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The inaugural Queensland Spring Racing Carnival has been hailed a success after enjoying pleasing results both on and off the track.
Headlined by the Queensland Cup and Toowoomba’s time-honoured Weetwood Handicap, the Spring Carnival, which was developed by Racing Queensland in consultation with its clubs, made a positive start in 2020 despite the COVID-19 restrictions.
With strong investment in feature prize money, the Spring Carnival delivered an additional $2.7 million in wagering revenue, representing a 75% year-on-year uplift from FY20, as turnover increased from $134.5 million to $171.6 million (+28%).
Having relocated the Weetwood Handicap to align with the popular Carnival of Flowers festival, the Darling Downs’ showpiece meeting, which also included the Toowoomba Cup, Toowoomba Guineas and Pat O’Shea Plate, produced an additional $446,000 (+84%) in wagering revenue from its traditional April timeslot, while turnover increased by $5.5 million (+31%).
Other highlights of the Spring Carnival included the Gold Coast’s Pink Ribbon Cup, which has established itself as Australia’s largest community fundraiser for the National Breast Cancer Foundation.
“The inaugural Queensland Spring Racing Carnival delivered some pleasing results,” RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said.
“Turnover on Weetwood Day, which has traditionally been run at the same time as The Championships in Sydney, increased from $17.8 million to $23.3 million.
“While COVID-19 impacted patron numbers, the on-course atmosphere still thrived and we will consider further refinements in 2021 to continue to develop an even stronger Spring Carnival program.”