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Easter Races Eggs-trordinary

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Claudia Suter, Margaux and Leopold Parker de Carne and Liam Kelly, all from Caboolture, added colour to Nanango's Easter Saturday race meeting

April 18, 2017

An extraordinarily large crowd filled Lee Park on Saturday to enjoy the Nanango Race Club’s annual Easter race meeting in near-perfect Autumn weather.

The meeting’s fashion theme was “Easter Bonnets, Bowlers and Cottontails” and many patrons put in a big effort to parade unusual headwear, ranging from slip-on rabbit ears to more elaborate creations that must have taken many hours to put together.

Cyclone Debbie may have caused a few problems with flooding in other parts of the region when it passed through a fortnight ago, but race club officials were pleased with the way it had greened up the course for the meeting.

Punters were a little less pleased, however, when none of the day’s favourites managed to come first past the post, though two did manage to run close seconds.

Still, the main emphasis of the day was on socialising and patrons came from all over south-east Queensland to enjoy a day of country racing at the region’s busiest racecourse.

The Sunshine Coat MG Club, who visit Lee Park once or twice each year, brought along a solid contingent of members, while other guests travelled from Brisbane, Caboolture and the Gold Coast.

There were also a few trackside family reunions, including one family who travelled from Melbourne to spend Easter with their South Burnett grandparents.

Most of the meeting was incident free, but there were two close calls that caused some hearts to skip a beat.

In the first race of the day, the fancied Coalbank Caviar dislodged jockey Noriyuki Nishio shortly after leaving the barriers, then raced riderless around the track.

Ambulance personnel quickly attended to examine the fallen jockey, but happily found he was uninjured and cleared him to fulfil his later engagements.

Later that day, Eley became fractious in the mounting yard as riders were saddling up for the third race and dislodged jockey Jason Hoopert several times, at one point threatening to roll on him.

The horse had never run in a race before, and was subsequently scratched when it refused to enter the barriers.

It will now have to undergo an official trial to the satisfaction of stewards prior to racing again.

Beyond these minor incidents, though, race club officials said they were very pleased with the day, which saw a bumper turnover at the club’s canteen, barbecue and bars.

Nanango Race Club’s next fixture will be its Autumn Race Meeting on May 27.

[UPDATED with correction]

Former Nanango resident Kerry Hardie caught up with old friends Chelsea and Judy Gray at the Easter meeting

Leonie Dunn and Hugh McArthur from the Sunshine Coast MG Club both entered the Easter bonnet competition; Leonie went on to win one of the day's Fashions On The Field prizes

Rosie Schmidt chatted with Member for Nanango Deb Frecklington and race sponsor Andrea Steele, from McDonalds Kingaroy

Jade Binns, from the Nanango Race Club, got into the Easter spirit

Isabel McShane, 6, wore an Easter bonnet and a happy painted face for her mum Jenny

Sunshine Coast MG Club members Brian Dunn and Mark Parker always like to dress up for the Nanango Races; the last time he was at Lee Park, Brian was dressed as a seahorse

James Hodgkinson and Steve Parker both wore eye-catching Easter head wear

Grand-daughter Devika Moss came from Melbourne to enjoy the races with her grandparents Rick and Gloria Kirkness along with friend Darren Craig, mum Jane Moss and sister Sarah

* * *

Hightower, with Shannon Apthorpe aboard, passed the finishing post in Race 4 almost two lengths ahead of its nearest rival Night Wolf

Results

Race 1 – James Curtain Racing Class B Handicap (800m)
1. Toecanargie Man (2) – Sally Sweeney
2. Anxpense (3) – Nozi Tomizawa
3. In Taiwan (11) – Chelsea Jokic
Time: 0:45.35
Margins: 3 1/4 lengths x neck

Race 2 – Bechley’s Transport BenchMark 65 Handicap (1000m)
1. Hopetoun Street (4) – Hannah English
2. Turbo Teddy (2) – Montanna Savva
3. Man Of Law (5) – David Hayse
Time: 0:57.56
Margins: 1 1/4 lengths x 1 1/2 lengths

Race 3 – McDonalds Kingaroy QTIS Maiden Plate (1000m)
1. Mac’s Boy (4) – Pietro Romeo
2. Good Gracious Mae (5) – Alannah Badger
3. Skylar’s Star (6) – David Hayse
Time: 0:57.92
Margins: Short 1/2 neck x 1 1/2 lengths

Race 4 – Fiedler Brothers Plumbing BenchMark 55 Handicap (1200m)
1. Hightower (5) – Shannon Apthorpe
2. Night Wolf (1) – Alannah Badger
3. All Our Wives (10) – David Hayse
Time: 1:10.52
Margins: 1 3/4 lengths x short half head

Race 5 – Pursers Buses BenchMark 50 Handicap (1600m)
1. Hammerack (1) – Shannon Apthorpe
2. Marlahn (7) – Hannah Phillips
3. Onemore Twist (5) – Noriyuki Nishio
Time: 1:34.77
Margins: 2 1/2 lengths x 4 1/2 lengths

  • View videos all all five races on the Nanango Race Club’s YouTube Channel

Race 1 winner Toecanargie Man and trainer Ross Coveney are congratulated by race sponsor James Curtain and Noel Trace from the Nanango Race Club

Hopetoun Street showed fine form in the second race, beating runner-up Turbo Teddy by one and a quarter lengths

Back in the mounting yard, Noel Trace and Race 2 sponsor Alan (Dozer) Bechley posed with Hopetoun Street and stablehands Tamara Noble and Marc Alexander


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