Racing Queensland believes it can build on the popularity of the recent “Battle of the Bush” series with a new race scheme for country trained horses.
The inaugural Battle of the Bush Series featured 16 sprinters from the country in a final on Tattersall’s Tiara Day at Doomben last month and was regarded as a major success.
RQ has announced a “Country Cups Challenge” which will have a $70,000 metropolitan final on Group Three George Moore Stakes Day at Doomben on December 1.
The final will be run over 1600 metres as a Quality Handicap with qualifiers having run in at least three non-TAB races in the 12 months immediately preceding acceptance date for that qualifying race.
There will be a series of heats run in 16 Cup races across Queensland between September and November.
RQ general manager of racing (thoroughbreds) Simon Stout said the new series was a welcome addition to the new-look Queensland summer racing carnival.
“This new series provides Racing Queensland with another opportunity to showcase our regional participants to a nationwide audience,” he said.
“While the Battle of the Bush put the spotlight on some of the bush’s most hardened sprinters, the Country Cups Challenge will act as a grand final for Queensland’s country Cups circuit.”
Stout said RQ recognised the significant contribution country racing had to make to the wider industry and state economy.
“Country racing generates 47 per cent of the $1.2 billion in economic value the Queensland industry generates each year,” he said.