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The Toowoomba Turf Club and Racing Queensland has today unveiled the Sunshine State’s newest innovative race, the Mort & Co King of the Mountain.
The Mort & Co King of the Mountain, carrying prize money of $750,000, will be run over 1200 metres at Toowoomba's Clifford Park on Saturday, December 31, 2022, and thereafter on the last Saturday of December each year.
The new feature race will utilise the highly successful slot race concept, with an expression of interest process to be opened in the coming weeks.
Racing Minister Grace Grace said that she is excited to see another slot race added to the Queensland racing calendar, following the tremendous success of the inaugural The Archer in Rockhampton.
"The Mort & Co King of the Mountain will provide an incredible finish to the calendar year," Minister Grace said.
"The Darling Downs is renowned for its contribution to the state's breeding industry, and it is fitting that this race will be restricted to locally-bred horses, ensuring that the prize money remains in Queensland, and can be reinvested back into the industry.
"It's deserving recognition for a region that is vital to the industry's sustainability, generating $85.2 million in value added contribution to the state's economy, whilst employing more than 650 people on a full-time basis."
In a further boost for the local industry, the race will be restricted to Queensland-bred horses that are prepared by a trainer based in the Sunshine State.
"We are delighted to work with the Toowoomba Turf Club in bringing the Mort & Co King of the Mountain to life," RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said.
"A race for Queensland-bred horses only is a fantastic initiative, incentivising the local breeding industry and the highly vaunted QTIS scheme, which provides more than $12 million in prize money bonuses each year.
"We unashamedly want people to back Queensland, buy Queensland and breed Queensland."
Toowoomba Turf Club Chairman Kent Woodford said the Toowoomba Turf Club is honoured to host the slot race and was looking forward to an exciting race for all of Queensland to call its own.
"The TTC is proud to have partnered with an iconic and innovative locally-based business in Mort & Co and, together, look forward to showcasing this incredible opportunity for Queensland participants," Mr Woodford said.