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Crowds Brave Winter Races

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Strapper Tamara Noble and Japanese jockey Miki Nakao were both clearly elated after Miki’s mount Canid won the Roy Radunz OAM feature race by more than a length

July 8, 2018

Rain on Friday night and overcast weather on Saturday didn’t stop the South Burnett Race Club holding its annual Winter Race Day, nor did it stop a good-sized crowd turning up at Wondai’s racecourse.

The sand track had received a 15mm drenching on Friday night which had club officials screening it from early in the morning.

But punters who braved the overcast conditions were rewarded with a fun day of racing action that saw sunny, cloudless skies chase the storm clouds away just past the meeting’s mid-point.

Acceptance numbers for Saturday’s five races were also markedly lower than usual, but this had nothing to do with the weather.

Instead, recent bumper programs at Gatton and Ipswich drained the pool of available talent, limiting the number of starters in one of the day’s race to a just four.

Only one favourite took the money.

The rest of the day’s winners ranged in price from 3-to-1 out to 8-to-1, ensuring good returns despite limited betting options.

As usual, the bar and colourful trackside tents were packed with stylishly dressed patrons, and the barbecue, chips stand and race club canteen all did a steady trade throughout the day.

Wondai’s Winter Race Day is sometimes known as Duff Day because two of its races are memorial events for South Burnett Race Club founder Lewis Duff and his son, trainer Neal Duff.

Their descendants were out on the track in force, along with Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff (a relation) who regularly organises the popular Fashions On The Field competition.

This year the club also held a special race to honour patron Roy Radunz, who was awarded an Order of Australia medal in this year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours.

Roy has been involved with the South Burnett Race Club for more than 50 years, as well as the Wondai Show Society, Meals on Wheels, Neighbourhood Watch, Driver Reviver, Garden Club and many other local community groups.

Roy’s race was run in the middle of the day’s program and was won by the highly fancied Canid under the stewardship of well-known Nanango trainer Glenn Richardson.

Canid had Japanese jockey Miki Nakao aboard, and she was clearly elated to score her first Queensland win.

Miki began her Australian campaign in Coffs Harbour last December and it has so far seen her score three wins on NSW tracks, but Saturday’s win in Wondai was her first north of the Tweed.

This year’s Neal Duff Memorial was won by Limestone Cowboy for Sunshine Coast trainer Trevor Thomas, while the Lewis Duff Memorial was won by Money Ad for Miles-based trainer Bevan Johnson, who won Racing Queensland’s Country Trainer of the Year award in 2017.

Locals Emma, Ken, Cathy and Dale Goodhew came to the races on Saturday to get a head start on celebrating Cathy’s upcoming birthday on Monday, July 9

Raymond Wyborn, from Tugun, and Elizabeth Kirby, from Wondai, were sizing up horses as they entered the mounting yard

Michelle Walters and Peta Schloss cut a stylish duo trackside

The weather may have been overcast early in the day, but that didn’t stop Rhonda, Dominique and Stephen Giese, from Brisbane, and Georgina Harris, from Longreach, enjoying a day at Wondai 

Canid part-owner Marc Alexander was presented with a bottle of wine by South Burnett Race Club president Jeff Wenck and patron Roy Radunz after the running of Race 3, the Roy Radunz OAM BenchMark 65 Handicap

Rhianon Greenhaul brought her daughter Ariat, 11 months, to the track … Rhianon normally lives in the Pilbara but was back visiting her mother in Murgon on a once-a-year trip

The ladies Fashions Of The Field competition was won by Amanda Flanagan, centre, from the Sunshine Coast … she was congratulated by organiser Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff and judge Noela Newman, from Kingaroy

The men’s fashion competition was won by Brian Duff, a Lewis Duff descendant, who was presented with a bottle of wine by Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff and race club patron Roy Radunz

The children’s fashion competition was won by Andrew Ramke, 6, and Amelia Dalton, 7

After the day was over, John Duff and his brother Brian posed for a family photo with their mother, Kathleen … yes, there were Duffs everywhere on Saturday!

* * *

Favourite Lion Coming beat his next nearest rivals by more than two lengths in Race 2 … but he was the only favourite to win on Saturday

Results

Race 1 – Hams Crane Hire BenchMark 50 Handicap (1100m)
1. Monte Lago (4) – Hannah Phillips
2. Lomi (5) – Jason Hoopert
3. Revelio (2) – Miki Nakao
Time: 1:05.97
Margins: Head x 3 1/4 lengths

Race 2 – Supa IGA Kingaroy QTIS Maiden Plate (1100m)
1. Lion Coming (6) – Robert Faehr
2. Cimarron Kid (3) – Hannah Phillips
3. Bloomin’ Arry (1) – Mark Elliott
Time: 1:07.06
Margins: 2 1/4 lengths x Head

Race 3 – The Roy Radunz OAM BenchMark 65 Handicap (1000m)
1. Canid (4) – Miki Nakao
2. Liverpool Jane (1) – Gemma Steele
3. Al’s Briefs (3) – Mark Elliott
Time: 0:59.53
Margins: 1 1/4 lengths x Neck

Race 4 – The Neal Duff Memorial Class B Handicap (1465m)
1. Limestone Cowboy (1) – Louise Dillon
2. Life Be In It (3) – Jason Missen
3. Return Flight (8) – Alannah Badger
Time: 1:33.25
Margins: 2 1/2 lengths x 1 1/4 lengths

Race 5 – The Lewis Duff Memorial Openm Handicap (1465m)
1. Money Ad (5) – Hannah Phillips
2. Clouds (3) – Jason Hoopert
3. Claim The Throne (4) – Kelly Gates
Time: 1:31:51
Margins: 3 lengths x 7 lengths

The sun had come out by the time Race 4 was run, and it was won comfortably by 5-to-1 chance Limestone Cowboy


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