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New Battle of the Bush boosts prizes for country participants

28 January 2018

Queensland Hall of Fame trainer Peter Moody has thrown his support behind a new Racing Queensland series, which will give country participants the chance to share in the excitement of a Group 1 Raceday.

The inaugural Battle of the Bush Series will bring 16 qualifiers from eight country regions to Doomben for a rich $100,000 final on Tattersall’s Tiara Day on June 23, 2018.

Designed specifically for horses competing in non-TAB events, the final will focus the national spotlight on our leading country participants during the 2018 Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.

Mr Moody began his training career in Western Queensland before going on to conquer the racing world in Australia and abroad with horses such as Black Caviar, Typhoon Tracy and Dissident.

“Racing is a way of life for people living in country and regional Queensland, and I welcome any new idea which aim to shine the spotlight on the hard-working participants that exist within these regions,” Mr Moody said.

“I look forward to watching how the first series unfolds and how it continues to develop in the years to come.”   

The series will give country participants the chance to share in more than $260,000 in prize money, with sixteen qualifiers worth $10,000 each scheduled across the eight Queensland country racing regions. The qualifiers kick off at Cunnamulla on Anzac Day, 2018, and wrap up in Barcaldine on June 9, 2018.

Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe threw his support behind the series. “This big purse is sure to get hearts racing in country Queensland, while showcasing the talent of our bush gallopers. I want to encourage owners and trainers throughout country Queensland to get involved in this brilliant Battle of the Bush series.”

Racing Queensland Chief Executive Officer Dr Eliot Forbes said the Battle of the Bush would play an important role in Racing Queensland’s new Country and Provincial Racing Series’ announced in 2017. 

“The announcement complements a number of exciting announcements in the past year supporting country and regional areas, including the $6 million country and regional capital works program that is currently underway.”

In 2017 Racing Queensland commissioned an economic impact study, which found that racing contributed more than $1.2 billion to the state economy, with more than 47% of that value realised in regional parts of the state.

In an effort to alleviate the cost of travelling to Brisbane for the final, Racing Queensland will offer qualifiers float subsidies of up to $2000. 

“Racing Queensland will make every effort to assist qualifiers make the journey to Brisbane to take part in this celebration of Queensland thoroughbred racing,” Dr Forbes said.

To be eligible to compete in a qualifier, a horse must have started in a minimum of five non-TAB races in Queensland in the 12 months immediately preceding the acceptance date for that qualifier specifically.