New format for State of Origin

Racing Queensland hopes the new format for its State of Origin jockeys challenge series will overcome the problems which have dogged it in the past two years.

The State of Origin challenge was previously run over several weeks which led to problems with the continuity of teams.

The series has also been affected by the scratchings of some of the jockeys’ mounts from the designated races.

In one case in the first series, Glen Boss’ Origin heat mount was scratched but he donned the Queensland colours as a late replacement on another horse and won.

It was ruled an eligible win for the series which caused mass confusion.

Last year there was an added problem when there was a dead-heat for overall winner.

This year the series will be held over three consecutive days with the same jockeys.

The series will be staged at Doomben meetings on Friday, December 8, and Saturday December 9, with the final day at Caloundra on Sunday, December 10.

On each day, two Origin races will be held and the programming should ensure all jockeys have mounts.

The confirmed teams are Jim Byrne and Matt McGillivray (Queensland), Craig Newitt and Brendan McCoull (Tasmania), Michael Rodd and Tye Angland (NSW), Luke Nolen and Clare Lindop (Victoria), Dwayne Dunn and Jamie Kah (South Australia) and Damian Browne and Larry Cassidy (New Zealand).

South African Robbie Fradd will head an All Stars team with a yet to be named partner, likely to be Jeff Llloyd if he returns from holidays in time.

Western Australia which dead-heated for first last year will not have a team this time around.

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