May 14, 2012
A crowd of about 1500 attended the 90th Anniversary Burrandowan Picnic Races on Saturday in what turned out to be near-perfect autumn weather.
While women donned their finest attire and men turned out in suits and hats for the hotly contested Fashions Of The Field competitions, local favourite Lyall Appo brought home two winners and a second on the racetrack.
Burrandowan Picnic Race Club Secretary Carolyn Stone said she was delighted with the support the meeting received and very grateful for the good weather, too.
“It’s just a perfect day – not too hot, not windy,” she said. “You simply couldn’t ask for better.”
The betting ring was packed all day with eager punters wagering on both the local races and interstate gallops.
And much the same could be said for the fashion stakes, with every category in the Fashions Of The Field competition attracting at least half a dozen entries, and some categories well over a dozen.
Patrons were also entertained by the Kingaroy State High School Stage Band who turned in their usual polished performance.
And many children enjoyed themselves on the amusement rides set up at one end of the grounds while their parents savoured a quiet glass of wine underneath any one of several large pavilion tents that dotted the field, providing oases of cool shade in the otherwise sunlit grounds.
While many Burrandowan patrons were locals who came from all parts of the South Burnett – including South Burnett Regional Council Mayor Wayne Kratzmann and Councillors Cheryl Dalton and Kathy Duff – many others travelled up from Brisbane, the Gold and Sunshine Coasts, or even further afield to take in the country racing atmosphere.
The racetrack’s camping grounds were full of tents and caravans, with some guests arriving a few days earlier and saying they planned to stay on for a day or two afterwards as well.
Buses also ferried in large numbers of guests throughout the day, and the carpark outside the grounds was packed with vehicles that had made the 65km journey from Kingaroy over partially sealed roads that were in surprisingly good condition.
As the shadows began to lengthen in the afternoon, the track’s famous pit-fired barbecues were set alight. By early evening the first steaks began hitting the grilles.
And as the night air took on an autumn chill and guests began donning jumpers and coats, Stunt Pig (formerly Captain’s Road) fired up on stage and dancing followed not long afterwards.
Former Wondai Shire Councillor Michael Duff – who took top honours in the Men’s Fashion section – noted that his grandfather had taken part in the very first Burrandowan Picnic Race meeting in 1922, and had met his grandmother there, so the race was “very much part of our family”.
He said he was proud that the race’s traditions had continued into the 21st century, and congratulated the Burrandowan Picnic Race Club on “a job well done”.
Race 1 – Clovely Wines / 4SB 1071 Class B Handicap – 1000m
1. Flinders Singa (4) – Lyall Appo
2. Heart Of My Heart (9) – Michael McKenzie
3. Terms (5) – Ruby Ride
Margins: 1/2 head x long neck
Race 2 – South Burnett Times / BGA QTIS Maiden Plate – 1200m
1. With Friends (4) – Ray Hancock
2. Comico (2) – Lyall Appo
3. Fast Track To Cash (6) – Peter Spry
Margins: 1 1/2 lengths x 2 1/2 lengths
Race 3 – Country Bookmakers / Agforce / Qld Country Life Patrons Cup Class 4 Handicap – 1200m
1. Miss Chancesxaar (3) – Todd Banks
2. Stallone (4) – Tomarra Serjeant
3. Honour Guard (2) – Rikki Jamieson
Margins: Short head x 1/2 head
Race 4 – Go Green Generation / South Burnett Regional Council Open Handicap – 1200m
1. Release Me (3) – Lyall Appo
2. Extreme Mover (2) – Tomarra Serjeant
3. Mini Maizing (1) – Billie-Rose Derbyshire
Margins: 3 3/4 lengths x 1/2 length
Race 5 – CROW FM 90.7 and Kristy Banks Class 2 Handicap – 1600m
1. Promise Act (1) – Shaun Bayliss
2. Gold Record (3) – Ian Coombes
3. Crown News (6) – Todd Banks
Margins: 1/2 neck x 1/2 length