WITH the return to racing at Eagle Farm, Racing Queensland has announced a 12 week Queensland Winter Racing Carnival program for 2016.

After a review of the performance of the 2015 Queensland Winter Carnival and comprehensive consultation with Clubs, Racing Queensland has opted to extend the 2016 Carnival which will commence with the Toowoomba Turf Club’s meeting on 16 April and conclude with the running of the Sunshine Coast Turf Club race day at Caloundra on 2 July, 2016.

The Carnival schedule will see a return to racing at Eagle Farm on Oaks Day and the venue will also host its traditional Stradbroke Handicap race day the following week.

“Eagle Farm has an enormous impact on wagering and crowd attendance and it is simply essential that we run our best races at our flagship venue during the Winter Carnival” said Racing Queensland’s Operations Manager Ross Gove.  “Whilst there are some supporters of the format introduced this year, with the return to racing at Eagle Farm, the same compressed schedule will not be possible in 2016”. 

“Significantly, the race program released today ensures that each of the Carnival’s Group 1 races is spaced two weeks apart, a structure that presents the best opportunities for the sport’s elite horses” said Gove.  “It is also anticipated the Group 1 race structure we have adopted will ultimately enhance the performance of the Carnival’s Black Type races, some of which suffered under the revised format in 2015”.

The importance of Queensland Winter Carnival has been emphasised in recent weeks with a series of remarkable wins by horses that performed well in the 2015 edition.

In 2015, Queensland endorsed the high quality of several outstanding horses including the brilliant mare Winx who followed a barnstorming victory in the G3 Sunshine Coast Guineas with her first Group 1 triumph in the Queensland Oaks at Doomben.  Winx has more recently etched her name into racing folk law by demolishing a quality field in this year’s Cox Plate at Moonee Valley.

Super mare Srikandi made it back-to back Carnival Group 1 wins when winning the time honoured Stradbroke Handicap and then repeating the dose with a stunning victory in the Tatt’s Tiara.  In October, she franked her Queensland form when, after starting from the outside barrier, she finished a gallant second in Moonee Valley’s Group 1 Manikato Stakes.

“The Queensland Winter Carnival has become something of a springboard for superstars and in addition to Winx and Srikandi, we saw several other feature race winners go on to further Group 1 glory including JJ Atkins winner Press Statement and Doomben 10,000 victor Boban” said Gove.


“2015 really saw Queensland confirm its place in the Australian racing landscape but we are not resting on our laurels” said Gove, “the 2016 Queensland Winter Carnival Program will provide Queenslanders and indeed all Australians with a great opportunity to see the nation’s  best racehorses perform on our best racetracks”.