The nation’s most promising juvenile pacers are set to shine as a part of the 2024 Queensland Constellations Carnival.
In conjunction with Ladbrokes and the Albion Park Harness Racing Club, Racing Queensland has today unveiled harness racing’s latest innovative race, the Ladbrokes Protostar.
Exclusively for two-year-olds, the $500,000 race will be run over 1660 metres at The Creek throughout the nation’s premier winter carnival, commencing in 2024.
The new feature race will utilise the highly successful slot race concept, with further detail regarding slots to be announced shortly.
Racing Minister Grace Grace said that she is excited to see the harness code unveil another slot race, following the success of the inaugural The Hayden earlier this month.
“The Protostar is another exciting feature race that bolsters an already incredible Queensland Constellations line-up,” Minister Grace said.
“With an enticing half a million dollars in stakes on offer, this race is sure to attract the interest of Australasia’s best and brightest two-year-olds.
“In just its third year, the Constellations has already rapidly become one of the nation’s premier carnivals, which is a reflection on the significant strides the code more broadly continues to make in the Sunshine State.”
As a result, the Protostar will become Queensland’s richest annual harness race.
Ladbrokes CEO Dean Shannon said the Ladbrokes Protostar would continue the strong growth trajectory of harness racing in Queensland.
“Ladbrokes is a proudly racing first business and we are delighted to support another innovative race which will increase interest and excitement around the Constellations Carnival,” Mr Shannon said.
“We have been pleased with how this year’s Carnival has gone, headlined by the inaugural Ladbrokes Blacks A Fake.
“But we are also in this for the long term, and we want to invest in aspects of the sport that grow interest and engagement, particularly as we head towards the opening of the Queensland Harness Centre at Norwell in the not-too-distant future.”
Albion Park Harness Racing Club Chairman Brad Steele said the announcement would be welcomed by the wider industry.
The Protostar in its essence is a bold concept to deliver more premium racing opportunities for our young pacing stars,” he said.
“It’s another great example of the wonderful collaboration between all key stakeholders and an announcement that will be most welcomed by our breeders and owners.”
Source: Racing Queensland