May 13, 2014
Burrandowan’s traditional picnic races proved to be a day for the ladies, with the $4000 Fashions of the Field competition turning heads and female jockeys keeping punters happy on the track.
South Burnett apprentice Hannah Phillips stole the show, bringing home two winners as well as a stylish silver bracelet for being the most successful rider on the day.
Phillips effectively doubled her career record with the two victories, adding to her wins at Nanango on April 14 and Chinchilla on April 26.
Top apprentice Billie-Rose Derbyshire also found success, bringing home Astralin in Race 3.
Experienced hoop Melody O’Brien was also smiling after riding two seconds and a third in Races 3, 4 and 5.
A happy crowd packed the track to cheer all the winners home.
Busloads of visitors from Brisbane, the Sunshine Coast and the South Burnett joined hundreds of drivers on the 60km trek from Kingaroy to the bush racetrack.
Some campers came a day or two earlier to make a full weekend of it.
As usual, the action got under way shortly after 9:00am with clay target shooting.
But the bulk of the day’s crowd started to come through the gates towards mid-morning and by the time the first race left the barriers at 1:00pm, the atmosphere was electric.
As always, tradition was at the forefront of most people’s minds at Burrandowan.
This year’s event marked 92 years since the first meeting was held on May 13, 1922, and many memories and stories were shared throughout the day.
Former Kingaroy mayor Bob Downes, who died in February, was fondly recalled for his services to the Burrandowan Race Club.
Bob was starter at the track for many years as well as the club’s vice-president.
A special presentation was also made to outgoing committee member Ted Fisher who has served the Burrandowan Race Club for an amazing 60 years and was only retiring (he said) because his body was telling him it needed “a bit of a rest”.
Cr Kathy Duff, who presented the hand-made silver bracelet Hannah Phillips, told the crowd that Burrandowan held a special place in her own family’s history too.
“My grandfather met my grandmother at the very first Burrandowan Picnic Races and they were married four years later,” she said.
“This race meeting means a lot to us and to many other people.
“So these days I present a silver bracelet to the top jockey each year – and this year I’m really delighted that it’s going to a girl!”
The RACQ CareFlight Helicopter Rescue Service was also delighted with the day.
Each year the race club donates a portion of the proceeds of the meeting to a charitable cause, and this year they have selected CareFlight.
Footnote: Photos from this year’s Burrandowan Picnic Races can be purchased from Denise Keelan Photography
Race 1 – Clovely Estate / Ken Mills Toyota / AGL Class B Handicap (1000m)
1. More Of The Zaim (2) – Shannon Apthorpe
2. Mi Idea (7) – Melissa Cox
3. Red Mint (9) – Ian Coombes
Margins: 1 1/2 lengths x 1 3/4 lengths
Race 2 – South Burnett Times / BGA Agri Services Benchmark 65 Handicap (1000m)
1. Honour Jacko (2) – Chris Kearney
2. Baited Breath (1) – Melissa Cox
3. Desert Playboy (8) – Ian Coombes
Margins: 1/2 length x neck
Race 3 – Bob Downes Memorial / Patrons Cup QTIS Maiden Plate (1200m)
1. Astralin (5) – Billy-Rose Derbyshire
2. Making Waves (1) – Melody O’Brien
3. Sammy Safecracker (2) – Jason Missen
Margins: Short neck x 1 3/4 lengths
Race 4 – AgForce / Queensland Country Life Open Handicap (1200m)
1. Tornadoes (1) – Hannah Phillips
2. Richmond Grove (2) – Melody O’Brien
3. Seaza (5) – Shannon Apthorpe
Margins: 1/2 length x 3 1/2 lengths
Race 5 – CROW FM 90.7 / South Burnett Mayor’s Benefit Fund / Country Bookmakers Benchmark 60 Handicap (1600m)
1. Glenthorn Avenue (3) – Hannah Phillips
2. Le Max (2) – Chris Kearney
3. Cross The Star (1) – Melody O’Brien
Margins: Short half-head x 4 lengths