by Ross Stanley
Charge Missile, the Burrandowan winner that humped 64 kilograms to win the second race at last Saturday’s meeting, is at the centre of a fascinating set of partnerships.
The Charge Forward gelding and his jockey Billie-Rose Derbyshire put up a tremendous performance to take out the Hot FM 89.1-Taabinga Station-Patrons Cup (1050m).
Derbyshire, who handles the six-year-old in trackwork, successfully appealed to trainer Brenton Andrew for the mount.
Although the Gatton mentor happens to be her fiance, apprentice claims were to the fore for a pair of November victories when the handicap was 64 kilograms or more.
Given that the sprinter is best suited in trips in the 1100-1200 metre range, Andrew opted to sharpen his aspirant by putting blinkers on.
Derbyshire made every use of the rails draw and, although not given much peace in the lead, the former Sydney galloper dug deep to hold off the favourite Klammer (Paul Hamblin) with Monte Lago (Melody O’Brien) picking up the minor placing.
Charge Missile’s maternal sire line takes in Dynaformer, Roberto’s American son whose progeny includes Americain (2010 Melbourne Cup), Almoonqith (2105 Sandown Cup) and It’s Somewhat, the Doncaster hero that is well fancied for this weekend’s Doomben Cup.
Billie-Rose got her way this time around but Brenton has put in a unique request of his own: he wants Billie-Rose to ride Charge Missile during their wedding next April.
Although bookmakers have yet to frame a market on that prospect, it will not surprise to see the odds firm up as the occasion nears.
Meanwhile, the trainer is recovering from a hernia operation and a broken ankle that was inflicted in a trackwork incident.
No doubt Charge Missile’s triumph was an ideal tonic.
For the second year in a row, Leeanne McCoy was the top hoop at Burrandowan.
She decidedly helped her only two engagements merit the winner’s circle limelight.
Remarkably, both came from very wide gates and were forced to cover ground.
However both horses finished off their tasks in strong style.
In the 4SB 1071-O’Reilly Nunn Favier Surveyors Maiden QTIS Plate (1175m) it was Court Rules that made a deserved breakthrough after chalking up four placings from his six previous career starts.
The Court Command gelding from Graham Banks’ Oakey yard picked up the bonus to earn $8,375 as compared with the $4,875 that would have gone to a non-QTIS eligible winner.
McCoy had to work even harder to claim the second leg of her double in the Clovely Estate-Agforce-BGA BM 60 Handicap (1175m).
Pick Of The Pubs was slowly away and seemed a remote possibility in the middle stages.
However the Publishing gelding responded superbly and was steadily gaining on the leaders nearing the final bend.
Sequalo’s grandson, raced by McCoy’s father David, clearly gave his all for the lady who has spent so much time with him.
She has been aboard for all bar one of Pick Of The Pub’s victories to date.
Leeanne’s husband David Reynolds has placed his charge well.
The 23 times he has saddled up the now four-year-old have generated a tidy 7-3-2 lifetime record.
Paul Hamblin deserved his fee after booting home Sir Bam for the Tom Dougall stable in the South Burnett Regional Council-South Burnett Times Class B (1050m).
The highly consistent Drumbeats three-year-old was hampered on jumping away and got a long way back in the short sprint.
Its chances seemed forlorn at the half way mark, but the $1.90 favourite really flew in the straight to score narrowly from Anxpense (Wayne O’Connell).
In Taiwan (Melody O’Brien), the Sequalo chestnut that had no clear running for much of the final stretch, flashed late to grab third money.
Toowoomba trainer Norm Larkin was happily heading to the presentation area after One More Twist (Pietro Romeo) had prevailed in the Crow FM 90.7-Ken Mills Toyota and Machinery-Burrandowan Cup (BM 60, 1740m) by a short half head when news came through that Lachlan Dodds, the rider of the runner-up First Regret, wanted to view footage of the race.
Larkin, who has been pottering around for a few years, faced being denied his initial win as a conditioner, and the protest was duly lodged.
The slim margin and the fact that the alleged problem point was in the approach to the post meant it was a nerve racking wait for owner Les Pedersen as well.
Stewards deemed that even though One More Twist did shift ground over the final 20 metres, no contact was made and that First Regret also shifted in slightly at the same point.
It was their opinion “that the interference suffered to First Regret was minimal, if any, and they could not be comfortably satisfied to the degree to warrant a reversal of placings.”
The Lee Park program on Saturday, May 27 will be followed the next day by the annual Goomeri Pumpkin Festival.
This year – for the benefit of those who come early for the Pumpkin Festival and want something to do on Saturday – a free shuttle bus to the course will depart from Joe’s Grand Hotel at Goomeri at 11:30am, but bookings (with Lesley Berger on 07-4163-1513) are needed.
The Nanango Race Club’s other initiative for the May meeting is the introduction of food lines at its Champagne At The Bit Bar.
Bruschetta ($6), Cheese Platters ($12) and Antipasto Platters ($16) can be pre-ordered by email.
Given the bloodlines involved, Wondai breeders Julie and Tony Brown did astonishingly well to buy the unraced King’s Best mare Mrs Windsor when she was pregnant to Sebring at the 2013 Inglis Easter Broodmare Sale.
For just over $20,000 the couple had a daughter of the In The Purple mare Born To Be Queen, winner of the AJC Metropolitan, VATC Norman Robinson Stakes and the Geelong Oaks Trial.
She was also placed in a VRC Oaks, VRC Derby and a Newcastle Cup.
Heart Ruler, her daughter by Marscay, also won an AJC Metropolitan and the Colin Stephens Handicap.
Born To Be Queen’s mating with Bletchingly produced Coronation Day, the AJC Spring Champion Stakes sash-bearer that also prevailed in the AJC George Main Stakes and, somewhat aptly, an AJC Royal Sovereign Stakes.
Just prior to the sale, Sebring’s first crop had clinched black type success courtesy of Criterion (2013 Todman Stakes, Black Opal Stakes) and Dissident (2013 Blue Diamond Preview).
The Sebring-Mrs Windsor foal turned out to be the filly that is known as Egg Tart, winner of the recent renewal of the $500,000 Australasian Oaks (2000m) in Adelaide.
She sold in Sydney for $40,000 and has already grossed eleven times that price.
She is likely to seek more glory in the Queensland Oaks on 3 June.
The Browns bred a colt by matching Mrs Windsor with Shamus Award.
The presently unnamed product made $48,000 at the 2016 Magic Millions Weanling Sale.
Mrs Windsor was sold after being served by the Browns’ stallion Able Kane, but she died before she could give birth to her sixth foal.
Hoofnote: As well as their thoroughbred pursuits, the Browns run a very large piggery. The Ascot racecourse and Windsor Castle with their royal links are in Berkshire, a county name that is also associated with a rare breed of pig.