Townsville Turf Club president excited by depth of fields

It is starting to smell a lot like the 2022 Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival for Townsville Turf Club boss Malcolm Petrofski.

MISSILE THUNDER. Picture: Racing Queensland.

The president of the club based out of Cluden Park is salivating at the size and depth of the fields set to go around at his track on Friday afternoon.

A massive 129 gallopers were nominated across the original 10-event program, with 117 now set to face the starter this Friday across 11 races, following the Benchmark 58 Handicap over 1000 metres being split into two events. 

Petrofski pointed to Racing Queensland's Size and Scope Report, which was released late last week, around the high level of racing in North Queensland in 2022.

"It does show the strength of the racing when we have the number of races we have on Friday," Petrofski said.

"There is certainly plenty of horses around at the moment in Townsville.

"It is a testament that racing is strong in North Queensland, not only the did Minister for Racing Grace Grace announce last week that the financials of the sport are good, but actually the racing is also pretty strong at the moment on the track.

"Our average field sizes on a regular basis have been strong, which is good for wagering and everything else."

Petrofski is hopeful the sizeable and deep fields will attract plenty of Townsville locals to Cluden Park on Friday afternoon.

"We want to get as many people as possible to the track on Friday," he said.

"Being a Friday afternoon, hopefully people can get down after work."

Of the gallopers to go around at Cluden Park on Friday afternoon, countless will be on a path towards the upcoming Northern Queensland Winter Racing Carnival.

Unbeaten youngster Missile Thunder will aim to make it four from four to begin his career for the Roy Chillemi barn in the QTIS Two-Year-Old Handicap over 1200 metres.

Former Country Cups Challenge champion Paniagua will also continue his return campaign, third-up into an Open Handicap over a mile and the Alex Malliff-trained gelding is sure to be targeting big prize money through the upcoming carnival.

On the feature front, the time-honoured 2YO Classic – set to be run for $100,000 this year – will be held on June 11 over 1200 metres.

The carnival heats up even more in early August with the Lightning Handicap and the Belle Of The Burdekin to be run on Thursday August 4, before the $150,000 Townsville Cup and the famous Cleveland Bay Handicap is hosted at Cluden Park just two days later.

"It is certainly ramping up," Petrofski said.

Racing and Sports