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Major event returns to Queensland for second year

Racing Queensland is pleased to announce that with the support of major sponsors Garrard’s Horse and Hound, the 2018 Australasian Young Drivers Championship (AYDC) will again be staged in South East Queensland from November 22-24, 2018.

The AYDC is a series contested by nominated representatives aged 25-and-under* from Australia and New Zealand across 10 heats over three race meetings, with drivers scoring points based on their result in each race.  

The 2018 series will comprise:

  • Albion Park Harness Racing Club (22 Nov): 4 Heats
  • Redcliffe Harness Racing Club (23 Nov): 4 Heats
  • Albion Park Harness Racing Club Metro (24 Nov): 2 Heats

Racing Queensland Harness Development and Strategy Manager David Brick said the series was an ideal opportunity for young drivers to build their profile through social and traditional media coverage, while maintaining a strong book of contacts with racing participants from across Australia.

“Following on from a successful event in Brisbane in 2017, Racing Queensland looks forward to again showcasing the premier up-and-coming drivers from across Australia and New Zealand this summer carnival,” he said.

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“This series will further promote harness racing in Queensland with an emphasis on increased national exposure and further supporting a strategy to promote drivers as heroes of our sport.”

Out to defend her title will be 2017 champion, Queensland’s own Narissa McMullen, who will be joined by 2017-18 Queensland State Drivers Premier Nathan Dawson.

McMullen became the first Queenslander to win the title since Chris Petroff saluted in 2000. She also continued a family tradition in the footsteps of her father John McMullen, who won the 1986 Inter Dominion Junior Drivers Championship.

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Dawson finished the 2017-18 season with career-best statistics of 208 winners from 1199 drives for more than $1 million in stakes.

Garrard’s Horse and Hound, which supplies specialty products to the Equine and Canine industries in Australia and New Zealand has once again thrown its support behind the series through major sponsorship.

Garrard’s will also provide a Rio Mark 2 sulky to the winning driver and driver’s pants for each participant in the series.

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“Garrard’s Horse and Hound has been a major supporter of Queensland racing across all codes for many years and we thank them again for helping to promote the future stars of our sport right here in Queensland,” Mr Brick said.

The young drivers will arrive in Brisbane on Wednesday (21 November) for a welcome function at the Breakfast Creek Hotel before competition starts on Thursday.

They will also have time to take part in a community immersion program where they help raise funds and promote a designated charity.

*Age criteria is a licensed driver who has not attained the age of 25 years at the date of commencement of the Australian or New Zealand racing season.