For the first time in its 136-year history all 13 races will be broadcast live on Sky Racing, with wagering partner UBET to offer fixed and tote odds on all races.
Racing Queensland General Manager Racing (Thoroughbred) Simon Stout said the Birdsville Carnival lived up to the moniker of ‘The Melbourne Cup of the Outback’.
“Australians love their horse racing and are known for lending a helping hand to their mates during times of need. This campaign aims to combine both in support of our friends and colleagues in rural and regional Queensland that desperately need our support,” he said.
“I would like to thank the Queensland participants and clubs across all three codes who have supported this initiative. Clubs across Queensland this week have agreed to dedicate races to the #BetOnBirdsville campaign, with some participants forgoing a portion of their riding, driving or winning fees in aid of the cause.”
Up to 7000 people are expected to travel to Birdsville, which is located almost 1600km West of Brisbane. Many of these will stop and shop in towns that have been hard-hit by the devastation of drought.
“The Birdsville Carnival is another example of how important country racing is to the state economy. Research shows our sport contributes $1.2 billion in economic value each year, with 47% of that value realised in regional parts of Queensland,” Mr Stout said.
Traditionally a non-TAB meeting, the 2018 Birdsville Races will remain funded by the Country Racing Support Package announced by the Queensland Government in January. The Palaszczuk Government has contributed $32.4 million through the drought Assistance Package and $4.9 million for rural specific mental health programs. It also kick-started the Queensland Drought Appeal with a $100,000 contribution in August.
“I would again like to thank Sky Racing, UBET, Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe and the Queensland Government for their support of this important event for our state,” he said.
For more information please contact Corporate Affairs Coordinator Alex Nolan on 0408 579 285, or firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Racing Queensland encourages responsible gambling. Please contact the Gambling hotline on 1800 858 858.