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New Springboard Series launched for 3YO Trotters

By Duane Ranger

One of Queensland’s best breeders and conditioners of young trotters is delighted with Racing Queensland’s introduction of the 3YO Springboard Trotting Series.

However, Gavin Crone, who trains his team with his wife Kay at Ebenezer, warned breeders and trainers to maximise the Series rather than take a wild shot in the dark.

“This is the start that trotting needs, but when dealing with young trotters, people need to work out the breed and give themselves a better chance of winning bigger races - it can make getting the bonus up here easier,” Crone said.

Racing Queensland’s Harness Racing Development Strategy Manager, David Brick, said the 3YO Trotters Springboard Series and QBRED feature would complement the 2YO series, which commenced last year.

The dates for this year’s 2YO Springboard Series at Albion Park are:

  • Tuesday June 23: Heat 1;
  • Tuesday July 7: Heat 2;
  • Tuesday July 21: Heat 3;
  • Friday July 31: Grand Final;
  • Friday August 14: QBRED Final.

The dates for this year’s 3YO Springboard Series at Albion Park are:

  • Friday June 5: Heat 1;
  • Friday June 19: Heat 2;
  • Friday July 3: Heat 3;
  • Friday July 17: Heat 4;
  • Friday July 31: Final;
  • Friday August 14: QBRED Final.

“To be eligible for the Final, the horses must have accepted for at least two Heats,” Brick said.

Last year’s inaugural Stallions Australasia Springboard Series 2YO Trotters Final was won by the Crone trained and co-owned Indefensible, a gelding by Armbro Variable from Mental Power.

“We are not sure at this stage if he will be back for the three-year-old race, because he has had to have six months off with a leg injury, and has only just come back into work,” Crone said.

“I’ve got his Sebastian K half-brother named Defensive Guy, and he’s coming along slowly.

“Here’s hoping he will be ready, but I’d say he’s six weeks away if everything goes to play, but then again they are horses so who knows!”

Brick said the Springboard Series was following on from a number of recent initiatives to support breeding and racing opportunities in the Sunshine State.

“The Springboard Series was strategically developed to enhance the trotting gait in the Sunshine State and following on from the 2YO series, it provides further development and racing opportunities for juvenile trotters,” Brick said.

“While there are no eligibility restrictions other than age for either Springboard Series, a minimum of three starters are required for each heat, with those qualifying for the final required to have accepted in at least two heats.

“The Springboard Series forms part of RQ’s strategy to grow the trotting gait in Queensland.

“Following the success of QBRED For Life – the nation’s premier state-based incentive scheme – there’s never been a better time to breed and race trotters in Queensland.”

Other reasons to race and breed trotters in  Queensland include:

  • Expanding the definition of a QBRED trotting stallion to include those registered within Queensland for whom only frozen semen is available in Australia.
  • A $2000 first-win bonus paid upon any trotters first win in Queensland, providing the horse is trained by a Qld trainer.
  • Removing the age restrictions under the ‘QBRED For Life’ bonus structure that provides a $10,000 first win bonus and $7500 second win bonus for any QBRED trotters that win a race with a stake value higher than $4500.
  • The introduction of a monthly Trotters Cup thanks to Ultimate Tools.
  • The ‘Breed-a-trotter’ promotion in conjunction with Haras De Trotteurs at the 2018 Winter Racing Carnival.