The world-renowned Birdsville Races will enjoy unprecedent coverage this weekend with the two-day carnival poised to be broadcast across the globe.
Queensland Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said that for a successive year, the races would be televised live on SKY Racing, with all but two of the 13 races to air on SKY1 for the first time on Friday and Saturday.
“While the television is a great way to show the world our neck of the woods, this year’s races are just another fantastic excuse to head west during the Premier’s Year of Outback Tourism,” he said.
“The Birdsville Races just keep growing and have become one of the most significant dates on the racing calendar.
“It’s also supported by the Palaszczuk Government’s four-year, $70.4 million Country Racing Program, which recognises the strong connection regional Queenslanders have with the racing industry.”
Earlier this year, Racing Queensland announced Birdsville would serve as one of 10 up-coming meetings to be converted from non-TAB to TAB as part of the organisation’s commitment to unlocking commercial outcomes for the industry.
Since the announcement, TAB meetings have been held at Yeppoon, Warwick and the Mt Isa Rodeo, providing an additional $222,000 in prize money to participants.
In the coming weeks, the Longreach Cup will also enjoy live coverage on SKY before scheduled meetings at Dalby, Innisfail, Warwick, Emerald and Barcaldine, which has been programmed to coincide with the 2020 Tree of Knowledge Festival.
RQ CEO Brendan Parnell said that racing played an important role in regional communities right across Queensland.
“We’re delighted to be able to showcase them in this manner,” he said.
“Birdsville is a bucket-list meeting for many Australians – it symbolises everything that is great about racing in the Sunshine State.
“It’s a great example of the way in which our events – and races – are able to connect Queensland communities like few others.”
Situated almost 1600 kilometres west of Brisbane, Birdsville is one of Australia’s most remote towns which attracts close to 7000 fans each year, who make the annual pilgrimage to experience the magic of the event on the edge of the Simpson Desert.
Six races will be staged at Birdsville on Friday, with a further seven conducted on Saturday.