RQ Takes Punt On A Grand Prix Date Change

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Racing has taken a punt in an attempt to restore the Group Three to its former glory by switching it to the summer.

The Grand Prix will be run at on Saturday for the first time in a summer date in its history.

Changing feature race dates is nothing new in various Australian cities but rarely does a race once touted as major event find itself in such a foreign time slot.

The Grand Prix was established in 1971 as a winter race to match the top three-year-old fillies from the against the top three year old males from the Queensland Derby.

It got off to a when the darling of Mode beat Sydney star Planet Kingdom.

In the years that followed a series of genuine top-class horses won the Grand Prix including , Surround, Kingston Town, Double Century, Handy Proverb and Our Sophia.

In 2007, Bart Cummings combined with to win with Sirmione who went on to win the Group One and Group One .

However, in the years since the race slipped down the pecking order with the standard of its winners falling well short of its golden days.

The Grand Prix was seen as a distant fourth behind the Queensland Derby, Queensland Oaks and Rough Habit Plate as elite three-year-old staying races in the winter.

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