COUNTRY RACING: Jockey Michael Cahill rides Hanover Square (right) to victory in race 3, the 2019 Battle of the Bush Quality, during the Tattersall's Tiara race day at Eagle Farm in Brisbane, Saturday, June 22, 2019.
COUNTRY RACING: Jockey Michael Cahill rides Hanover Square (right) to victory in race 3, the 2019 Battle of the Bush Quality, during the Tattersall's Tiara race day at Eagle Farm in Brisbane, Saturday, June 22, 2019.

Battle of the bush series announces qualifying venues

QUILPIE has been announced as the opening qualifier for the Queensland country racing highlight of the year.

The tiny south west town of 600 will be put on the map, with significant economic benefits injected into the town after Racing Queensland announced the six new venues will take part in the 2020 TAB Battle of the Bush Series.

Quilpie, Burrandowan, Charters Towers, Jandowae, Innisfail and Gayndah will each host a qualifying heat this year, culminating in the $125,000 Final on Tattersall’s Tiara race day at Eagle Farm on Saturday, June 20.

President of the Quilpie Diggers Race Club, Sam Bartlett said it is a real honour for the club to host it, and he’s excited to show off their great facilities.

“We’re a club that races only once a year, so for the Battle of the Bush to come to Quilpie is pretty amazing and hopefully we can put a good show,” he said.

“Any time we have races in Quilpie, we see an influx of people come through from Longreach, Brisbane or even interstate so we’re hoping it will attract a big crowd.”

Bartlett said while he is unsure whether local Quilpie trainer will be competing, the Battle of the Bush series has been revolutionary for country racing.

“I think it’s given the opportunity for bush horses to race in the city on an equal playing field and show them what bush racing is all about,” he said.

Charleville’s Central Warrego racecourse will also host a qualifier for the second year.

The Battle of the Bush commences at the Quilpie Diggers Race Club on May 2 and will again feature 16 qualifiers (two per country region) across the state, with the final heats to be staged at Barcaldine Race Club and Gayndah Jockey Club on June 6 respectively.

Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the Series was a showpiece event for country racing and looked forward to its return later this year.

“The Battle of the Bush has rapidly become one of the highlights on the Queensland racing calendar,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“It has energised the regions and provided our country participants with the perfect opportunity to race in town on a Group 1 race day.”

Having witnessed the growth of the Battle of the Bush, Racing Queensland COO Adam Wallish said the organisation was delighted with its progress and its growth over the past two years.

“We’re pleased to be able to bring the Battle of the Bush Series to six new clubs in 2020 and hope that it encourages further participation in this fantastic event,” Mr Wallish said.

“The TAB Queensland Racing Carnival continues to go from strength-to-strength and the Battle of the Bush has played a key role in its success in recent years.”

A $30,000 bonus will once again be paid to the winner if it is a QTIS registered horse.

A full copy of the series conditions can be found at www.racingqueensland.com.au.

DATE CLUB RACE Distance

02-05-20 Quilpie DRC Newmarket Open Plate (sw) 1100m

09-05-20 Burrandowan PRC Open Plate (sw) 1175m

09-05-20 Gordonvale TC Open Plate (sw) 1100m

09-05-20 Longreach JC Open Plate (sw) 1100m

09-05-20 Mount Isa RC Open Plate (sw) 1100m

10-05-20 Towers JC Open Plate (sw) 1200m

16-05-20 Emerald JC Open Plate (sw) 1200m

16-05-20 Central Warrego RC Newmarket Open Hcp 1200m

16-05-20 Jandowae RC Open Plate (sw) 1200m

23-05-20 Innisfail TC Open Hcp 1200m

30-05-20 Bowen TC Open Hcp 1200m

30-05-20 Cloncurry & DRC Open Hcp 1200m

30-05-20 Gladstone TC Open Hcp 1200m

30-05-20 Goondiwindi RC Open Hcp 1200m

06-06-20 Gayndah JC Open Hcp 1200m

06-06-20 Barcaldine RC Open Hcp 1200m

20-06-20 Tattersalls RC Rest 0MWL2Y Quality Hcp1200m

Charleville Western Times

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