Surprise development with Queensland winter carnival poised for three-week extension

Toowoomba Cup winner Pornichet at Clifford Park in early May this year. Picture: David Martinelli

 

NEXT year’s Queensland winter carnival is set to be extended from nine to 12 weeks despite the state’s showcase racing event being shortened dramatically this year to make it more appealing.

Racing Queensland completed a draft schedule for the 2016 Queensland winter carnival last week, which will see the carnival run from April 16 to July 2 if the proposal is accepted.

Changes from this year’s carnival include Doomben Cup Day returning to a standalone race meeting on May 21 instead of forming part of the BTC Cup race day as it did this year.

The Tattersall’s Tiara meeting will return to Brisbane on June 25 after being run on the Gold Coast as a one-off this year because of Eagle Farm being out of action.

The Victory Stakes will also return to Brisbane on April 30 and will act as a momentum builder for the Brisbane Racing Club before the real Brisbane winter carnival starts on May 14.

Racing will return to Eagle Farm with a midweek meeting on May 11 under the proposal and the redeveloped track will then host its normal three winter carnival race days on June 4 (Queensland Oaks Day), June 11 (Stradbroke Day) and June 25 (Tattersall’s Tiara Day). The Stradbroke is still listed as a $2 million race on the proposal. In many ways, the schedule is similar to 2014 before the carnival underwent a shake up this year after constant criticism that it was too long.

Under the draft proposal, which is yet to be locked in by RQ and may still change, Toowoomba will kick off the 2016 Queensland winter carnival with the Listed Weetwood Handicap and $100,000 Toowoomba Cup on April 16.

The carnival will then head to the Sunshine Coast (April 23) for four Listed races, Doomben (April 30) for Victory Stakes Day and the Gold Coast (May 7) for the Prime Minister’s Cup meeting before the BRC host five-straight feature meetings in Brisbane from May 14-June 11.

The carnival will then head to Ipswich for Cup day on June 18 and then back to Eagle Farm for the Tattersall’s Racing Club feature race day on June 25 before ending at the Sunshine Coast with Caloundra Cup Day on July 2.

The proposal is likely to suit the BRC and the Gold Coast Turf Club, which prefer the early May timeslot for their feature race day rather than late April as it was this year.

Trainer Gai Waterhouse was a huge hit when she attended Toowoomba Cup Day this year. Picture: David Martinelli

 

PROPOSED 2016 QUEENSLAND WINTER CARNIVAL

Toowoomba, April 16

Listed Weetwood Handicap (1200m), $100,000 Toowoomba Cup (2150m), $75,000 Toowoomba Guineas (1625m).

 

Sunshine Coast, April 23

Four $100,000 stakes races (Ascot Handicap, Mick Dittman Plate, Princess Stakes, Tails Stakes) plus $100,000 two-year-old set weights race.

 

Doomben, April 30

Group 2 Victory Stakes (1200m) plus three other feature races (Bribie Handicap, Gunsynd Classic, Dalrello Stakes).

 

Gold Coast, May 7

Group 2 Hollindale Stakes (1800m) plus five other feature races (Prime Minister’s Cup, Gold Coast Guineas, Gold Coast Bracelet, Ken Russell Memorial Classic, Silk Stocking).

 

Eagle Farm, May 11 (Wednesday)

Scheduled date for return to racing at Eagle Farm. Mid-week meeting.

 

Doomben, May 14

Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m). Four other feature races (Champagne Classic, Rough Habit Plate, Member’s Handicap, Chairman’s Handicap).

 

Doomben, May 21

Group 1 Doomben Cup (2000m) plus six other feature races (The Roses, BRC Sprint, Chief De Beers Handicap, Fred Best Classic, Hampden Stakes, Bright Shadow Quality).

Boban wins the Group 1 Doomben 10,000 for jockey Glyn Schofield. Picture: Jono Searle

 

Doomben, May 28

Group 1 Doomben 10,000 (1350m) plus six other feature races (Daybreak Lover, Grand Prix Stakes, Lord Mayor’s Cup, Premier’s Cup, BRC Sires’ Produce Stakes, Glenlogan Park Stakes).

 

Eagle Farm, June 4

Group 1 Queensland Oaks (2400m) plus seven other feature races (Eagle Farm Cup, QTC Cup, Lightning Handicap, Queensland Day Stakes, Spear Chief Handicap, The Phoenix, Juanmo Stakes).

Srikandi takes out Queensland’s premier race, the Stradbroke Handicap. Picture: Jono Searle

 

Eagle Farm, June 11

Group 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), Group 1 Queensland Derby (2400m), Group 1 JJ Atkins (1600m) plus six other feature races (Queensland Guineas, Brisbane Cup, Dane Ripper Stakes, Strawberry Road Handicap, Lancaster Stakes, Hinkler Handicap)

 

Ipswich, June 18

Listed Ipswich Cup (2150m) and Listed Eye Liner Stakes (1350m), Listed Gai Waterhouse Classic (1350m).

 

Eagle Farm, June 25

Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) plus four other feature races (Healy Stakes, Tattersall’s Cup, Tattersall’s Racing Club Quality, Mercedes Benz Stakes).

 

Sunshine Coast, July 2

Listed Glasshouse Handicap (1400m), Listed Caloundra Cup (2400m) and Group 3 Sunshine Coast Guineas (1600m).

 

Story courtesy Brad Davidson Gold Coast Bulletin.

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