by Ross Stanley
A margin of just a length and a half has deprived Hivesville trainer Lindsay Anderson of landing an amazing six winners in a row.
The feat by the horseman, who is a also leading light in the campdrafting world, was achieved through the efforts of the only three horses he has started since October 2016.
The sequence began on June 24 with Clouds and Glenthorn Avenue saluting at Gympie.
It was broken when Liverpool Jane ran a valiant third at Esk a week later.
That mare and Glenthorn Avenue both prevailed at Wondai last Saturday.
The next day at Caloundra, Clouds – yet to miss a place in six outings for Lindsay – put the icing and juicy strawberries on the cake with a Class 3 victory that earned $10,400.
Anderson, whose little squad has this weekend off, has turned out 40 runners to date for the season that ends in a fortnight.
His marvellous tally of 11 wins, 11 seconds and 6 thirds is comprised of contributions by just four thoroughbreds: Chen Wicko (3:1-2-0), Liverpool Jane (10:4-0-3), Glenthorn Avenue (21:3-8-1) and Clouds (6:3-1-2).
It is easy to imagine the three in-form lodgers at Anderson’s yard whinnying the lyrics from “Anything You Can Do, I Can Do Better”.
They seem very keen not to let the team down and Irving Berlin’s composition for the 1946 musical Annie Get Your Gun does have a motivational value.
Meanwhile, Anderson could easily be nicknamed Mr Consistency.
There was a Test Case colt with that name that took out the 1970 Sires Produce Stakes at Eagle Farm.
Lindsay’s attainments this year have been of classic proportions – his sustained podium placing strike rate is formidable.
It was very fitting for Kumbia trainer James Curtain that his Wondai specialist I Am McLovin triumphed in the Norco Rural and Goldmix Mill Windera BM Handicap at that course last weekend.
Partnered by jockey Alannah Badger, I Am McLovin fought on determinedly at the end of the 1100 metre contest to hold on for a narrow win.
It was Badger who rode Amber Ale to his first victory for Curtain at Bell in 2012.
That was the beginning of a purple patch of form for the conditioner, and the first of six victories for Amber Ale.
After deciding to close his public stable, Curtain’s final saddling task rested with I Am McLovin ($2.60 favourite).
“Alannah has won on a few different horses of ours and I promised her this ride a long time ago,” James said.
“She’s a very under-rated jockey, and it’s a bit ironic that we finish up with her riding a winner for us.”
James said the decision had been a difficult one but he felt it was the right one for his family, who haven’t had a proper holiday in a long time.
“It’s harder and harder financially and owners are losing confidence in the industry in Queensland,” he said.
“The uncertainty about prizemoney and the future of country racing is resulting in many owners looking to New South Wales, where things are a lot brighter. We’ve been hanging in for a while but the time has come.
“I really want to thank our committed staff and everyone who has supported us and been part of this journey with us.
“There are so many local people who have been involved in one way or another, and we’re grateful for that,” James said.
Curtain will maintain his racing involvement through his post as Vice-President of the Kumbia Race Club.
Along with brother Laurie, he will continue the stud work at the Old Boyneside property where they stand Seidnazar, the lightly raced stakeswinning sire of the 2016 Bruce McLachlan Stakes (Gr 3) hero Ours To Keep.
Thoroughbreds referenced on Seidnazar’s pedigree page include Rory’s Jester (Golden Slipper), Straight Strike and Mr Prospector. The bay also traces on both sides to Star Kingdom and Nasrullah.
Seidnazar was a talented two-year-old, winning the MVRC St Albans Stales (Listed) and finishing second in the coveted Blue Diamond Stakes and the VRC Maribyrnong Plate (Gr 2) and the MRC Debutant Stakes (L).
The colt picked up third money in the Group Two STC Pago Pago Stakes (behind Stratum), the MRC Blue Diamond Preview (Gr 3) and the SAJC Dermody Stakes (Gr 3).
His freshman season form line was 9:1-3-3, and all 13 career appearances were in black-type affairs.
James has returned to his former occupation at the Kingaroy office of Lives Lived Well, an organisation with educational, counselling and promotional roles in the health sector.
Racing in Queensland cannot afford to lose individuals of the calibre of Curtain. His professional participation was multi-level in nature and his integrity is impeccable.
The other losers are the horses that he would have prepared in the future.
A rural setting and a dedicated operator makes for contented gallopers.