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Huge trainer bonuses for Rockhampton winter features

3 minute read

Rockhampton Jockey Club has announced a lucrative cash bonus scheme worth more than $27,000 for the most successful trainers during its upcoming winter racing carnival in July.

Rockhampton Jockey Club CEO Ian Mill said the $27,500 bonus scheme included a two-tiered system that would also reward locally based trainers.

The most lucrative prize of $20,000 will be pocketed by the trainer who earns the most points over the two feature Carnival race days, the Newmarket (July 8) and the Rockhampton Cup (July 9).

In addition, a second bonus of $7500 will be on offer for locally based Rockhampton trainers.

"We believe we have covered all bases with these bonuses and feel really proud to reward local trainers," Mill said.

"It could happen that a Rockhampton trainer wins them both and takes home $20,000."

The cash incentive for local trainers will cover four meetings, including Tatt's race days on June 24 and 26 as well as two feature carnival days in July.

The local trainers' scheme is self-funded by the Rockhampton Jockey Club (RJC) and is a first of its kind for the club, Mill said.

The leading local trainer will be awarded $4000, while the second placegetter will earn $2500 and third will take home $1000.

Points will be awarded on a 3-2-1 bases for placegetters with the winner collecting the maximum points, second two points and one for third.

The $20,000 bonus, sponsored by Great Northern, has been widely acclaimed by accomplished trainers likely to make the trek to Rockhampton in July.

"The RJC is thrilled to offer both bonuses," Mill said.

"We are ever grateful for the generous support of Great Northern a long-time major sponsor of racing in Rockhampton and the north."

In-form trainers such as Jamie McConachy and Nick Walsh praised the club for what they both described as a "brilliant incentive by the RJC to give locals a go."

"I think the RJC should be praised for putting up $7500 for local trainers to win. It really provides an incentive to support the meetings as best we can," McConachy said.

Walsh, who won three races at Mackay last Saturday and has Newmarket and Rocky Cup hopefuls in his stables, labelled the announcement as "really good."

"Having a separate scheme over four days for us locals is tops," Walsh said.

Leading Queensland trainer Tony Gollan described the announcements as "brilliant" and that the $20,000 on offer for the winning trainers was the equivalent of winning a $200,000 race.

"Rockhampton race clubs are always doing something for the trainers and look after us all," Gollan said.

"This is brilliant.

"Look for a trainer to earn $20,000 he has to win a $200,000 race.

"This incentive is fantastic and will get support from visitors like us to also bring up extra horses for the supporting races and not just the big ones which have big prize money anyhow. I think it is going to work out really well for the club."

Gold Coast co-trainer Trent Edmonds, who is represented by four horses at the Rockhampton TAB races on Friday, described the move as "fantastic".

"What an incentive for us to support Rocky's two big days. I tell you what we shall have to think about bringing a truckload of horses up there for that," he said.

The Australian Trainers Association Queensland CEO Cameron Partington was full of compliments for the RJC.

"Showing direct support to your own people during a lucrative carnival where the bigger spoils are often dominated by the visitors is to be commended. It is something other clubs should consider in the future," Partington said.

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