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Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival takes centre stage

6 July 2022

The TAB Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival, featuring more than $3 million in prize money, officially commences at Rockhampton this Friday.

The highly anticipated Winter Carnival starts with a two-day extravaganza at Rockhampton Jockey Club, beginning July 8, and closes with the time-honoured Cairns Amateurs on September 9 and 10.

The racing action launches with the headlined $100,000 Rockhampton Newmarket Handicap on Friday, followed by the $150,000 Rockhampton Cup over 1600 metres and Magic Millions Capricorn Guineas (1500m) on Saturday.

In addition to lucrative prize money, the RJC recently announced it would offer more than $27,000 for the most successful trainers during its two-day carnival.

The trainer who accumulates the most points, awarded on placings, will pocket $20,000, while another $7,500 had been allocated for successful locally based trainers on the same points system.

The Winter Carnival will then shift to Mackay, where feature races will be staged over two weekends, beginning with the $75,000 Mackay Newmarket Handicap (1300m) on July 15.

The following meeting, on July 23, features the 2000-metre $150,000 Mackay Cup and the Magic Millions Whitsunday Guineas (1560m).

RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said the TAB Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival was the centerpiece of thoroughbred racing in Central and North Queensland.

“This Carnival has always attracted quality fields, which is a testament to the strength of the industry across Central and Northern Queensland, and the efforts of the clubs to provide an excellent day’s entertainment for both participants and patrons,” Mr Parnell said.

“The Carnival has proven time and time again to be a breeding ground for future Queensland champions, with the likes of The Harrovian and Paniagua having taken all before them in recent years.

“We look forward to another incredibly successful Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival and wish all involved the best of luck.”

The Winter Carnival continues north to Townsville with the mid-week Lightning Handicap (1000m) on August 4, and two feature events worth $150,000 each, on August 6 - the TAB Townsville Cup (2000m) and Cleveland Bay Handicap (1300m).

The penultimate and final meetings of the Carnival will both take place in Cairns, commencing with the Red Beret Hotel Cairns Cup Carnival, featuring the $150,000 Cairns Cup (2100m) and Magic Millions Daintree Guineas (1500m) on Saturday, August 27.

The Winter Carnival closes out with the $150,000 Cairns Amateur Cup (2100m) and the $75,000 Cairns Amateur Sprint on Saturday, September 10.

Click here for more information on the 2022 TAB Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.