Queensland's Lucrative Winter Carnival Begins

MICK Zammit remembers his kennel picking up a "few thousand" when Annie's Commando won the Queensland Cup's last running at Beenleigh.

David Brasch

26 May 2022

MICK Zammit remembers his kennel picking up a “few thousand” when Annie’s Commando won the Queensland Cup’s last running at Beenleigh in 2003.

John Dart put his hand out for “a few thousand” when Revlis won the 1999 Puppy Classic at Albion Park, the forerunner to today’s Flying Amy Classic.

Hall of Famer Bogie Leigh had to beat off a field of stars to earn $40,000 when winning the Brisbane Cup in 2003.

Racing Queensland’s lucrative Winter Racing Carnival begins tonight at Albion Park with the finals of the Group 3 Carnival Chase and Group 3 Young Guns.

It is a carnival boasting $1.9 million in prizemoney over six nights of Group racing including 13 Group or Listed events.

Bogie Leigh’s Brisbane Cup is now worth $525,000.

Annie’s Commando’s Queensland Cup is now up to $225,000.

And Revlis’ Flying Amy Classic is $150,000.

“It is proof just how good greyhound racing is,” said John Dart.

“The public love us, the punters trust us, the racing is spectacular. Greyhound racing has earned such wonderful prizemoney. It is the industry’s right.”

Tony Apap came from Victoria decades ago to become part of the rise of greyhound racing in the Sunshine State.

He’s still a Western Bulldogs fan through and through, but knows highlights such as the Winter Carnival are deserved.

“Look at greyhound racing’s performance in Queensland,” said Apap.

“It is the one racing code that makes a profit.”

The Winter Carnival highlights, the Group 1 Brisbane Cup and Group 1 Queensland Cup finals, will be run on July 7.

Straight after that will be the July 14 Origin series featuring the Group 3 Origin Sprint ($75,000), G3 Origin Distance ($75,000) and the Listed Origin Match Race ($45,000).

Along the way are the:

Group 2 Flying Amy Classic $150,000

Group 3 Super Sprinters $60,000

Group 3 Super Strayers Invitation $57,500

Group 3 BGRC 50th Anniversary ($50,000)

Group 3 Dashing Corsair ($37,500)

Listed Mick Byrne Memorial ($25,000)

Add to that support races like the Lightning, Thunder, The Tempest, Chairman’s Cup, Regional Origin Challenge and Qld Emerging Origin and it is a Carnival to attract the best in the country.

Tony Apap, Mick Zammit, John Dart and Bogie Leigh’s connections, Les Bein and Tony Brett, are still major players in greyhound racing today all those years after winning the Queensland Cup, Flying Amy Classic and Brisbane Cup.

“Our industry has fought hard to get what they rightfully deserve and this winter carnival says we have achieved that,” said Zammit.

“The future of this industry is brighter than it has ever been and only getting better.”