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The Winter Carnival is fast approaching and with trainers and owners making there preparations on which racing channels to take Racing Queensland have introduced a new $200,000 winners incentive if a horse wins two out of three prominent races

Racing Queensland bonus scheme

Racing Queensland are set to introduce a new bonus for any horse that can win the Group 2 Hollindale Stakes at the Q22 as well as one from either the Group 1 Doomben Cup or the Group 2 Q22 at the Winter Carnival.

Having won the Hollindale and The Q22 in 2021 connections of Zaaki will be chomping at the bit to get there runner in those races again this year. Zaaki already sits as a $1.90 favourite with the Hollindale - Doomben Cup looking like the most likely route.

The bonus, to be announced on Monday, will consist of $150,000 to the winning owners along with $50,000 to the trainer.

The addition of the bonus is already being nicknamed the ‘Zaaki’ bonus with him in the hotseat and after Annabel Neasham confirmed Zaaki would be heading north rather than having a trip to the UK and Royal Ascot even the hardest punters would back against him.

“We want to see our weight-for-age stars campaigning all the way through Stradbroke season and the addition of the $200,000 bonus should provide extra incentives for trainers to push on to the Doomben Cup and the Q22 after contesting the Hollindale,” Racing Queensland chief executive Brendan Parnell said.

“In recent years, we’ve seen the likes of Vow And Declare, Incentivise and Zaaki all leave their mark on our middle-distance programs.”

Zaaki is likely to face stiffer competition this year however with Mick Price and Michael Kent jr trainer Ayrton once again likely to head north on contest for the bonus. 

With Jamie Kah opting to ride in Adelaide on Hollindale Stakes day (May 7), star Sydney jockey Hugh Bowman has been confirmed as Ayrton’s jockey.

It comes as recent winter carnival prizemoney increases mean there will be seven races run for $1m or more over the upcoming carnival.

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