Nanango duo Hannah English and Hannah Phillips – along with Gold Coast rider Jed Hodge – are the three finalists for Racing Queensland’s Student of the Year award.
The inaugural recipient of this prize will be announced at RQ’s 2018-19 Thoroughbreds Award function in Brisbane on Sunday, September 22.
It is a remarkable achievement for the South Burnett to have two of its fine industry participants in the limelight ahead of almost 40 other Queensland apprentices.
It is also gratifying to see this aspect of the junior riders’ educational work being recognised.
Hodge, by the way, sported silk in the South Burnett on a regular basis in the earlier phase of his indentureship.
Last Saturday, Phillips opened her account as a senior hoop by booting home her trusty partner Al’s Brief at Bundaberg.
English and Hodge complete their apprenticeships on June 30 next year.
Unfortunately English was injured at the Bundaberg program in frustrating circumstances.
As she headed to the barrier on Lucifer’s Angel for the opening race, some dogs rushed up to the outside fence and their barking frightened her mount.
The Beautiful Crown (USA) mare went right out from underneath Hannah.
There were fears that her arm was broken and although X-rays soon cleared that concern, swelling and bruising was a worry.
Pleasingly, English has been passed fit to ride at Lee Park.
She has a full book on a card that has eight females and four males listed to don silk.
It is expected to be fine and sunny at Lee Park on Saturday and it is the Saint Mary’s Catholic College (Kingaroy) race day, so it is worthwhile swinging by as you may well bump into some friends from the past.
The lightly race Speedy is an interesting candidate in the first event, the Three Way Photos Class B (800m) at 1:40pm.
Form punters will no doubt check out the pre-race parade to see if the Exceedingly Good mare looks forward enough to follow up on her Nanango success on firm ground over this distance in May.
She ran the closest of seconds at Kilcoy in mid-June and is resuming this weekend for the trainer-jockey team of Brenton and Billie-Rose Andrew.
Cool Chaos is another interesting contender.
The six-year-old from Peter Townsend’s Charleville yard has made appearances this year at Hughenden, Longreach, Tambo and Cunnamulla, the birth place of Townsend’s daughter Tessa.
She partners the bay for her father.
Later in the day, she will be taking on her father’s charges when she teams up with other stables.
The local Freeze De Beers has had just two starts in 2019.
The Freeze gelding shed his maiden tag at the corresponding Nanango meeting last year.
Racegoers can expect improvement from Glenn Richardson’s hopeful on home turf.
And no-one will begrudge a win by Coalbank Caviar.
Her nine previous runs here included five placings and a parting of company with rider Noriyuki Nishio in April 2017.
The ten-year-old is by Black Caviar’s sire Bel Espirt.
For those who like greys, Your My Boy Blue, with just five career assignments to date, could be your man in the Star Power Tyre Maiden Plate (1000m).
The four-year-old brother to Speedy has failed twice on soft going, but turned in an encouraging second at Goondiwindi at its penultimate outing in June.
For patrons who are willing to overlook the barrier draw, the topweight Begin has the credentials to bargain with.
Two horses in this event could be linked by “girl talk”.
Will the Exceedingly Good mare Missgoodytwoshoes utter the words Tellhimhesdreaming as the pair head to the gates?
The middle peg of the program, the Saint Mary’s Catholic College (1000m), may have just five acceptors but three of them can stake claims.
Rocker’s daughter Siouxsie will be a strong fancy.
She was beaten a half length when third late last month over 1300 metres in a $19,000 Class 1 at Rockhampton.
That performance followed up her sterling Gympie victory and an earlier all the way effort to score at Lee Park on a firm course.
The five-year-old has now shown she can lead or come from behind.
Kumbia’s Royce Connolly will be represented by Chamberlain.
The gelding by All American from the Redoute’s Choice mare Rosecutter won three on the trot last time in.
Two runs since a break should have topped him off nicely for this test.
The top weight Brad The Lad should not be discarded, either.
The grey by Bradbury’s Luck tried valiantly when runner-up over this course and distance on Nanango Cup day.
Siouxsie and Hannah English are listed to do battle again against only three rivals in the next race, the Star Motel Nanango BM 65 (1200m).
Horses over the years have occasionally run twice on the same program but the chores are usually a couple of races apart.
An omen tip could be Hellava Babe.
Jockey Billie-Rose Andrew is having her second riding day following the birth of her son Arthur.
A first placing would be somewhat special as the child’s father Brenton will do the saddling duties.
The final thoroughbred event will be the Heritage Nanango BM 55 (1600m).
Tessa Townsend will pilot Marlahn for Warwick conditioner Garry Schwenke.
The bay has been ultra consistent of late and boasts a superb 5:1-2-1 form line over Nanango’s metric mile journey.
The Australian Arabian Racing Club will then stage the $5,000 Wathba Stallions Purebred Open (1600m), a race that is open to all Purebred Arabian horses.
The A.A.R.C. has eight trainers, but a host of jockeys usually seen in thoroughbred races are also registered with the club.
Looking forward to seeing you trackside!