The Harrovian has created history by becoming the first horse to secure a TAB Queensland Northern Crowns Series bonus with victory in the FNQ Amateurs Cup in Cairns on Saturday.
Jumping as an odds-on favourite, the Stephen Massingham-trained gelding pocketed $87,000 for the win and a further $200,000 bonus after prevailing in the Townsville Cup and the Cairns Cup earlier in the campaign.
Across the three meetings, the six-year-old has secured more than $460,000 for his connections while re-writing history in the process.
First introduced last year, the Northern Crowns Series offers bonuses to any horse that can secure three of the five staying or sprinting races held across Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville, Cairns and FNQ Amateurs.
“It’s the richest payday in Queensland country racing history,” Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell said.
“We’ve made it extremely attractive to campaign throughout the Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival including record prize money and $350,000 in bonuses.
“The Harrovian has been the star performer throughout our staying races and thoroughly deserves his success for Stephen Massingham, (co-owner) Tom Hedley and the other connections.”
During the inaugural series, Peacock won the Rockhampton and Cairns Newmarkets but was unable to secure the sprinters’ bonus after failing in the final leg.
Similarly, Rockhampton gelding Mr Attitude was unsuccessful in his second and final attempt to secure the $150,000 sprinters’ bonus today after placing third in the Cairns Amateurs Open Sprint.
Having been penalised in the weights following his victories in the Mackay Newmarket and the Cleveland Bay Handicap in Townsville, the six-year-old was unable to repeat the dose in either of the Cairns features.
In the moments following The Harrovian’s win, Massingham said the victory was a relief.
“He’s the best horse in North Queensland by panels I reckon,” Massingham said.
“He can go to the paddock and we’ll let the dust settle and let everything settle – we’ll give him a good break and bring him back later on (but) don’t know when - but then we’ll head to Brisbane.