Racing Queensland has finalised the new-look TAB Queensland Racing Carnival with reimagined two and three-year-old programs, the launch of new and exciting races and a raft of prize money increases.
Staged over 10 action-packed weeks from April to June, the $350,000 EVA Air Queensland Guineas will open the Carnival, offering a ballot-free exemption into the newly announced $1.5 million EVA Air Q22.
The Rough Habit and The Roses will enjoy prize money increases to $250,000 apiece, while the Group 1 Queensland Derby will be relocated to alongside the TAB Kingsford-Smith Cup.
These initiatives follow the earlier announcement of the $2.25 million Future Champions Series for two-year-olds, which has already attracted more than 1800 nominations, while the Carnival will now boast five races worth at least $1 million spread across five Saturdays of Group 1 racing.
“The three-year-old program has been significantly enhanced with the repositioning of the Guineas and the Derby, which will both offer win-and-you’re-in opportunities to the EVA Air Q22, as will the Treasury Brisbane Queensland Oaks,” Brisbane Racing Club CEO Tony Partridge said.
“The Group One Brisbane Racing Carnival is where future champions are made from Australia's highest prize money earners in Winx and Redzel, whose first Group 1 victories were at Doomben, to last year’s Melbourne Cup winner Vow And Declare who will return to Eagle Farm this year.
“The stars of our sport come to shine in Brisbane in May and June and we look forward to welcoming the best jockeys and trainers back for our biggest ever carnival this year with five consecutive Saturdays of Group 1 racing.”
The fillies and mares’ program now includes a distance change at the Gold Coast to the Silk Stocking (1300m) – up from 1200m – while RQ and the BRC recently announced the introduction of The Pam O’Neill (1350m) to be run on Doomben Cup Day.
The former Glenlogan Park Stakes will now be a 1600m weight-for-age race run on Oaks Day with prize money jumping to $500,000.
“We wanted to add another signature middle-distance race for fillies and mares,” RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said.
“It coincides nicely with the Magic Millions National Sale and looms as an attractive race for owners.
“With more than 50 black-type races including eight Group 1s – along with a record-breaking $21 million in prize money – Queensland will be the place to race in 2020.”
With the Brisbane Cup returning to two miles, the Group 3 Tattersall’s Cup will drop to 2400m under set weights and penalties.
The penultimate meeting of the Carnival will also include the introduction of the new $200,000 Tattersall’s Queensland Mile to support the Cup and the Group 1 Tattersall’s Tiara.
Hollindale Stakes, Ipswich Cup and Sunshine Coast Cup days will also see additional prize money upgrades on the program.
Click here to see the full calendar for the 2020 TAB Queensland Racing Carnival.