RQ To Showcase Grassroots Stars

03 January 2020

The 2020 TAB Queensland Winter Harness Racing Carnival will ‘showcase’ the country’s grassroot stars with the introduction of an exciting new $20,000 Final.

For the first time, Racing Queensland will introduce the Garrard’s Showcase, which will provide qualifiers from regional shows with the opportunity to win their way into the Winter Carnival.

In a concept mirroring the highly successful TAB Battle of the Bush for thoroughbreds, the Showcase will see horses qualify via the show circuit from February to May before contesting the $20,000 Final at the Redcliffe feature Saturday night meeting on June 27. (Heats Friday night June 19)

While venues to conduct Show Trotting in 2020 are to be confirmed The Showcase qualifiers are likely to be staged:

- February 14-16: Clifton;
- March 20-22: Warwick;
- March 26-28: RASQ Toowoomba;
- April 18: Nanango;
- May 2-3: Kingaroy
- May 8-9: Marburg;
- May 14-16: Gympie; and
- May 29-30: Boonah.

“Show racing plays an important role in the Queensland harness racing industry headlined by the annual races conducted at the Ekka,” RQ General Manager Corporate Affairs and Policy Mary Collier said.

“Not only does it provide racing opportunities for grassroot participants, it extends the racing life of many standardbreds and ‘showcases’ the sport to new audiences.”

In addition to the prize money, the winning connections of the Showcase will receive a free service to Burwood Stud’s Changeover courtesy of Garrard’s, while they will also supply the winning trainer with a $1000 Garrard’s voucher and all other finalists with a $100 voucher.

“The Garrard’s Showcase is an exciting addition to the Winter Carnival and will provide participants with the added incentive to win their way into a feature event on a Group 1 night,” Ms Collier said.

“We believe it will quickly become one of the highlights on the Queensland harness racing calendar.”

Conditions for the Showcase are as follows:

NDC. NMC. Discretionary Handicap. Handicaps remain the same from Heat to Final. Maximum of 10 starters. For horses that competed on the Queensland Show Circuit in 2020 or at the 2019 Brisbane Show. To be eligible horses must be trained by the same trainer who presented the horse for its Show racing engagement/s. Preference in field selection for horses that finished in the most forward position in any Show Final. If required horses that failed to qualify for a Queensland Show Final may be included in the Showcase heats in the order of those that finished in the most forward position in their Heats. Each trainer is restricted to no more than 2 starters per Heat.

Note the Handicaps allocated for the Showcase Series at Redcliffe will take into account the size of the track. In other words horses may be handicapped differently than they are on the smaller Show tracks.

For queries please contact the Racing Queensland Harness Racing Office on (07) 3869 9774 or by email harnesshandicapping@racingqueensland.com.au.