November 8, 2017
The Kumbia Cup mightn’t stop a nation like its rival does in Melbourne, but it’s important enough to attract political heavyweights out and about on the campaign trail.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk paid a surprise visit to Kumbia’s Melbourne Cup Day race meeting on Tuesday and somehow managed to completely avoid her political rival, Deputy Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington, who was also chatting to racegoers in the cosy betting ring.
Ms Palaszczuk used the visit to promise a $70 million cash injection into country racing over the next four years, if re-elected.
However, as the Premier and Racing Minister Grace Grace moved around, chatting and posing for selfies, it quickly became apparent that vegetation management legislation is a hot button issue with many farming families in the South Burnett.
Meanwhile, Mrs Frecklington, who is a regular Kumbia racegoer, was helping out at the barbecue and also doing some socialising of her own.
The pair came as close as two metres to one another at one stage, but still managed to avoid catching each other’s eyes.
Mrs Frecklington told the media she could speak to the Premier at any time, but she was certain local residents wanted the opportunity to talk about tree clearing.
After spending a few hours at the track, the Premier and her media entourage climbed back into the ALP campaign bus and departed, passing a sign at the front gate that asked the State Government to “stop treating farmers like criminals”.
The visit by the politicians was overshadowed by the usual attractions at the annual “Flemington In The Bush” meeting.
The Fashions On The Field competition produced a large roll-up of elegantly attired entrants, as usual.
And the racing on the course was very competitive.
Kumbia Race Club officials said they were very pleased with the day’s attendance numbers, with the bar, betting ring and barbecue area packed all afternoon.
The weather was also perfect with a threatened thunderstorm never eventuating.
Many recalled that it was not the first time a Premier had visited the Kumbia Races … five years ago, former Premier Campbell Newman also attended Kumbia’s Melbourne Cup Day race meeting and, we suspect, Sir Joh Bjelke-Petersen would also have paid a visit or two as well.
Race 1 – South Burnett Regional Council Class B Handicap (900m)
1. Court Rules (4) – Leeanne McCoy
2. Shelly’s Dream (7) – Todd Banks
3. Anxpense (2) – Alannah Badger
Margins: Short neck x 1 neck
Race 2 – AGL Energy Maiden Plate (1000m)
1. Danish Diction (1) – Hannah Phillips
1. La Mascara (8) – Gary Geran
3. Eldarion (2) – Leeanne McCoy
Margins: 2 1/2 lengths x half length
Race 3 – Joyce And ‘Boy’ Reed Memorial QTIS Class 1 Handicap (1200m)
1. Okanagan Miss (2) – Gary Geran
2. Wild Element (4) – Hannah Phillips
3. Sir Bam (1) – Shannon Apthorpe
Margins: 1/2 length x 1 length
Race 4 – Huston Motors Kumbia Cup Open Handicap (1200m)
1. Zip To The Moon (3) – Gary Geran
2. Sun Will Shine (4) – Shannon Apthorpe
3. Gud Onya (8) – Leeanne McCoy
Margins: 1/2 neck x 1 1/2 lengths
Race 5 – Jim Lenihan Memorial BenchMark 55 Handicap (1855m)
1. Singaraja (1) – Shannon Apthorpe
2. There’s Nemo (4) – Gary Geran
3. Stratalena (2) – Todd Banks
Margins: 1 length x 1 1/2 lengths