By Richard Goodbody
NSW’s premier three-year-old pacer, Line Up, has become the first horse to be offered a wildcard into the $250,000 Rising Sun as part of the TAB Queensland Constellations.
Earlier this year, Racing Queensland unveiled the Rising Sun as its newest Group 1 feature, which is set to become the richest harness race in the Southern Hemisphere for three and four-year-old pacers.
As part of the unique event, any three-year-old that contests the Rising Sun will benefit from a preferential draw, and should they triumph in the race, will receive a $100,000 bonus.
Having captured the Victoria Derby in January, Line Up added the NSW Derby to his resume at the weekend with victory at Menangle and was duly offered a wildcard into the Albion Park blockbuster on July 18.
In total, RQ will offer two three-year-old wildcards, however, Australasia’s best age-restricted horses are also able to nominate, with a 12-strong field to be selected for the Rising Sun.
“It looks like it will be a wonderful carnival,” Line Up’s trainer Anthony Butt said.
“We’ll definitely head Queensland way for the (Queensland) Derby. The new race is fantastic, but we’ll make a decision closer to the time.
“I love the concept with the preferential barrier draw.
“The more I think about it, the more I think that he could be a horse that could take it on.”
During June and July, Queensland will host five electrifying meetings under lights, featuring 10 Group 1s and more than $2 million in prize money and bonuses.
The Rising Sun, TAB Queensland Oaks and DJA Trotting Championship headline the July 18 meeting before culminating with five Group 1s on July 25 including the $250,000 TAB Blacks A Fake and the TAB Queensland Derby.
Click here for more information on the TAB Queensland Constellations including the Rising Sun.