Bondi Lockdown receives first Rising Sun Invitation

Three-time Group 1 winner Bondi Lockdown is the first horse to secure his spot in the $300,000 AQWA Constructions The Rising Sun.

Earlier today, the Victorian superstar was offered an invitation into the Southern Hemisphere’s richest race for three and four-year-old pacers, which forms part of the TAB Queensland Constellations.

Bondi Lockdown was electrifying in the Chariots of Fire at the weekend, running a brave second to fellow Victorian Better Eclipse, in one of the fastest races seen in Australasian pacing history – including a world record first 400-metre opening section of 24.3 seconds.

The four-year-old will head north to Queensland on the back of a superb 2021 season that netted 11 wins from 19 starts – including a pair of Group 1 triumphs – with his only two starts in 2022 adding another win and placing at the top level.

Having firmly established himself as one of the most promising pacers in the country, trainer Aaron Dunn is excited by the opportunity to again compete in the Sunshine State following an unlucky fifth in last year’s Queensland Derby.  

“We’re honoured to receive this invite into The Rising Sun, and see it as a feather in the cap for the reputation that Bondi Lockdown is building at the moment,” Dunn said.

“We love being able to get up to Queensland throughout the winter, and it’s clear that the Constellations is becoming a very attractive proposition for trainers across the country.

“Without knowing the quality of the field at this stage, going off his current form then I think we’ll be right in the finish and we can’t wait for July to roll around.”

Earlier this month, it was confirmed that the Rising Sun – to be staged at The Creek on Saturday, July 9 – would receive a $50,000 prize money increase, to be run for $300,000 in 2022.

The race also offers a $100,000 bonus for a three-year-old winner.

First staged in 2021 as a part of the inaugural TAB Queensland Constellations, it was the father-and-son combination of Mark and Nathan Purdon who were successful thanks to star mare Amazing Dream.

Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said that he is optimistic the recent feature race prize money increases will only add further incentive for trainers across the country to race in Queensland this winter.

“As the second iteration of the TAB Queensland Constellations fast approaches, we are excited to build upon the success of 2021,” Mr. Parnell said.

“To have the calibre of Bondi Lockdown already confirmed for the Rising Sun at this early stage is a fantastic endorsement for the carnival as a whole.

“We look forward to welcoming Aaron back to Queensland, and unveiling further wildcard acceptances as we draw closer to July 9.”

In line with RQ’s focus on innovation, a ‘pick your own barrier’ element will be added to the existing preferential barrier draw for The Rising Sun, which is expected to add further intrigue to the race.

Under conditions of the race, RQ and Albion Park Club officials can issue up to two invites to 4YOs and two wildcard invites to 3YOs, with the balance of the field made up from the nominations.

Throughout the Constellations, more than $2.5 million in prize money and bonuses will go on the line, including 11 Group 1s.

See below for more information on the 2022 TAB Queensland Constellations.

Australasia’s brightest star, the 2022 TAB Constellations Carnival!

From mid-June through to the end of July, Queensland will be the place to race with over $2.5 million in stakes and bonuses on offer, complemented by the Sunshine State’s stunning weather and social opportunities.

Following on from last year’s successful Carnival, RQ in conjunction with The Creek, Redcliffe & Marburg Clubs, recently announced a raft of enhancements, including new or upgraded races at Albion Park headlined by significant increases to the:

The feature carnival will also include the $150,000 Albion Park Gold for 2YOs (graduates of the Brisbane APG Sale) and multiple Derby, Oaks, mares and trotting features.

Feature July Saturday’s at The Creek

July 2

G2 QLD Sun

G3 Paleface Adios

Listed Wondais Mate

Darrell Alexander Trotting Champs Heats (Round 2)

July 9

G1 Rising Sun

G1 Darrell Alexander Trotting Champs Final

G3 Rising Sun Consolation

G3 Mr Feelgood

G3 Fleur De Lil Ladyship

NR60-75 Feature

July 16

G1 Sunshine Sprint

G1 Golden Girl

G1 Albion Park Gold

G2 Trotters Sprint

G3 4yo Champs

G3 Derby

G3 Oaks

July 23

G1 Blacks A Fake

G1 Trotters Cup

G1 QLD Derby

G1 QLD Oaks

G3 JC McMullen

Listed Queen of Hearts

Download the full 2022 TAB Constellations Pocket Guide