Son of Justice breaks away to win the Gympie Times Battler Cup 2017. Conditions of the cup may change for this year.
Son of Justice breaks away to win the Gympie Times Battler Cup 2017. Conditions of the cup may change for this year. Rowan Schindler

Turf Club to celebrate 150 years

Racing: The annual shut down of the Gympie Racecourse for the Bull n Bronc Rodeo may be a hurdle for trainers.

Qualifying races for Battle of the Bush

Trainers are trying to prepare their horses for the much anticipated Battle of the Bush qualifying races in this areas.

With the Bundaberg qualifier on May 5 and Nanango on May 26, Gympie trained horses will probably be unable to work on the Gympie track during the last three weeks of May.

In order to be eligible to run in a qualifying race for the Battle of the Bush final, horses must have raced on five occasions at non-TAB meetings in the 12 months preceding the qualifying race.

The final, a $100 000 race at Doomben over 1200m will bring together the 16 winners of the qualifying races.

Two of which are to be held in each of the eight regional racing areas of Queensland.

Connections bringing horses to Brisbane for the final will have access to float expenses with those in south east Queensland eligible for expenses of $500.

Gympie Turf Club

Gympie racegoers will have the opportunity to win a car by attending Gympie race meetings during most of 2018 as the Gympie Turf Club, GTC, celebrates 150 years of racing in Gympie.

This has been made possible by the generosity of the Madil Motor Group who have made available the prize of a car with the lucky winner able to choose from four vehicles -a Yaris, Mazda 2, Sukuzi Swift or a Barina.

The prize draw will be held at the November 24 race meeting with racegoers to receive an entry form for the car each time they attend a Gympie race meeting commencing with the March 3rd raceday.

All entry forms will then go into the entry "barrel” with the winner having to be on track to claim the prize within 5 minutes or else there will be a re-draw. Just like the Gympie Times, Gympie racing began in 1868. A two day race meeting was held on December 30 and 31, 1868 at a rough bush track on the banks of the Mary River near Widgee Crossing . Considerable space was devoted to the races in the Gympie Times and Mary River Mining Gazette in the lead up to the races and the aftermath of the event which obviously created a great deal of excitement in the then booming Gold Rush settlement.

The GTC traditionally does not have a racing date in December so the November 24 raceday is the nearest meeting to celebrate the 150 years of racing in Gympie.

The GTC has decided to change the conditions of the Battlers Cup normally held in September. The distance has been altered from a middle distance race to 1170m with the event probably being a Benchmark 55 race. This $10 000 race means that the GTC stages 8 Gympie races worth $10 000 or more each year with over $60 000 in added stakes for the year making prize money on offer in Gympie by far the best in the SEQ country area. Most other clubs in this area stage only one or two races worth $10 000 or more each year.

Long time supporter of Gympie Racing, Roy Groom Plumbing, won the major prize in last Saturdays 100 Club draw. The major prize was a $4500 travel voucher plus naming rights to the 100 Club Cup to be run on April 14.

Three extra races have been added to country meetings at Eidsvold and Bundaberg following last Saturdays abandonment of the Bundaberg races. An $8000 Open Handicap over 1030m has been added to Saturday weeks Eidsvold Cup programme whilst two additional Class B events have been programmed at the March and April Bundaberg racedays. In addition, Racing Qld is liaising with the Bundaberg Race Club regarding a replacement date for the abandoned meeting due to the state of the track from the rain last Friday.