By Jordan Gerrans
The Nolans share a last name, but play two vastly different roles within the racing industry, however they certainly agree on one aspect of the sport in Queensland: QTIS is king.
Darling Downs trainer Michael Nolan is on the Gold Coast this week looking to buy his next crop of yearlings to race for the attractive QTIS bonuses that are on offer across the Sunshine State every week.
Just a few hundred metres away in a different section of the Magic Millions complex, Michael’s uncle - Basil Nolan Senior – the principal of Raheen Stud – is aiming to sell the next QTIS star to the countless trainers and sets of connections floating around.
Widely regarded as the best in the nation, QTIS provides bonuses for Queensland-bred horses who can prevail in the Sunshine State.
Dozens of trainers from across Queensland will descend on the Glitter Strip this week with the aim of buying their next QTIS star, with many QTIS-eligible yearlings set to go under the hammer.
Michael has had QTIS success with gallopers such as Kisukano and Hinged, among others, in recent years and believes it is integral for the operation of stables in Queensland.
“QTIS is everything to us; you can win at Toowoomba with a filly and get $30,000, you can win in town with a two-year-old and get $80,000,” Michael said.
“QTIS has kept us guys up at Toowoomba going, even if you are racing at Warwick, you always aim for a QTIS race.
“It has been very good to us, Hinged who we raced earlier this year won a number of QTIS races in town and won $80,000.
“When we are shopping at these sales, there might be a really nice horse but we are always aiming to get them QTIS.”
Basil Sr wears two hats in the breeding game, principal of Raheen Stud as well as being Thoroughbred Breeders Australia’s President.
He points to QTIS Jewel Day on the Gold Coast every year – where 2YO and 3YO QTIS gallopers have a chance to race in $500,000 events – as an example of a key reason to buy a QTIS eligible galloper at the sales.
Michael's Kisukano is a previous 2YO Jewel champion, winning the race two years ago, and has gone onto a competitive racing career at black-type level.
“The better QTIS horses go Magic Millions in January and I think that is important for people, seeing what a great scheme it is,” Nolan Sr said.
“My wife thinks QTIS is the best kept secret in racing up here, she thinks we do not not advocate it half enough.
“When you can race in the metro area every Saturday and a filly nearly gets $80,000, it is a great scheme.
“If you go to a higher level and win a stakes race, you get the QTISx bonus and a bonus for the breeder, I think it is marvellous.
“QTIS has gone to another level.”