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Significant prize money increase for GC features

Racing Queensland (RQ) has announced two of the Gold Coast’s most prestigious races will receive significant prize money boosts from 2019.

The Aquis QTIS 2YO Jewel and the G2 TAB Hollindale Stakes, will have stakes increased to half-a-million dollars ($500,000) thanks to significant cash injections from Aquis Farm and TAB.

The Aquis QTIS 3YO Jewel will also receive a significant boost to $200,000.

The increase for Aquis QTIS Jewel Race day (March 16) will see QTIS-eligible horses competing for $1.5 million in stakes and, for the first time, QTIS double stakes for eligible winners of supporting races.

RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said the increases for Jewel Day would provide even more incentive for buyers at the 2019 Gold Coast March Yearling Sale, featuring lots by Queensland boom sires Spirit Of Boom and Better Than Ready. 

“It is hoped these significant increases will provide numerous benefits for Queensland breeders and owners, while continuing to generate more interest in the sale, which saw record results in 2018,” Mr Parnell said.

Aquis Farm deputy CEO Shane McGrath said: “We are thrilled to play a part in the QTIS 2YO Jewel as it aligns beautifully with our Breeding strategies. We are pleased to join forces with Racing Queensland and QTIS on this great initiative.”

“This race is destined to become a significant fixture on Australia’s 2YO racing calendar and there’s no better place to hold the Aquis QTIS 2YO Jewel than at Aquis Park – the home of the Gold Coast Turf Club.”

Gold Coast Turf Club CEO Steve Lines said: “We are delighted to hold the QTIS Jewel race program along with the Gold Coast Stakes and time-honoured Goldmarket on the same race day. Aquis investing as naming rights partner continues to forge this wonderful partnership with the Club and progresses our ongoing Thoroughbred Racing masterplan.”

Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland President, Basil Nolan said: “It’s marvellous that the QTIS Jewel continues to attract such great support from Aquis, the Gold Coast Turf Club and Racing Queensland.”

“The QTIS Jewel race day is particularly important, as it is aligned to the Magic Millions March QTIS sale, a sale which is a key factor to the success of the Queensland breeding industry.”

The G2 TAB Hollindale Stakes (May 4), a traditional lead-in to the G1 Doomben Cup, will also increase from $358,000 to $500,000 in a move aimed at attracting some Australia’s top weight-for-age performers to the Gold Coast.  

The Hollindale has been won by quality performers such as Might And Power (1998), Shogun Lodge (2000-01), Scenic Shot (2008) and Streama (2014).

“The Hollindale is a proven form-line for horses targeting the Doomben Cup, so the increase aims to make it an even more attractive lead-up,” Mr Parnell said. 

“Ultimately, the aim is to work alongside the Gold Coast Turf Club to ensure the Hollindale receives the highest rating possible with a view to achieving Group 1 status in future years.”