Queanbeyan Cup off and racing … again

Queanbeyan can lay claim to a rarity in Australian racing - contesting two cups in the same year.

The biggest day on the city's racing calendar has come around six months after the last running of the Queanbeyan Cup.

In what is hoped to be a permanent move to coincide with the spring carnival, the Queanbeyan Cup for 2012/13 is on this Sunday at the Queanbeyan Racing Club.

Prizemoney for the eight-race card has been beefed up to $160,000, with $40,000 up for grabs in the main race of the day over 2000 metres.

The switch was made to encourage increased betting turnover, attract higher-quality runners and bring larger crowds through the gates.

The club's chief executive Brendan Comyn said the previous timing of the city's premier race was unsustainable for the club's financial future.


''We had to do something because in recent times we've been racing against places like Hawkesbury and Wyong and losing money,'' Comyn said. ''To run our cup meeting we were giving away the most prizemoney we do for the year.

''We can't afford to do that, considering we're getting back on our feet again.

''If our TAB turnover is up to expectations, which will be 1.2 to 1.3 [million dollars], then we'll be jumping for joy.''

The meeting will be held the day after the spring carnival starts at Caulfield.

Queanbeyan is one of two NSW tracks in action on Sunday, the other being Ballina in the state's north.

Early nominations indicate a quality field.

Leading Sydney trainer Gerald Ryan has earmarked Awi Acting, while Al Ahmar, Reigning Rhythm, High Density and Hey Porter are also rated highly.

Comyn hopes Gai Waterhouse will submit a nomination and aim to go two places better after finishing third with Tea For Two in April.

''If the city trainers bring horses, then the turnover will go up,'' he said. ''It's looking good so far. Awi Acting has come second its last two starts at provincial meetings, Setta Rocks won two starts ago, Al Ahmar has won two of its three starts at Canberra and Hey Porter has won six races, five of them at Queanbeyan, so he's the local hero.''