Jockey Jim Byrne steers Outback Barbie to victory at Doomben. Picture: AAP
Jockey Jim Byrne steers Outback Barbie to victory at Doomben. Picture: AAP

Five thousand good reasons to cheer No.1s

WAGERING service providers have joined Racing Queensland's "1 for the Bush" promotion, meaning every time a horse or dog carrying the No.1 saddlecloth wins this weekend, $5000 will go to drought relief funds.

RQ announced the initiative on Monday, pledging $1000 for every winner, and since then wagering operators Ladbrokes, TAB, Sportsbet and BetEasy have come on board and matched RQ's contribution.

All funds will go to the QCWA's Rural Crisis Fund and across the three codes, there will be 123 races run in Queensland on Saturday and Sunday. Additionally, $10,000 from the TAB Country Cup Challenge Final will also go to a rural charity.

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Ladbrokes Australia chief executive Dean Shannon described "1 for the Bush" as a great initiative.

"There is a lot of communities doing it tough at the moment due to this drought," Shannon said. "But one of the great attributes of Queenslanders is that we rally around each other when the chips are down. As a proud Queensland-based business we are glad to support this very worthy cause."

This weekend, race meetings will be conducted at the Gold Coast, Brisbane, Toowoomba, Ipswich, Kilcoy, Barcaldine, Innisfail, Goondiwindi, Thangool and Mount Isa on Saturday.

"We're extremely grateful to our betting operators for their response to '1 for the Bush' and their willingness to match dollar for dollar," Racing Queensland chief executive Brendan Parnell said.

Sunday race meetings will be held at the Sunshine Coast, Brisbane, Redcliffe, Capalaba and Nanango.