The Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival carries a rich history and tradition as Queensland’s premier racing event. The history of the carnival dates back 126 years, with the last six being held under operation of the Brisbane Racing Club. This occurred due to the merging of the Queensland Turf Club (Eagle Farm) and Brisbane Turf club (Doomben).
The 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival is this year held over three months – April, May, and June. The highlight event is the Stradbroke Handicap, named after Lord Stradbroke who was a relative to Henry John Rous, originator of the weight-for-age scale in thoroughbred racing.
The Brisbane Race Club Group 1 thoroughbred open handicap race is run over a distance of 1,400 meters, and is held at Eagle Farm Racecourse. It attracts quality sprinters from the southern states of Australia, and many famous horse names are etched in the race’s honour roll.
And throughout the carnival, racegoers can enjoy some of the finest racing to be found outside of the Spring Racing Carnival.
The 2015 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival starts in late April at the Gold Coast, with the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes the highlight of a big day in racing. Held at the Gold Coast Turf Club in Surfers Paradise, the prestigious Prime Minister’s Cup coincides with ANZAC celebrations and offers free entry to service veterans and their family members, as well as a live streaming of the Gallipoli Dawn Service.
With a stellar live racing program offering close to $1.5 million in prize money, an exclusive Fashions on the Field with over $10,000 in prizes, and a plethora of live entertainment and pop up bars, it kicks off the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival the only way the Gold Coast can – with style.
From the Gold Coast, it’s north to Brisbane where the next big event is the UBET Cup Carnival Day, held at Doomben Turf Club on Saturday 9th May. The group 1 thoroughbred Doomben Cup race for horses aged three years and above is run under weight-for-age conditions over a distance of 2,000 metres. This has been an important race since it began in 1933, and is a major event in the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival. Previous winners have included Scenic Shot and Mawingo.
The BTC Cup is one of the great sprint races on the Brisbane racing calendar, and is another highlight event. Run over 1200 metres, the BTC Cup has been won by a number of well-known horses, including Black Caviar, Apache Cat, and Sea Siren. Many horses use the BTC Cup as a launching pad towards a Doomben 10,000 or the Stradbroke Handicap assault.
The UBET Cup Carnival Day is considered the social day of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, and is the day to see and be seen. It’s about colour and fun, but most of all it’s about quality Queensland racing. Dress regulations apply, and ladies are encouraged to opt for creative choices in rich winter jewel tones of sapphire blue, magenta and emerald. Men should feature a pop of colour in their attire.
It’s here at the UBET Cup Carnival Day where Our Boy Malachi is set to make his debut at Group 1 level. Jockey Tommy Berry firmly believes he can record a win at the highest level of racing during the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival, suggesting he puts his absolute all into every race. Our Boy Malachi was able to run down Rain Affair in the final stages of the Mark Hall Stakes on April 18, taking his fourth win from as many races.
Another one to watch will be El Roca, who’s also trying to record a maiden win at Group 1 level.
Also at Doomben is the Group 1 Doomben 10,000, run over 1350m and offering $750,000 in prize money. It’s one of the most thrilling weight-for-age races in Australia, and to set the scene off track Australian rock icons The Choirboys will be belting out hits, such as Run to Paradise, Boys Will Be Boys and Midnight Sun.
Dress code is a touch of metallic, and racegoers are encouraged to wear hints of silver, gold, bronze, greys and neutrals.
Next the crowd will move onto Eagle Farm, and to the Treasury Casino and Hotel Ladies’ Oaks Day. While stunning dresses, gorgeous shoes and extravagant fascinators may take centre stage, on the track the country’s best fillies will perform in the Queensland Oaks – a distance of 2400m with $400,000 in prize money.
Dress code for the day is feminine racewear, with the signature floral being the white rose. Men are encouraged to wear soft tones.
Without a doubt it’s the AAMI Stradbroke Day and the Stradbroke Handicap that really gets race lovers excited, with a program that includes three Group 1 races and three Group 2 races as well as a prize pool worth $4.4 million. Held on June 6 at Eagle Farm Racecourse, it’s the “big daddy” of Queensland racing and the grand finale of the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival. Previous winners have included River Lad and Black Piranha.
Fashions on the Field will be run by Indooroopilly Shopping Centre, where prizes worth $10,000 will be given away. Held in the Grand Pavillion Marquee, black, white and a splash of red will be the colours of the day.