Added prizemoney for Creek jewel

Albion Park Harness Racing Club’s premier Group 1 feature, the Ladbrokes Blacks A Fake, will boast prizemoney of $400,000 in 2023.

The crowning jewel of the Queensland Constellations has enjoyed several prizemoney increases in recent years, with the purse doubling since 2017.

Queensland’s annual Grand Circuit event increases by $50,000 next year, with harness racing receiving almost $5 million in additional prizemoney from 1 February 2023.

Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman Brad Steele said it’s a win for the code and industry participants.

“Added prize money for the Ladbrokes Blacks A Fake will help lure the best pacers in Australia and New Zealand to Albion Park for our winter, which goes from strength to strength each year,” Mr Steele said.

“As Queensland’s Grand Circuit event, the Blacks A Fake always oozes quality, and the added prizemoney makes this much sought- after Group 1 event even more attractive.

“Blacks A Fake was an absolute champion having won 72 races, including a record four Inter Dominion Pacing Finals, and to have one of Queensland’s premier races at The Creek named after him is fantastic.”

Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said the increase to the code’s pinnacle event was made possible thanks to the recent Investment Growth Plan, which will inject a further $31m in prizemoney across the three codes.

“As Queensland’s only annual Grand Circuit event, the Blacks A Fake is one of the most coveted races on the Australasian racing calendar,” Mr Parnell said.

“The Palaszczuk Government’s Betting Tax reform has allowed us to deliver this deserved stakes increase, as the harness code continues to reach record-breaking levels in the Sunshine State.

“More broadly, prizemoney in the code has doubled since FY18, now reaching close to $32m per annum.”

The Queensland Trotters Cup, run on the same evening as the Blacks A Fake, has also been boosted and will double to $100,000 next year.

A crucial lead up to the Blacks A Fake, the Garrards Sunshine Sprint (also at Group1 level) has been boosted by $50,000 to $200,000. Run the week before, the Sunshine Sprint has proven an ideal steppingstone with Majestic Cruiser, Colt Thirty One and Hectorjayjay all having run in the mile-dash before going on to Blacks A Fake success in recent years.

Further enhancements as part of the 2023 Qld Constellations Carnival will be unveiled early in the new year.

News of these prizemoney increases follows recent confirmation a new Queensland Centre of Excellence will be established in the coming years. Situated near Norwell, between Brisbane and Gold Coast, the world-class harness racing facility is expected to host more than 200 meetings a year and will include training and stabling facilities which are presently unavailable in Queensland.