Unique race developed for Sunshine Stars graduates

The Albion Park Harness Racing Club and Racing Queensland have joined forces to develop a special race for lower end horses coming out of the inaugural Ladbrokes Sunshine Stars Yearling Sale.

The new race is a mixed sex two-year-old event for horses sold or with a passed-in reserve of $24,999 or less, excluding GST. Boasting prize money of $50,000, the race will be run on the same night as the two main finals for two-year-old fillies and colts and geldings which are both worth $125,000.

Albion Park Harness Racing Chairman Brad Steele said this is about encouraging more people to buy and race standardbreds, particularly at the lower end of the market.

“The Creek and RQ are working closely to push ownership in the harness racing industry,” Mr Steele said.

“This is another way to get people interested in our code and it gives those cheaper horses the chance to compete for decent prize money, without taking on the A-graders or real bluebloods.

“However, if connections feel their bargain can mix it with the sales toppers, they are still eligible for the big dances – the major Sunshine Stars finals and the Nutrien Classics.

“The only other stipulation is they must pay the Nutrien sustaining fee of $3,000, plus GST, after being passed in or sold for $24,999 or less.”

The inaugural Ladbrokes Sunshine Stars Yearling Sale is on Sunday 12 March at the Gold Coast’s iconic Magic Millions Complex. The yearlings are available for inspection from 9am on the Saturday (11 March), with a sales parade commencing at 4.30pm.

Horses catalogued go through the sales ring on Sunday March 12, with the auction commencing at 11am. A total of 137 lots are listed to go under the hammer with all horses entering the sales ring eligible for both the $600,000 Ladbrokes Sunshine Stars Race Series, including the new $50,000 mixed sex two-year-old final, and the national Nutrien race series.

The Ladbrokes Sunshine Stars Yearling Sale was the brainchild of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club and by partnering with Nutrien Equine they have built a mammoth sale loaded with quality animals. Local, instate and overseas interest has been outstanding.

Sunshine Stars Race Series Prizemoney (from 2024)