Queensland officials are confident they can lure two of the new stars of New Zealand racing to Brisbane for the winter carnival.
A team from Racing Queensland and the Brisbane Race Club is in New Zealand visiting major race centres in an effort to increase the number of quality horse coming for the winter.
RQ’s chief executive Darren Condon said it was hoped the recent Group One Telegraph Handicap winner Sacred Star would return to Brisbane for another crack at the $2 million Stradbroke Handicap.
The five-year-old had failed in the New Zealand spring carnival but returned to the form which gained him a Group Two win during the 2014 Brisbane winter.
Sacred Star won the QTC Cup (1200m) in Brisbane before finishing fifth in a front runner dominated Stradbroke.
“Sacred Star really impressed in Brisbane last winter and has obviously gone on with the job,” Condon said.
He said they also hoped to get Donna Logan’s star Volkstok’n’barrell who is the likely favourite in the New Zealand Derby in March.
Volkstok’n’barrell made it four wins in a row when he won the Group Two Great Northern Guineas (1600m) on New Year’s Day.
“Donna is a regular visitor to Brisbane and we will be rolling out the red carpet for her again,” Condon said.
It is hoped upwards of 30 kiwi horses will come for this year’s carnival.