AN HONOUR: Bluff race caller Scott Power will call next weekend's Battle of the Bush final.
AN HONOUR: Bluff race caller Scott Power will call next weekend's Battle of the Bush final. Contributed

Upgrades on way for Emerald

THEY'RE off and racing at Treasure Park this Saturday with the Moranbah Race Club hosting its June winter carnival meeting.

Moranbah Race Club president John Juhas is anticipating a big day with strong pre-sale tickets and table bookings and plenty of hype around town for a big day out at the races.

The three big names in country racing will saddle up multiple runners at Treasure Park tomorrow, current country Queensland premier trainer Bevan Johnson and the long time king of Treasure Park John Manzelmann along with Mackay's first lady of racing Olivia Cairns.

The trio will show down tomorrow before next weekend's $125,000 Battle of the Bush final in Brisbane.

Olivia Cairns has Stellar Knight qualified for next weekend's final, along with Bevan Johnson who has two runners, Fabs Cowboy and Hanover Square, and John Manzelmann has Sweet Surprise.

The trio will battle it out with 12 other runners from around the state at Eagle Farm next weekend, which Bluff's Scott Power has the honour of calling.

Each of the three stables have runners represented at tomorrow's Treasure Park meeting, with John Manzelmann lining up with his strongest chance in the Open Handicap, with his Battle of the Bush contestant Sweet Surprise.

Bevan Johnson will clash with Olivia Cairns in the Benchmark 60 Handicap over 1400 metres. Johnson lines up with old stager Murphy's Hustler and Cairns with Point Forward.

Jenny Bell from Clermont lines up Flinders Deagon in the same event, who looks very well placed. The other Highlands' trainer represented is Glenda Bell, who has a strong grip on the maiden handicap with Walcha, who was a unlucky second placing last start at Tambo.

The feature event on the program will be the $10,000 CFMEU Class B Cup.

Jarrod Whelow's runner Dossier looks well placed and looks extremely hard to beat.

Gates open at 11am and after the races there will be live entertainment until late into the night.

Free buses will run back and forth to the Moranbah Workers Club before and after the races till late into the night.

Emerald Jockey Club is set to receive a $55,000 upgrade as part of a state government country racing infrastructure package.

The $3.9 million package will be shared by 55 Queensland clubs, with four clubs in the Capricornia racing jurisdiction receiving funds.

The $55,000 dedicated to Emerald Jockey Club will be spent on replacing fencing to the public area and the running rail and also the mounting yard.

The Springsure Race Club has been allocated funds for upgrades to the jockey room and tie up stalls.

Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the funding was part of the government's four-year $70.4 million country racing support package.

"Country racing is integral to communities and residents living in Central Queensland”, he said.

"Small non-TAB clubs are at the heart of these communities, bringing people together and supporting local economies.

"They're not rich clubs by any means, but they have to meet ongoing infrastructure needs and this doesn't always come cheap. These funds will help improve the financial bottom line of these clubs while delivering the infrastructure they need going forward.”

Emerald Jockey Club President Leon Roberts said clubs in the Central Highlands that missed out will get to reapply for funding in Round 2 next year using a simplified process where clubs will be able to use previous applications rather than submit and re-write full applications.