A new sprinting series will accompany this year's Country Cups Challenge providing 16 of regional Queensland's best thoroughbreds with the opportunity to line-up at Doomben this summer.
Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the $50,000 Country Stampede will begin in Longreach, which will host the inaugural qualifier on September 26.
Mount Isa will do likewise on opening day to the qualifiers with the Spring Cup Open Quality Handicap and heats for the Country Cups Challenge being conducted at the same meetings.
Cloncurry gets its turn on October 9 in the Cloncurry Cup, one of a further 12 qualifiers will be staged across the state before the Final on December 5 at George Moore Stakes Day.
With COVID-19 disrupting this year's Battle of the Bush series, Minister Hinchliffe welcomed the creation of the Country Stampede and the opportunity for regional Queensland's best sprinters to win their way through to the Summer Carnival, alongside their middle distance counterparts.
"The Country Cups Challenge was an exciting addition to the racing calendar last year and the Country Stampede promises to be just as eventful," he said.
In order to be eligible for either Final, horses may not have won a metropolitan race in the past two years and must have started in one of the 16 qualifiers.
Float subsidies will be paid to the trainers of horses that remain in the field for both the Country Cups Challenge and Country Stampede after final scratching time on the following basis:
. South East and Eastern Downs regions - $500;
. Downs and Capricorn regions - $750;
. Central West and Leichhardt regions - $1500; and
. Far North and North West regions - $2000.
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