QRACING could be set to break with tradition after racing administrator Brendan Comyn flagged major changes to next year’s Queanbeyan Cup.
Following Sunday’s Cup win by $10 outsider Celtic Soul, Comyn told The Queanbeyan Age the club was strongly considering reducing the club’s flagship race from 2000m to 1600m in a bid to attract more runners.
Comyn also said the prize money on offer for the Cup would likely be reduced after a disappointing field of just 10 runners contested this year’s event.
“In the interests of getting more turnover into the club it’s got to be a 1600m race next year and it’s got to be for less prize money,” Comyn said. “I honestly don’t think the field in the Cup this year justified $40,000.
“It’s just the situation in this part of the world that there aren’t a lot of 2000m races so there aren’t a lot of trainers preparing stayers.
“At the same time there are a lot of 1600m races around so by dropping it back I’m thinking we’d be able to attract a better field, or at least better numbers anyway.
“Better numbers means you hold more money on the tote and the club ends up with a couple more dollars in its pocket.”
QRacing has struggled to attract healthy entry numbers for the Cup in recent years. Last year saw the Cup moved from its traditional date in April to October, partly in a bid to attract a stronger field.
But this year’s entries once again failed to live up to expectations with the Cup failing to attract a single runner from any of the major metropolitan stables.
Comyn also said prize money for the Cup could be reduced to $35,000 with the money instead going to Queanbeyan’s premier sprinting race the Thunderbolt Handicap.
This year saw the Thunderbolt supplant the Cup as the last race of the day’s eight-race program, a decision Comyn said reflected the race’s superior field.
“I’ve been here three and a half years now and the Thunderbolt has always been the best race of the year and I think it should be rewarded with better prize money,” he said.