Two big nights for Redcliffe Harness Racing Club

Published 9:00am 12 June 2024

Two big nights for Redcliffe Harness Racing Club
Words by Kylie Knight

Redcliffe Harness Racing Club will host its two biggest race nights of the year in June, attracting some of Australia’s best horses.

The club will kick off the 2024 Queensland Constellations on Friday, June 21 with the Garrards 3YO Sales race and Chris Garrard’s Patron’s Purse which is open to 4YO and 5YO over 2280m.

The action starts at 6.10pm.

Redcliffe Harness Racing Club President Bernie Ring says Australia’s Horse of the Year, Leap to Fame, broke the track record last year with 1min 53.4sec – well ahead of the previous record of 1min55.8sec set by Manila Playboy the previous year.

“I’ve never seen a race like it here on the Peninsula, so hopefully he’ll contest the race the week later – the Redcliffe Cup,” Bernie says.

“The Patrons Purse is a time-honoured event for Chris Garrard. We’ll also have the Showcase Series final.”

The mini trotters will also take to the recently resurfaced track, offering a glimpse of the sport’s future stars.

“Spectators are so close, right at the coalface of the action. You can virtually reach out and touch the horses, unlike some other tracks around the area - gallops and harness - you’re right on the winning post,” Bernie says.

“You can sit up in the grandstand and just feel the atmosphere. It’s quality racing. There will be some good four and five-year-olds coming from New South Wales and maybe Victoria, but we do have some good horses in Queensland as well to compete in these races.”

On June 29, the club will host the Elders Kilcoy Gold Cup, over 2680m, Leap to Fame will hopefully go around in that race as well off the back mark of 20m.

“It’s a standing-start event. They start in the home straight in front of the grandstand and they go three laps,” Bernie says.

“It’s a big event. We’ve had some major horses in it. Leap to Fame, he’s an outstanding horse. I think he’s won his last six straight. He’ll probably have one run at Albion Park and then he’ll come here for the Gold Cup.

“It’s great to have him here. He will attract a lot of people that night.”

The evening will also feature the Garrards Redcliffe 2YO sales race worth $125,000.

“The horses that went through the yearling sales last year they will go through heats the week before and then they will come to the final on that night,” Bernie explains.

The night’s program will also include the Ladbrokes Oaks, the Ladbrokes Trotters Cup and the Northgate Comfort Inn and Suites Redcliffe Derby. The action starts at 5.10pm.

“Ladbrokes have been a major sponsor on the Peninsula for the last two years. They’ve done a wonderful job for us here,” Bernie says.

The club will offer a special menu for the feature nights ($45 per person). Phone 3284 4550 to book. Bookings are essential.

Luke Dickens, who was runner-up on Australian Idol in 2008, will perform on the night.

“He’s a local lad and he’ll be playing up in the restaurant,” Bernie says.

“It will be a party atmosphere. It will be a good night for everyone.”

The Redcliffe Harness Racing Club has started construction of its new lighting system, installing 26 poles with LED lights at a cost of $6 million.

Bernie says it will reduce lighting overflow for the club’s neighbours.

“Thanks to Racing Queensland and the State Government for allowing that to happen. We’re hoping it will be finished before Christmas or shortly afterwards,” he says.

For more information about the club and the race events, visit redcliffehrc.com.au or follow the club’s Facebook page.

Two big nights for Redcliffe Harness Racing Club

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