By Andrew Adermann
Cult hero, The Candy Man, will set his sights on Queensland’s newest feature race following today’s launch of the EVA Air Q22.
Staged at Eagle Farm on TAB Stradbroke Day, the Group 2 weight-for-age race worth $1.5 million will be run over 2200m and has already attracted nation-wide attention.
The Candy Man’s trainer, Barry Baldwin, was in attendance for the launch, where he outlined his plans for the increasingly popular grey.
“He’ll start in two weeks’ time at Eagle Farm over 2200m, and if he wins that we will push him through to Magic Millions day,” Baldwin said.
“From there, we will look at the Doncaster and back here for the Q22 at the top of the list.
“He’ll be set for it. I’m not saying he’s the best horse in Queensland but gee, he’s the most popular.”
Speaking on the race itself, Baldwin was pleased to see a race of this calibre come to fruition.
“It’s great news – it’s one of the things we as trainers dream about and we’ve been waiting years for this kind of race,” he said.
The race will compliment the $1 million J.J. Atkins Plate for two-year-olds, and the carnival’s signature event, the $1.5 million Stradbroke Handicap.
"Having re-imagined our Summer Carnival, we look forward to doing likewise in the coming months with the addition of the EVA Air Q22 and our further programming announcements," Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said.
"The introduction of a $1.5 million weight-for-age race on TAB Stradbroke Day is not just an exciting addition to the Queensland racing calendar - but the nation as a whole – and will ensure a fitting finale on our own shores.”
Trainer Danny O’Brien unveiled the race via video link, stating that fellow Queenslander and 2019 Melbourne Cup winner Vow and Declare will also target the EVA Air Q22.
“We’re not going to reinvent the wheel,” O’Brien said.
“He’ll be up in Brisbane. He’ll be able to run in the Q22.
“A $1.5 million and 2200m race is perfect for him.”
Click here for full details on the launch of the EVA Air Q22.
Racing Queensland webnews December 17