The 2011 Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival could be one of the biggest ever with a wealth of talent heading north to contest the major Group 1’s this year.
A combined total of more than 700 entries have been released for the seven biggest races held in Queensland and some of the most important events on the Australian racing calendar.
In addition to the huge quantity of horses making the trip are the special individual talents which stand out from the list.
It will be a crucial shot in the arm for the Queensland Racing industry and comes off the back of a highly successful Sydney Autumn Carnival.
Officials are hoping the big name draw cards in each of the events can help attract record crowds, especially as they try to tap into the hype of super mare Black Caviar.
BTC Cup – May 14th
There were 38 entries for the BTC Cup headlined by the greatest racehorse on the planet Black Caviar. This event had the least amount of entries but if a full field could be mustered it would be a massive test for Black Caviar who has previously scared away most of her competition at Group 1 level. They haven’t run away from her in Brisbane though and a capacity BTC Cup race could be the event of the year so far.
Doomben Cup – May 21st
The Doomben Cup has 47 entries with the quality of stayers perhaps not quite as impressive as the sprinters this year. Having said that back-to-back Sydney Group winner and surprise of the Autumn Carnival My Kingdom Of Fife will no doubt muster a legion of fans. Also thrown into the mix are warhorses such as Zavite, Scenic Shot and Melbourne Cup runner Shoot Out.
Doomben 10,000 – May 28th
They will be out in force for the Doomben 10,000 with 72 on the early nominations list. It’s a great looking field once again headlined by Black Caviar. They fancy taking her on over the extra distance though with Hay List and Black Piranha right in the mix. The old brigade of All Silent and Sniper’s Bullet is also represented as well as the new crop with Thankgodyou’rehere.
Queensland Oaks – June 4th
The are plenty of girls who want to come out and play at Eagle Farm with 123 horses nominated at this point. Fibrillation will be looking for a huge showing after coming so close in Sydney’s major Group 1 events. The horse which carries the iconic silver fern of New Zealand loves the ground wet and will have huge support throughout Brisbane where there is a big portion of kiwi expats.
Stradbroke Handicap – June 11th
The Stradbroke Handicap is the showpiece of the carnival and there are 147 nominations hoping for a crack at the prize. Black Caviar is a surprise nomination for this event as well however Peter Moody says it is simply to cover all bases. He says if handicappers go unexpectedly easy on her she may run but it’s unlikely especially if she wins her two lead up events. Queenslander Bold Glance will be the crowd favourite here especially after his third in the Doncaster Mile after overcoming a bad barrier.
Queensland Derby – June 11th
The Queensland Derby has 132 horses entered and being towards the end of the carnival it could be down to who’s the freshest. Fibrillation will back up for this event but will face big challengers form the likes of Torio’s Quest, Jeter and Precious Lorraine.
T.J Smith – June 11th
Laying claim to the most early nomination is the T.J Smith with 173 connections having paid up the early fee for their horses. Pane In The Glass has placed at Group 1 level on multiple occasions but could triumph for a debut top level victory here. Also in the field is fellow Golden Slipper runner Hot Snitzel and the lightly raced Cocky Raider and Foxcraft.