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Racing unites to raise funds for drought relief

A ‘Sunday Fun Day’ organised by Brisbane racing participants Desleigh Forster and Emma Smith is expected to raise $40,000 for the Queensland drought effort.  

The charity event attracted about 250 racing participants and supporters, with trivia, raffles and a ‘celebrity slave for a day’ auction to raise money for Drought Angels – which assists families affected by natural disasters across Australia.   

Sky Racing presenter Bernadette Cooper was ‘bought’ for $2200, while Brisbane’s leading trainer Tony Gollan was the sale topper at $4500.

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When asked by auctioneer Scott Steele whether he had bought himself, Gollan replied: “I can’t disclose that”.

Other ‘slaves’ to go under the hammer included BRC General Manager of Racing Matt Rudolph, Racing Manager Bart Sinclair and Chairman Neville Bell.  

A host of racing and non-racing businesses also donate prizes to be auctioned on the day, including stud stays, a golf package and framed Winx memorabilia.  

The function came ahead of the first televised Birdsville Cup Carnival, which has been granted full TAB status this year.

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Racing Queensland earlier this month agreed to donate 50% of the wagering revenue collected on the meeting to the Queensland Country Women’s Assocation’s Drought Appeal.

Former Desleigh Forster runner Zendaye, now trained by her father Henry, will make the 964km journey to Birdsville from Ilfracombe.

Forster has also accepted with Battle of the Bush Final runner-up Bush Caviar in the Open Handicap (1200m) on Friday.  

The 19-time winner heads to Birdsville following a win at the famous Betoota races last weekend.