From the Callers Box – April 2024

Could the Rising Sun be better promoted?


In fact, it would be an overwhelming ‘yes’ vote to see the relatively new Gr.1 feature staged during the Constellations in July at Albion Park better sold to owners and pundits throughout the country.

The race concept is excellent and oozes quality.

First staged back in 2021, star Kiwi mare Amazing Dream prevailed while the following year, another star mare in Ladies In Red destroyed her rivals before the country’s premier pacer Leap To Fame became the first local to claim the prized event.

Prized event….key words.

The Rising Sun is an invitation race for predominantly four-year-olds while the X-factor to the race is the inclusion of a pair of three-year-olds – both sexes included.

Racing Queensland handles the invitations.

Prizemoney sits at $350,000 with a $100,000 bonus if a three-year-old is triumphant.

Yet, no three-year-old has claimed the feature.

The best effort to date was Leap To Fame who finished third behind Ladies In Red and Better Eclipse back in 2022.

Understandably, a three-year-old needs to win this race sooner rather than later for the appeal to remain strong for likely connections.

And with the introduction of the $2.1 million Eureka, officials must remain mindful that the Rising Sun is not swallowed up by the richest race in the world.

With any feature race, promotion is paramount!

And with several invitations issued and accepted for the 2024 version, it’s interesting to note they’re all four-year-olds to date.

No three-year-old has been issued an invitation – why?

Shouldn’t a three-year-old be the first horse invited to contest the Rising Sun given the history to date, surely, it’s obvious because by the time a three-year-old is invited, and connections peruse the list of four-year-olds already listed to start, it will quickly become an arduous task.

Ultimately, connections may just say, ‘thanks but no thanks’ and focus on their own age features.

The three-year-old element is vital for the survival of the Rising Sun.

So, should NSW Derby winner Soho Spectre be an automatic invite or even perhaps exciting filly Millwood Bliss, a recent winner of the Raith Memorial at Menangle.

Given that Millwood Bliss is a New Zealand bred filly, her options might not be as large as the domestically performed fillies so connections may well take on the challenge of competing against older rivals for big prizemoney?

And why hasn’t our reigning Queensland 3yo of the Year, For Real Life, been invited to contest the Sunshine State feature?

His head-to-head record against Frankie Ferocious, the first pacer invited this year, is near perfect (4 races, For Real Life, 3 wins).

Surely, he’s not being punished for his gate break in the Paleface Adios Stakes which ultimately, cost him any chance of qualifying for the Chariots of Fire, the race Frankie Ferocious won.

Let’s get around the locals when their records are thoroughly deserving, why make them wait?

And that brings me back to the original point – promotion!

Most are unaware of who’s in and who’s out for the 2024 Rising Sun, more promotion is urgently required.

If the race is to grow nationally, more/major promotion is required so everyone is fully aware.

Media need to be informed and with many social platforms readily available, let’s push the message about the Rising Sun, don’t let it wither on the vine.


Until next time.