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Major prize money increase for Brisbane Cup as RQ unveils new blockbuster race night

The Group 1 Sky Racing Brisbane Cup is set to become the showpiece of the TAB Queensland Winter Greyhound Racing Carnival following a $225,000 prize money increase to take it to iconic status.

In a major overhaul, Racing Queensland has confirmed the Brisbane Cup (520m) will be relocated from its traditional summer timeslot, and with prize money increasing to $375,000 including $250,000 to the winner, is poised to become one of the nation’s richest races.

The Million Dollar Chase and the Melbourne Cup are the only events in Australia to offer more to the winner.

In a blockbuster announcement, RQ will ensure the Brisbane Cup Final is the centerpiece of a $500,000 ‘Super Night’ on Thursday, July 4 which will include a feature race from each of the five distances contested at Albion Park (331m, 395m, 520m, 600m, 710m).

Albion Park

SKY RACING Brisbane Cup Bne 520 (G1) F 520m

To accommodate the initiatives, the Group 1 Winter Cup (520m) will be renamed and moved to the summer carnival with further announcements on the horizon.

“It is our absolute intention to position Queensland as the place to race throughout the TAB Winter Racing Carnival,” RQ Chief Operating Officer Adam Wallish said.

“We boast similar ambitions for our summer carnival, and with the Brisbane Cup now amongst the nation’s richest races, we anticipate that excitement will continue to grow ahead of next month’s heats.”

In the lead-up to the Brisbane Cup Final, heats will be run at Albion Park on June 27 for the top-64 nominated greyhounds.

Having seen Hasten Slowly prevail in December, Tabcorp Executive General Manager – Media and International, Darren Pearce said he was confident the huge uplift in prize money would ensure the winter timeslot would be well supported by punters and participants alike.

“The Sky Racing Brisbane Cup has always been a highly coveted race,” Mr Pearce said.

“With record prize money now on offer, it is one of the must-see races on the national greyhound calendar.”

With $500,000 up for grabs on ‘Super Night’, there will be six additional events that are each worth $15k. 

Three of those events will be conducted as heats/finals, with a week’s worth of feature racing scheduled at Albion Park in the lead-up to ‘Super Night.’ They are:

  • Open Final 331m – Heats: Monday, July 1;
  • Open Final 395m – Heats: Sunday, June 30;
  • Novice Final 520m – Heats: Wednesday, June 26;
  • Open 520m – Top-8 nominated;
  • Open 600m – Top-8 nominated; and
  • Chairman’s Open 710m – Top-8 nominated.

Brisbane Greyhound Racing Club CEO Luke Gatehouse said the scheduling of ‘Super Night’ would ensure the fixture was a celebration of greyhound racing in Queensland with the highlight being the Group 1 Final.

“The eyes of the nation are set to be on Albion Park this winter,” Mr Gatehouse said.

“While the $375,000 Brisbane Cup is the marquee event, the scheduling on Super Night is just as exciting and is something the entire industry can look forward to.”

In total, the Winter Racing Carnival will feature two Group 1’s, two Group 2’s and five Group 3’s with the Flying Amy and the Gold Cup to also receive significant prize money increases.

The Flying Amy rises to $60,000 from $37,500, while the Gold Cup lifts to $150,000 from $110,000.

Following the success of the inaugural Origin Greyhound Series, the second edition will be held at Albion Park on June 6, with Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe eagerly anticipating what lies ahead.

“The TAB Queensland Winter Greyhound Racing Carnival promises to be a must-see affair,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“With record prize money – and a Group 1 blockbuster courtesy of the Brisbane Cup – I look forward to witnessing the very best in greyhound racing this state has to offer.”