The best and brightest trotters from across the nation will share the spotlight at this year’s Queensland Constellations with the newest Group 1 feature The Great Square now to be run for a purse of $150,000.
The increased prizemoney for the three and four-year-old trotting feature is thanks to a generous three-year sponsorship by Haras des Trotteurs.
Chairman of the Albion Park Harness Racing Club Brad Steele said the event will be known as the Haras des Trotteurs Great Square.
“A new Group 1 trotting feature for three and four-year-olds, The Haras des Trotteurs Great Square, is another key part of this year’s Constellations Carnival at Albion Park.
“It will be run on Saturday 8 July which is Rising Sun Night.
“We are grateful for Haras des Trotteurs’ generous three-year sponsorship which has been matched by Racing Queensland, elevating the stakes to a very enticing $150,000.
“There’s also a $25,000 bonus if the race is won by a three-year-old.”
Haras des Trotteurs Principal, Patrick Driscoll, said his company was keen to invest in the latest star in the Queensland Constellations which continue to shine.
“For the last few years, there’s been a concerted push as far as breeding and racing trotters in Queensland is concerned,” Mr Driscoll said.
“Haras des Trotteurs has provided Australian and New Zealand breeders with the very best European trotting bloodlines in the world, including the incomparable Love You, Bold Eagle, Orlando Vici, Timoko,and Quaker Jet to name a few.
“Our mission is to provide quality trotting bloodlines, and getting behind this race for the next three years was a perfect match.”
Racing Queensland’s Executive General Manger Operations, Adam Wallish, said there’s been significant growth in the breeding of trotters in this state, resulting in a record number of horses being offered at the Queensland Yearling sales this year.
“With harness receiving almost $5 million in additional prize money recently, this is just another example of our commitment to boost the breeding and racing of trotters across the Sunshine State,” Mr Wallish said.
“The Hara des Trotteurs sponsorship helps the local industry address one of the key recommendations of the 2022 Constellations Carnival review to bolster the trotting program and introduce 3 and 4-year-old trotting feature during the Carnival.”
The 2023 Queensland Constellations commences on June 16, with Australia and New Zealand’s brightest harness racing stars descending on the Sunshine State.
The six-week program features a raft of enhancements, with more than $3 million up for grabs including eight Group 1s and 20 Group races.
The spotlight firmly focuses on Albion Park from 1 July with four weeks of thrilling harness action.
By Chris Bombolas (Albion Park Harness Racing Club)