Saturday’s program at Burrandowan has been enhanced by Racing Queensland’s decision to divide two significantly oversubscribed races.
Consequently seven races will now be decided between 12:30pm and 4:30pm.
Given that the closest non-TAB meetings on the same day are at Quilpie, Longreach, Charters Towers and Mount Isa, it was not surprising that the once-a-year fixture held to the west of Kingaroy drew 116 entries for its five events.
It was helpful that the club’s policy (as per its website) is to pay a $100 rebate travel for fifth to last placings.
35 of the nominations were in the Selby Keys Memorial-Hot FM Maiden Plate (QTIS, 1200m), a contest that has a safety limit of 12 runners with 5 reserves.
However there were 28 acceptors.
Clearly It would have been more than disappointing and a public relations faux pas if well over half of these were denied their opportunity.
The 1000 metre Class B event was also split.
There were 22 acceptors for ten allowable spots from that starting point.
With emergencies on call in every race, it’s odds-on that the ensuing large fields will test punters right out.
* * *
Some Interesting Participants
Nanango apprentice Hannah Phillips, with April wins at Wondai and Nanango will be looking for more South Burnett successes at Burrandowan.
It is quite a compliment for the three-kilogram claimer to have a full book of rides.
Her father Barry will leg her up on to Captain Clayton in the Clovely Estate-4SB 1071 AM-Ted Fisher Handicap (1000m).
The Danbird gelding is effectively up 1.5 kilograms on the weight he carried to an easy Nanango victory at Easter.
That was a BM 65 competition and this is slightly weaker at BM 60.
The old boy with a suitable on-pace racing style, has drawn widely but, with Hannah aboard, has won twice and run second over 1000 metres this year.
Phillips and her mount Tornadoes will attempt to win back-to-back Burrandowan Opens when they line up for the Agforce Qld-Patrons Cup (1200m).
* * *
More of the Zaim, the Goondiwindi based gelding that took out the Class B at the corresponding Burrandowan meeting last year, steps up to open company on Saturday.
This season the ultra-consistent Sheree Mcewan trained sprinter has been unplaced only once in his ten tasks.
That was at Dalby on Anzac Day.
His other three tasks this preparation produced a first success at home over 1000 metres on 22 March; a strong, front-running defiant $12,000 Noorama Cup victory in mid-April; and a last start third at Mitchell over the metric seven furlongs.
The chestnut’s career form line of 20:7-3-5 indicates that the five-year-old always gives his best and is not bothered by travelling.
* * *
Other Snippets For Saturday
I Am Mclovin is again an interesting candidate.
Jason Missen, his Burrandowan jockey, has quickly struck form after his injury-enforced lay off and has the skills needed to get they best out of the three-year-old that has twice scored for James Curtain’s Kumbia yard.
The Murtajill gelding now has the benefit of four race day experience and now doubt will be ridden for speed in the early stages.
He was asked to carry 60 kilograms in a recent Class B at Roma.
This time around he has been allotted 58 kilograms in the same grade despite scoring with a 56.5 handicap mark at the higher Class 1 level at Wondai on Anzac Day.
- Lyall Appo, who last sported silk in the South Burnett at Kumbia on Melbourne Cup Day, will have four rides for Chinchilla trainer Mark Goodwin.
- Kingaroy trainer Tom Moloney and jockey Alannah Badger will be hoping to encore their recent Wondai triumph with Famechon Baroness in the opening event. They have their fingers crossed that Chief Charging Bear, the fourth reserve in the BM Handicap, will get a run. The ten-year-old by Chief Bearhart has not raced since 22 June 2013.
- Rhiannon Payne is maintaining her fine touch with five winners coming her way in seven days. The Wondai apprentice’s double at Rockhampton on 30 April was followed by wins at Mackay (1 May), Mitchell (2 May) and Rockhampton on Thursday (7 May).
- 4TAB-Sky and regular country caller Paul Dolan, a keen cricket fan whom was a fast bowler in his schoolboy days, took his “venue” score to 103 with a guest call at Monday’s Alice Springs Cup meeting. On Anzac Day, 42 years after his first solo calling day after linking up with Barry Green, he was behind the microphone at the Gold Coast for his first ever Group race card. The tally is a global number of tracks across the three codes. But wait … there will be more !!!
* * *
An Upcoming Logjam
Esk Jockey Club’s non-TAB program on Saturday 16 May is book-ended by TAB offerings on Friday at Gatton and Sunday at Kilcoy.
This is a somewhat unprecedented concertina.
The only up side is that there is a downward compression during the rich carnival period with horses that may usually take on city events pushed out to the provincials and so on down the fodder chain.
Sometimes the potential challenges to drawing starters in these competitive circumstances have surprising results.
At least Esk is assured of healthy crowd figures (weather permitting) with all sites along Marquee Mall already booked.