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The Title Race Tightens

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Jockey Shannon Apthorpe at Nanango on Easter Saturday after scoring a win on Hammerack in the final race of the day (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Gunsynd's GossipApril 21, 2017

by Ross Stanley

The buoyant crowd at Lee Park last Saturday reaffirmed the tradition that the Easter Saturday meeting is a great opportunity for locals and tourists to socialise and have a flutter.

With just the May 27 fixture left for Nanango Race Club’s 2016-17 season, it was not surprising to see a tussle unfold for the trainer’s premiership honours.

Defending champion Glenn Richardson struck first when Hopetoun Street backed up quickly after her Gympie success with a dashing victory in the Bechly’s Transport BM 65 Handicap (1000m).

The Kaphero mare went to the post strongly for Hannah English, and now seems certain to be the Horse Of The Year at Lee Park.

Her three runs there since August 1 have yielded two wins and a half-length second.

It was an odd coincidence that the locally owned six-year-old downed the two previous titleholders: Turbo Teddy and Captain Clayton.

With Man Of Law picking up third place behind his stablemate Hopetoun Street, Richardson’s scoreline climbed to 3-3-1, a tally that placed him one win shy of the lead.

However Downs mentor Tom Dougall hit back.

With the help of jockey Shannon Apthorpe, he claimed the last two events with Hightower and Hammerack to move to a count of 6-1-2.

The next program at Nanango will have a 50s Retro theme for its Moffatdale Ridge Wines Fashion fun.

There is no better advertising than “word of mouth”, and South Burnett households have a great reason to make a call and host family or friends that weekend.

A wonderful double-header is on offer, with the races on the Saturday and the Goomeri Pumpkin Festival the next day.

* * *

Wondai's Anzac Day meeting always draws a good crowd

Wondai’s Turn

With Anzac Day falling on a Tuesday, Wondai should draw its usual great crowd.

When public holidays occur on Mondays and Fridays there is a temptation for some to go away for a long weekend break.

There is just something intrinsically special about a race day commemorating the Anzac spirit.

Personally, I often think of the troops who served overseas and somehow picked up a broadcast of a Melbourne Cup and also the immense popularity of Albion Park during World War II.

The Americans were in awe of Auction, the Creek icon.

They were heady occasions.

The South Burnett Race Club’s program has strong district support.

Tom Moloney (Danish Diction and Famechon Baroness), Lindsay Anderson (Glenthorn Avenue and Clouds), Kaylene Hamilton (Monte Lago), Barry Phillips (Latchy’s Pride) and James Curtain (I Am McLovin) all have aspirants.

Richardson has accepted with Uruamba, Any Lass Will Do, Hidden Angel and Dream of Choice while Man of Law and Revelio will be his representatives at Queensland’s only TAB program at Gatton.

Meanwhile, Randwick and Flemington will maintain their long standing custom of being the principal southern locales on this historic date.

Beaudesert, because of flood devastation, is sadly left with a phantom meeting for its major day of the year.

* * *

Sally Sweeney, Race 1 winner Tocarnargie Man and his owner-trainer Ross Coveney at Lee Park on Easter Saturday (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Weird Warm Ups

What are the odds of the names of every winning jockey at Toowoomba’s twilight fixture being listed to compete at Nanango earlier in the day?

The chances were boosted because both Sally Sweeney and Nozi Tomizawa both chalked up trebles at Clifford Park.

The other winning hoop was Adam Spinks.

He was down to handle two at Lee Park but forfeited the rides because of the Toowoomba timetable.

Sweeney (Toecarnargie Man) and Tomizawa (Anxpense) filled the exacta in the Nanango opener, the James Curtain Racing Class B (800m).

Back in early March, Sally Sweeney told the Toowoomba Chronicle that she transferred from Victoria to Queensland because there were more opportunities here, particularly for female riders.

She is on three-month loan to Rex Lipp – the Jerilderie lass is indentured to John and Chris Ledger at Wangaratta.

The idea to try her luck in the north followed a Darling Downs catch up with her friend Bec Williams, a fellow Victorian who booted home at Arma De Fuego at Burrandowan in 2015.

Queensland is often condemned because of the number of race meetings it holds.

Race-riding is a highly competitive occupation.

At least there are generally more possibilities for work in this decentralised state.

* * *

Bits And Bridles

  • On Saturday, South Burnett interest focusses on activity to the west. Glenn Richardson is taking Any Lass Will Do, Jill’s Shadow and Flying Charger to Chinchilla. Hannah English will pilot the first pair and Psycho Said So before rushing off for four more engagements at Toowoomba. Her first race for the day is at 1:40 pm and her final barrier rise is set for 8:15pm
  • By the way, English has again gone close to success with a mount starting at three figure odds. Last August she picked up the minor money with Hopetoun Street ($101) at Toowoomba. On Easter Monday, she finished second on the Kenneth Perrin trained Holl’s Springsteen ($101) at Warwick. The duo will reunite at Gatton on Tuesday.
  • At Saturday’s Kilcoy’s TAB fixture, Anderson saddles up Liverpool Jane. Hannah Phillips, who rode at Augathella last Monday, will partner Jeptoo, her recent Wandoan winner, and Expat Envy.

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