$1.6 million UBET Summer Crowns return for Queensland Summer Racing Carnival
Racing Queensland (RQ) and UBET have confirmed that the highly successful Queensland Summer Crowns Series will return for the 2017/18 Queensland Summer Racing Carnival.
The 2017/18 Queensland Summer Racing Carnival features more than $15 million in prizemoney with $1.6m in bonus stakes, once again on offer as UBET Summer Crowns.
This season there will be a new-look format following the success of the inaugural series, which attracted some of Australia’s leading trainers and jockeys to Queensland.
This season the bonuses for sprinters, 2YO and 3YO horses can be achieved by winning any three out of the five Summer Crowns legs within one category held over three weekends at Doomben and finishing on Magic Millions Day at the Gold Coast on 13 January 2018.
Sprinters will vie for a $400,000 bonus, while the 2YO and 3YO horses will race for $500,000 bonuses respectively.
One of the new features is the Summer Crown Points series with a bonus of $50,000 each for the leading trainer and jockey at the completion of the 15 Summer Crown races over four race meetings.
The top-five runners in each of the 15 Summer Crown races will be awarded points. The individual with the most points accumulated across the races will win the Summer Crown title and bonus.
RQ chief executive officer Dr Eliot Forbes said he hoped the bonuses on offer during the Queensland Summer Racing Carnival would again attract some of racing’s leading names.
“The structure of the Queensland Summer Crowns provides the optimum lead-in platform for horses being set for the $10 million Magic Millions race day. It also aims to ensure national focus remains on Queensland racing over the summer period,” Dr Forbes said.
“RQ hopes to build on the success of the 2016/17 Queensland Summer Racing Carnival, which achieved a 7.1% increase on total turnover compared to the same time a year earlier, and an increase of 22.4% in average turnover per-race.”
The $100,000 Villiers Stakes / Bernborough Handicap bonus returns for any horse that can complete the winning double, with a $50,000 bonus also on offer for any horse that runs 2nd, 3rd, or 4th in the Villiers, then travels north to win the Bernborough Handicap on 30 December 2017.
RQ increased the Bernborough Handicap’s prizemoney to $300,000 earlier this year in line with a sustainable prizemoney increase of $2.28 million for the thoroughbred code. The race now carries the equal second-highest purse for a Listed race in the Australian Black-Type Calendar, and $50,000 more prizemoney than the Villiers.
“This is set to provide added incentive for trainers to set their Group-quality horses for a Queensland Summer preparation, with the chance to win more than $430,000 in stakes and bonuses by completing the double,” Dr Forbes said.
RQ wagering partner UBET was the first to throw its support behind the revamped Summer Carnival in 2016/17, and has again stepped in to ensure the $1.6 million in bonuses remained on offer.
Chief Operating Officer Brendan Parnell said UBET was proud to support the concept into its second year and looked forward to two action-packed months of racing.
“The Summer Crowns generated plenty of interest last year and as a proud partner of the Queensland racing industry, UBET is happy to be supporting the Crowns again,” he said.
“From a wagering perspective, having a strong Summer Carnival in our home jurisdiction is a great boost and we anticipate the second year of the Crowns and the revised program will have punters across the country looking to Queensland.”
The Carnival commences on Saturday, 18 November 2017, with the Listed Keith Noud Handicap over 1200m at Doomben, and concludes with the Listed Sunshine Coast Cup at Corbould Park on Saturday, 27 January 2018.