Winter Carnival Cash Bonus Bonanza! by Tony McMahon
Published 2 June 2022
In an unprecedented move, the Rockhampton Jockey Club has announced cash bonus packages totalling $27,500 to be won by leading trainers over a two-tier system of the upcoming Winter Racing Carnival.
Both packages have been designed in a manner whereby it is within the realms of possibility that a locally based Rockhampton trainer could win them both.
The biggest stash of $20K goes singularly to the trainer who earns the most points over the two feature Carnival race days of the Newmarket (July 8) and the Rocky Cup (July 9).
Furthermore, the second bonus of $7500 will run for locally based Rockhampton trainers only over four meetings including the Tatt’s race days on June 24 and 26 as well as the afore mentioned.
The local trainers’ scheme is dissected in three forms -$4000 (leading trainer), $2500 (second) and $1000 to third highest scorer on a three (winner), two (second placegetter) and one point for third placegetters.
The $20K bonus is being sponsored by Great Northern and the reaction from both local and visiting trainers unanimously suggests that product will be the beer of choice for celebrating winners.
The RJC is self-funding the local trainer’s bonus which thereby ensures that three local mentors will share in the spoils.
In a joint statement RJC chairman Rob Carr and CEO Ian Mill said “the club is delighted to offer both bonuses. We are ever grateful for the generous support of Great Northern a long-time major sponsor of racing in Rockhampton and the north. We believe we have covered all bases with these bonuses and feel really proud to reward local trainers. It could happen that a Rockhampton trainer wins them both and takes home $24K”, they said.
It is believed to be the first time that Rockhampton trainers have been given an opportunity to compete for such a bonus scheme over Carnival during the 104 years of the running of the Rockhampton Cup.
In-form such trainers 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 and 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”.
“That’s great to have a separate scheme as the visitors with big choices of quality horses over the two big days have always taken home whatever prize was put up for those two big days. Having a separate scheme over four days for us (locals) is tops”, Walsh said.
Leading Queensland trainer Tony Gollan described the announcements as “brilliant”.
“Rockhampton race clubs are always doing something for the trainers and look after us all. This is brilliant. Look for a trainer to earn $20,000 he has to win a $200K race. This incentive is fantastic and will get support from visitors like us to also bring up horses for the supporting races and not just the big ones which have big prizemoney anyhow. I think is to also going to work out really well for the RJC. By the way the locals are always hard to beat in Rocky”, Gollan said.
Gold Coast co-trainer Trent Edmonds who is represented by four horses at the Rockhampton TAB races this Friday (June 3) 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 truck load of horses up there for that”, he said.
By the way Trent threw out a big tip for punters declaring Friday’s Rocky starter The Vowels (Race 2 -TAB 2) as a standout “I will be very disappointed if it doesn’t just about win”, Edmonds said.
Finally, the Australian Trainers Association QLD 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”, he said.