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Racing Queensland has released the program for the next three months of the Queensland Stayer’s Circuit from November 2019 to January 2020.
The Circuit is off to a promising start with a 33% increase in participation in distance events compared to the same period last year. In the first three months there have been 50 races and 332 starters between Albion Park (600m and 710m) and Ipswich (630m and 732m).
A key aspect of the Circuit has been the migration of lower grade events (Restricted Wins, No Metro Wins) from Albion Park to Ipswich which has been well supported by trainers. Already there has been eleven races over 630m and two races over 732m, the same number of events conducted from these starting boxes in the entire previous year.
Whilst lower-class events have been well supported, Thursday night nominations have remained steady compared to the same period of the previous year. Over time younger stayers will progress through the lower classes to Thursday night grade. In the meantime, extra Free For All events will be programmed on Thursday nights to ensure that top grade stayers, who aren’t eligible for the lower classes, are receiving regular opportunities.
The next three months of the Circuit builds towards some big staying events in the Summer Carnival with the Listed Gold Cup Heats and Final over 710m and the Group 3 Golden Sands Heats and Final over 600m.
During November 2019 and December 2019, RQ will introduce restricted grade staying events to the Circuit at Ipswich on Saturday and Albion Park on Monday, to provide lower grade stayers with four opportunities to build confidence and fitness in preparation for the Gold Cup Heats on 2 January 2020. Class 1 winners in the staying distance category will not be eligible for these events.
Gap Between Runs
Restricted 5th Grade 732m
Restricted 5th Grade 710m
Albion Park Monday
Gold Cup Heats 710m
Albion Park Thursday
Top grade stayers will also be afforded regular opportunities to prepare for and compete in the biggest races of the summer.
Middle Distance Heats 600m
Middle Distance Final 600m
Free For All 710m
New Year’s Trophy 710m
Gold Cup Final 710m /
Clem Jones Cup 600m
Golden Sands Heats 600m
Golden Sands Final 600m
RQ has also reviewed field size guidelines for staying events, set out at the commencement of the Queensland Stayers Circuit, and will no longer guarantee to draw fields with only five nominations.
RQ is committed to developing the staying ranks in Queensland and continues to work closely with participants to ensure the best possible outcomes can be achieved.
The full program for the next three months can be viewed at the link below.