Wondai’s traditional Anzac Day Race Meeting always draws a crowd, but this year it turned out to be one of the biggest seen in many seasons.
Race-goers began arriving at the course from about 1:00pm after Anzac Day commemorations had finished, and after a morning of solemn ceremonies they were clearly in the mood to unwind and have some fun.
Warm, sunny Autumn weather quickly saw punters search for shade at the bar and betting ring, in the dining area, atop the grandstand or under rows of tents set up at both ends of the concourse.
But happily, the South Burnett Race Club had foreseen the need to provide extra sun cover.
So while the track was certainly crowded, most people were able to enjoy the day in comfort.
As things turned out, many punters had a good day of it with favourites taking out three of the five races, some by very wide margins.
But a couple of highly fancied horses failed to fire on Wondai’s sand track and their owners may be considering grass for their next outing.
Fashionistas also had a field day, with many stylish women dressing to the meeting’s “Poppies and Pearls” fashion theme.
Men had slightly less opportunity to do the same, but a number tried to incorporate poppy badges, flowers or poppy colours in their outfits.
Over a dozen girls and boys competed in the late afternoon fashion competition, which was also one of the biggest roll-ups seen in the past half-dozen meetings, much to the delight of spectators.
Jockeys enjoyed a largely incident-free meeting as well, with two reprimanded for inappropriate whip usage and another given a nine-day suspension for careless riding.
South Burnett Race Club officials said they were very pleased with the way the meeting went, and are now looking forward to the race club’s Winter race day on July 7.
Race 1 – BZE Murgon Class B Handicap (1100m)
1. Paradiski (5) – Adam Spinks
2. Wilhelmina (6) – Rebecca Williams
3. Spydropper (2) – Mark Elliott
Margins: Length x 1 1/2 Lengths
Race 2 – Wondai Hotel And Cellar / Wondai Real Estate Open Handicap (1100m)
1. Liverpool Jane (2) – Jason Hoopert
2. Rosie’s Son (4) – Dakota Graham
3. Mah Baker (3) – Adam Spinks
Margins: 3 Lengths x 1/2 Neck
Race 3 – Lilivale Stud QTIS BenchMark 55 Handicap (850m)
1. Star Painter (6) – Sally Sweeney
2. Scarlet’s Choice (4) – Jason Missen
3. Need Finance (10) – Pietro Romeo
Margins: Length x Neck
Race 4 – Wondai RSL Maiden Plate (1465m)
1. Willy Be Lucky (5) – Gregory Hayes
2. Naughty Corner (2) – Alannah Badger
3. Heirsroc (1) – Gemma Steele
Margins: 6 1/4 Lengths x 3 1/4 Lengths
Race 5 – Wondai Diggers Club Cup BenchMark 65 Handicap (1465m)
1. Clouds (4) – Gemma Steele
2. Better Idea (1) – Cecily Eaton
3. Endless Don (6) – Gregory Hayes
Margins: 1 3/4 Lengths x 1 3/4 Lengths