (11 wins) and Hatzis (10 wins) - both trained by then Mackay-based Stuart Kendrick.
"So when Stuart moved to the Sunshine Coast, I was happy to support him. Hatzis won three races at Caloundra before he was transferred to Rockhampton trainer Lyle Wright while Lightfeet Lady won four races in Brisbane and Caloundra," he said.
Consequently, when Tambo's Mate was over his leg issues, Dalan sent him to Stuart Kendrick and his 'mate' reciprocated with a debut 3YO maiden win at Caloundra in February this year. Since then there have been a further six wins and two placings from 12 starts which have resulted in prize money of $334,400 including $41,500 in QTIS bonuses. In addition to his Listed Recognition win Tambo's Mate 'knocked on the black-type door' when he was runner-up to Outback Barbie in the Listed Keith Noud Quality at Doomben at his previous start
A $19,000 private purchase, Tambo's Mate's dam Passagemaker was bought as a racing/breeding proposition after being trained by leading Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan. Having subsequently won a race at Mackay, she was retired for breeding purposes. Since then she's had four foals to race for three winners - her best being Tambo's Mate - while her yearling foal by Choisir sold for $125,000 to China Hose Club/Newgate at this year's Inglis Classic yearling sale just eight days after Tambo's Mate won on debut.
RQ introduces Future Champions Series
A NEW-LOOK TAB Queensland Racing Carnival will be staged in 2020 with the introduction of the $2.25 million Future Champions Series.
Staged at the Brisbane Racing Club, the Future Champions Series for 2YOs will include:
- $250,000 Group 2 Champagne Stakes (1200m), Doomben, May 9;
- $1 million Group 2 Sires' Produce Stakes (1400m), Eagle Farm, May 23; and
- $1 million Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m), Eagle Farm, June 6.
This will be the first time that the established 2YO races have been joined as a series that recognises the history of Brisbane's juvenile features. Over the years, the honour roll across the three races includes The Autumn Sun, Zoustar, Brazen Beau, Press Statement, Sizzling, Darci Brahma, Show A Heart, Mossman, Mahogany, Winning Rupert and Melody Belle. In the process, the Future Champions Series will provide more than $1 million in prize money increases including $600,000 for the Sires' Stakes and $400,000 for the JJ Atkins.
"The TAB Queensland Carnival has long been a springboard to stardom for 2YOs. Having turbo-charged our Summer Carnival, we're looking forward to enhancing Winter with record prize money for our late season 2YOs. With the new QTISx bonuses on top of the $1 million Sires' Produce and the $1 million JJ Atkins, there will be more than $3 million up for grabs for juveniles next year," Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said.
Nominations for the Future Champions Series close on December 6 followed by first acceptances on January 21 and second acceptances on April 28. All nominations will be automatically entered for the three races that comprise the series.