February 28, 2017
Nanango’s Lee Park was a sea of pink on Saturday as race goers braved the hot, sunny weather to enjoy the South Burnett’s first race meeting of the year.
Many visitors took to the meeting’s “Think Pink” fashion theme with genuine enthusiasm, wearing everything from discreet pink ties and floral dresses with pink highlights through to eye-watering solid pink suits and head-to-toe pink ensembles.
South Burnett Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff, famous for her fondness of the colour, was a judge for the meeting’s Fashions Of The Field competition.
But since the weather was too hot for a traditional fashion parade in front of the grandstand, Cr Duff and her fellow judges awarded “spot prizes” as they wandered the grounds, before gathering all the minor prize-winners together in the cool of late afternoon to decide the ultimate winners.
Most race goers preferred to spend the meeting in the shade, and the Race Club’s bar area and dining room did a steady trade all day.
A pleasant breeze blowing through the covered betting ring and under the awnings at the track proved irresistible to many, and shaded seating was at a premium.
Because of clashes with other meetings, acceptances at the meeting were lower than usual and each-way punters could really only cast a bet on the first race.
But crowd numbers were up compared to last year’s first meeting, and Race Club officials said they were happy with the turnout.
The meeting also proved a small winner for Ronald McDonald House when Cr Duff, Cr Frohloff, Cr Jones and former councillor Barry Green tipped in $50 each for a bet on a horse chosen by Mr Green, on the understanding that if it won the proceeds would go to the charity.
The horse he chose – I’m No Ruby in the fifth race of the day – was a $2.40 favourite, but it won by a half length.
After the day’s races had finished, local band Mr Q picked up their guitars and provided patrons with an hour of music to round out the day.
The South Burnett’s next race meeting will the Nanango Race Club’s Easter Meeting at Lee Park on April 15.
This will be followed by the Wondai Race Club’s Anzac Day Race Meeting on April 25, and the Burrandowan Picnic Races, which will be celebrating their 95th birthday on May 13.
For the past few meetings the Nanango Race Club has been celebrating the most famous horses that have run at the Lee Park race track.
At the club’s December meeting, it honoured Picnic In The Park; and for its first meeting of 2017, the honours went to Papilloma, a New Zealand horse that had very ordinary form until it was purchased by former Murgon vet Dr Ted Fisher and put into the hands of trainer Patrick Duff.
Patrick reversed the horse’s form and it went on to enjoy a winning streak on the country racing circuit, pulling in 18 victories under his stewardship including the 1969 Nanango Cup.
At Saturday’s meeting, Patrick’s brother Cedric Duff from Glendalough Brangus Stud in Bowenville sponsored the Papilloma Class B Handicap, which was won by Anxpense a half neck ahead of Poetic Dragon.
Afterwards, the brothers got together to reminisce with their old friend Barry Green, whom they’ve known for close to 50 years.
The first race at Saturday’s Think Pink race day at Lee Park was delayed by 35 minutes when a horse dislodged apprentice jockey Corinne Miles in the mounting yard, then rolled on her.
Worried race club officials and Cr Roz Frohloff – a trained paramedic – rushed to the jockey’s assistance, caring for her until she could be taken by ambulance to Kingaroy Hospital.
Corinne was later transferred to a Brisbane hospital, where she is expected to spend several days being treated for a significant pelvic injury before being transferred back to her home on the Gold Coast.
The delay in running the day’s first race pushed most other races on the card back from their announced starting times, but to everyone’s relief it was the only accident to occur at the meeting.
Racing writer and race caller Ross Stanley said the accident was particularly unfortunate for the young jockey, and he hoped she had a speedy recovery.
Corinne has only just started her apprenticeship, and has chalked up just five wins.
Race 1 – Glendalough Brangus Stud/Papilloma Class B Handicap (800m)
1. Anxpense (1) – Paul Hamblin
2. Poetic Dragon (6) – Rick Johnston-Bell
3. Karma Force (2) – Melissa Cox
Margins: 1/2 neck x 1 1/2 lengths
Race 2 – Three Way Photos BenchMark 55 Handicap (1000m)
1. Hopetoun Street (6) – Leeanne McCoy
2. Jeptoo (7) – Chelsea Jokic
3. Darling Be Good (3) – Rick Johnston-Bell
Margins: Neck x 3/4 length
Race 3 – Ruby Early Memorial Maiden Plate (1200m)
1. Diamondine (2) – Chelsea Jokic
2. Front Foot (1) – Hannah Phillips
3. Rumba Laara (4) – Billie-Rose Derbyshire
Margins: 3 1/2 lengths x 3 lengths
Race 4 – Nanango Bookmakers Association BenchMark 50 Handicap (1200m)
1. Deputy Peck (1) – Paul Hamblin
2. Prince Of Peace (4) – Melody O’Brien
3. Beer ‘N’ Barmaid (3) – Lyall Appo
Margins: 7 1/4 lengths x 1 3/4 lengths
Race 5 – Ken Mills Toyota Benchmark 60 Handicap (1600m)
1. I’m No Ruby (3) – Joshua King
2. Our Clarky (2) – Hannah Phillips
3. Onemore Twist (5) – Chelsea Jokic
Margins: 1/2 length x 1 1/2 lengths