A change in balloting conditions for the weight for age races during the Queensland Winter Carnival has been approved by Racing Queensland in a move that will give in-form horses a chance to gain a place in the rich feature races.
The balloting rules came under question during the 2015 Winter Carnival when the Gai Waterhouse stable had to alter programs for two of its key Winter Carnival contenders, Doomben Cup winner Pornichet and the promising filly Najoom.
Pornichet failed to gain a run in the weight for age Group 2 $358,000 Sky Thoroughbred Central A.D. Hollindale Stakes (1800m) at the Gold Coast because his total prizemoney earnings at the time weren’t enough to meet the balloting conditions which were merely on total earnings, even though the French Import had been racing in winning form in Sydney in the lead-up.
Waterhouse then took Pornichet to the provincials where he won the $100,000 XXXX Gold Toowoomba Cup (2150m) before going on to win the Group 1 $650,000 The Bundaberg Rum Doomben Cup (2000m) at Doomben in outstanding fashion.
And then the in-form Najoom arrived in Brisbane with four recent wins under up belt and even though she was one of the main fancies in pre post betting, the Northern Meteor filly was unable to gain a start in the weight for age Group 1 $500,000 Sky Racing Tattersall’s Club Tiara (1400m) at the Gold Coast because her overall prizemony levels weren’t high enough, even though she had previously won the Group 3 $125,000 Sita Australia Fred Best Classic (1350m) at Doomben.
As from the 2016 Queensland Winter Carnival, the balloting conditions for the weight for age races will be amended to prizemoney levels earned in the previous twenty-four months, which will give in-form horses the chance to contest the major Carnival races.
The new rule reads: “In the event of a ballot being required horses which have won the least amount of prize money in the 24 months preceding final acceptance date will be eliminated first”.
The change to the ballot conditions will be applicable for the following eight WFA races during the 2016 Winter Racing Carnival:
– Group 2 $200,000 Victory Stakes (1200m) @ Doomben
– Group 2 $358,000 A.D Hollindale Stakes (1800m) @ GCTC
– Group 1 $500,000 BTC Cup (1200m) @ Doomben
– Group 1 $650,000 Doomben Cup (2000m) @ Doomben
– Group 1 $750,000 Doomben 10000 (1350m) @ Doomben
– Group 3 $125,000 Lord Mayor’s Cup (1600m) @ Doomben
– Group 2 $250,000 Eagle Farm Cup (2200m) @ Eagle Farm
– Group 1 $500,000 Tattersall’s Tiara (1400m) @ Eagle Farm