May 15, 2017
Rain in Kingaroy on Saturday morning failed to deter many racegoers from attending the Burrandowan Picnic Races, and their faith was rewarded with a fine day’s weather and all the fun of the South Burnett’s oldest race meeting.
This year the Burrandowan Picnic Races celebrated their 95th anniversary, and the bush race track quickly began to fill from 11:00am onwards.
Some guests were so eager to attend they took advantage of free camping on the site to stay over – many for several days – while others took one of several buses that deposited hundreds of revellers at the front gates.
Race Club secretary Carolyn Stone said she was concerned rain in other parts of the region might deter visitors making the 60km trek to the course, and she had put out the word on local media and social media early Saturday morning to say things were proceeding as normal.
But as the morning wore on and it became evident Burrandowan was going to enjoy a fine, partly cloudy day and that rain hadn’t turned any of the gravel roads that lead to the racetrack into bogs, that concern quickly turned to relief.
As things turned out, the crowds at the course were probably equal to the numbers that came through the gates last year, and may have been even higher.
The race club’s canteen, wine and cheese bar, merchandise shop and bush bar did a rip-roaring trade all day, and local service clubs were kept busy serving barbecued foodstuffs all day, too.
Many racegoers took advantage of pre-packed hampers they’d had the foresight to order before race day, while others took their pre-booked seats at the High Tea held in Burrandowan’s Hall for a taste of days gone by.
The betting ring was also busily abuzz as punters scanned their race books in search of a winner.
The Fashions Of The Field competition on a brightly decorated stage set up next to the Hall was a focal point for many racegoers, all eager to see contestants in the four categories – Classic Lady, Best Couple, Contemporary Lady and Best Dressed Gentleman – strut their stuff on the catwalk.
And this year’s competition didn’t disappoint, with a large number of elegantly attired men, women and couples vying to win a large selection of prizes donated by Race Club sponsors.
After the last race, the pit-fired barbecues that had been burning all afternoon swung into action for the evening’s steak dinners, followed by entertainment from Misfitz and the Redsell Brothers that lasted well into the night.
While it will probably be a few days before race club officials tally up all the day’s visitor numbers and takings, RACQ LifeFlight should be very happy with the outcome, too.
They’re the beneficiaries of this year’s event, which raises money for worthy community causes.
Race 1 – South Burnett Regional Council / South Burnett Times Class B Handicap (1050m)
1. Sir Bam (2) – Paul Hamblin
2. Anxpense (3) – Wayne O’Connell
3. In Taiwan (8) – Melody O’Brien
Margins: Short half head x 1 1/4 lengths
Race 2 – Hot FM 89.1 / Taabinga Station Patrons Cup Open Handicap (1050m)
1. Charge Missile (1) – Billie-Rose Derbyshire
2. Klammer (3) – Paul Hamblin
3. Monte Lago (7) – Melody O’Brien
Margins: 3/4 length x 2 lengths
Race 3 – 4SB 1071 / O’Reilly Nunn Favier Surveyors QTIS Maiden Plate (1175m)
1. Court Rules (5) – Leeanne McCoy
2. Drummle (7) – Gemma Steele
3. Stratton Oakmont (4) – Wayne O’Connell
Margins: 1 1/2 lengths x 1 1/4 lengths
Race 4 – Clovely Estate / Agforce / BGA BenchMark 60 Handicap (1175m)
1. Pick Of The Pubs (3) – Leeanne McCoy
2. Heza Chumley (2) – Paul Hamblin
3. Output (7) – Billie-Rose Derbyshire
Margins: 1/2 head x 1 length
Race 5 – CROW FM 90.7 / Ken Mills Toyota And Machinery Burrandowan Cup BM50 Handicap (1740m)
1. Onemore Twist (7) – Pietro Romeo
2. First Regret (NZ) (4) – Lachlan Dodds
3. Destiny’s Desire (10) – Gemma Steele
Margins: Short 1/2 head x neck