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Qld chasing stars for summer carnival

Queensland racing officials will chase a headline act to boost the $15 million summer racing carnival.

There will also be a major push to attract some of Sydney’s top 1600m-horses.

Racing Queensland has also announced there will be a new look to the $1.6 million bonus payments.

Last year three-year-old Winning Rupert and sprinter Most Important both won $500,000 bonus payments after winning three legs of their series.

Officials will make approaches to several top southern trainers to see if they can attract some of the big names who may have missed the spring.

There will be a $500,000 bonus for a horse that can win three of the two or three-year-old selected races at three Doomben meetings and the Magic Millions day on January 13.

The older sprinters will be eligible for a $400,000 bonus for winning three of the five legs of the sprint series.

A $50,000 bonus will be on offer for the top trainer and jockey judged on four days of the carnival.

As an incentive to southern trainers with 1600m-horses, a $100,000 bonus will be offered for any horse that can win the ATC Villiers Stakes-BRC Bernborough Handicap double.

There will be a $50,000 bonus for any horse that runs second, third, or fourth in the Villiers and wins the Bernborough.

Prize money for the Bernborough will be $300,000 which makes it the second richest Listed race in Australia and the second richest 1600m-race in Queensland.

Racing Queensland chief executive Eliot Forbes said he believed the bonus system and prize money would keep the focus on the Queensland summer carnival.

“We are confident we can build on the excellent work from last year when we had a 7.1 per cent increase in betting turnover,” Forbes said.

The first day of the carnival features the Keith Noud Stakes at Doomben on November 18 and the last day is the Sunshine Coast Cup meeting on January 27.

A revamped State of Origin jockeys series is expected to be announced shortly.

It is expected to have two jockeys from each of seven areas riding in races over two days in December.

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