Four of the five winners at last Saturday’s Gympie program had raced well at recent South Burnett meetings.
Pride of place in the $24,000 Nolan Meats Muster Cup (1470m) was taken up by the un fancied, lightly weighted Grande Casadora ($10).
The daughter of Big Brown (USA), originally prepared at Murwillumbah by Angela Graham, has now had four outings for Sunshine Coast trainer Trevor Thomas and apprentice Louise Dillon.
The mare has revelled in the lower grade sand events.
She ran fourth at Gympie in June before collecting the Neal Duff Memorial BM 65 Handicap (1465m) at Wondai and a Gympie BM 55 Handicap (1170m) last month.
The five-year-old’s official 55 Rating ensured it was on the Cup limit with 55 kilograms.
At the other end of the scale were the prolific winners Executed (Rating 89, 67 kilograms, Jason Missen, $4.60) and Fab’s Cowboy (87, 65.5 kg, $3.40 favourite) with three kilos allowed for Minonette Kennedy.
Once Executed drew an outside gate, the Warhead gelding faced a monumental task against nine opponents on a tight track.
On the other hand, Grande Casadora, from stall two, was always in the vanguard and defied the tenacity of Fab’s Cowboy to score by a half length.
The Nanango Cup runner-up Fasta Than Light ($3.80), handled by the two kilo claimer Miki Nakao, was more than six panels adrift in third place.
Executed finished a distant seventh.
Incidentally, application of the time honoured bookmaker’s percentage formula to the official Muster Cup starting prices revealed that punters who invested on the recent four horse Nanango Cup were much better served than the investors on the Gympie feature.
The respective markets came in at 123% and an amazingly poor 172% when around 115% has been historically accepted as a fair total.
However it must be said that on-course patronage has dropped universally at tracks of all sizes and importance and it is increasingly difficult for the bagmen to balance their liabilities.
Half Moon Blue (Cecily Eaton, $4.60) added the $10,000 Nolan Vale Benchmark 50 (1470m) to her Nanango BM 55 (1600m) success a fortnight earlier.
The Rebel Raider mare has thrived since her Eagle Farm trainer Liam Birchley set lesser rural targets for the sparingly raced five-year-old.
Kirin’s Lad, the second placegetter, ran fourth to Half Moon Blue at Lee Park.
It was a mixed day for jockey Robert Faehr.
He was delighted to watch presentation of the 2018-19 Gympie Trainer’s premiership to his partner Cherie Vick.
He booted home Hinterland Sam, a fifth placegetter at Nanango, in the NAB More Than Money QTIS Maiden Plate.
He beat all bar Gossiaux, the longshot raced and trained by Kilkivan horseman Kym Afford, in the Nolan Private Selection BM 60.
Late in the day, Faehr survived Magestical Maiden’s pre-race antics that led to her withdrawal.
The Glenn Richardson yard was victorious on both sides of the Tropic of Capricorn on Saturday.
Siouxsie, a last start Nanango heroine for Hannah English, put up an incredible display in the 1958 Class B (1170m).
The Rocker mare was partnered by Matthew Powell, the Sunshine Coast hoop who was aboard when she was a close second in the same class at Gympie in July.
This time Siouxsie ($2.60) gave the leaders a long start along the back.
Although she had made leeway in encouraging style in the run to the home bend, she still had to turn up the power to claim Gohan on the post.
At Yeppoon on a Firm 2 surface, The Mechanic (Ashley Butler, 61 kg, $3) appreciated the drop from Saturday city company to open country class.
The six-year-old sprinter was beaten just six lengths when making his debut for his new team at Doomben on 10 August – the Myboycharlie (Ire) gelding’s first appearance since February.
The quick breakthrough will be a confidence booster for the galloper that has just 17 race day tasks for six wins in his log book.
Gympie officials will no doubt be fine tuning the set of barrier stalls used for the Southside meeting.
The stewards reported that, after viewing footage of the Maiden Plate, they were of the opinion that the barrier gate on Fillyrae Cyrus when opening may have swung back on the filly.
“Stewards were of the opinion that Fillyrae Cyrus was afforded every opportunity to begin with the rest of the field and therefore deemed it a runner.With regards to Princess Racer, stewards acknowledged that barrier 12 had not opened in unison with the rest of the field, therefore the mare was denied a fair start.Stewards acting under the provision AR 204(1)(c) declared the mare a non-runner.>”
In the BM 50 Handicap, stewards stated that “Kirin’s Lad: On jumping, the barrier partition swung back and was slow to begin.”