An influx of southern Queensland trainers is expected to head to the northern carnivals after an injection of nearly $600,000 in sponsorship across the three racing codes.
Racing Queensland announced the deal as a backdrop to the recent merger of the Tatts Group with Tabcorp.
The sponsorship in way of bonus money includes $350,000 for a ‘Northern Crowns Series’ for thoroughbreds, $125,000 ‘Origin Greyhound Series’ for Albion Park in July and $120,000 ‘Grand Slam’ for the Sunshine Sprint and Blacks A Fake harness racing in July.
The sponsorship means the North Queensland winter racing carnival will carry $2.29 million across seven feature race days.
Bonuses of $150,000 for stayers and $100,000 for sprinters are on the line for any horse which can win three of the five nominated Northern Crown races.
There will be $100,000 in other bonuses at the various carnivals.
They will be run at Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and the FNQ Amateurs.
The bonuses will be split 80 per cent to owners and 20 per cent to trainers.
Many Brisbane trainers used to travel north for the carnivals but numbers have dropped off in recent years and Racing Queensland hopes the bonus system will boost participation.
RQ acting chief executive Simon Stout said the sponsorship and bonuses would help entice an even higher quality of racing across the carnival, with an aim to drive interest and in turn, drive wagering on the Queensland product.