Rookie Ipswich trainer Darren Evans is experiencing a lucky streak in more ways than one, and the change of of fortune is timely.
After a race fall at Beaudesert in December 2017, his surgeon informed him that he would never ride again.
If the storm that washed out the last four events at Wondai last Saturday had arrived just a little earlier, he would not have chalked up his second success from just six opportunities.
Madam Shazam, his very first starter, won a $75,000 Doomben 1MW Handicap on a very heavy surface on July 6.
On that occasion, the Sebring mare that had previously run for the stables of Tony Sears and Toby Edmonds was a $10 to $20 drifter.
Last weekend, Hard Enough ($8) romped home in the Maiden with Kelly Gates in the saddle.
The All Too Hard four-year-old, after missing a place at Gayndah the week before, was having its second outing under Evans’ tutelage.
For Hard Enough, it was the 13th task of its career.
Although the gelding had never filled a place in eleven assignments for Gregory Hickman and Allan Knack, he earned a crust every time for finishing tenth or better.
His total from those payments to tenth was $6640, with the Wondai victory adding $5000 to the bank account.
Evans’ father Graham represented Australia in the show ring while his grandfather Roy was a trainer in the harness code.
Droughtmaster, the term for a breed of cattle, may well be applied now to Evans.
Hard Enough and Madam Shazam, the six-year-old that he races with his wife Kelly, both prevailed on very wet days!
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Very Keen Interest In Kumbia
The Melbourne Cup Day program at the Flemington of the Bush on the first Tuesday of next month is very appetising.
The $10,000 Huston Motors Kumbia Cup (1400m) tops the bill.
It is part of the Country Cups Challenge, a series that is similar to the Battle of the Bush.
The winner gains a place in the final, the $105,000 0MWL2Y Quality (1600m) at Doomben on November 30.
The “Boy” and Joyce Reid-Burnett to the Valley Class 2 Plate (1200m) carries QTIS bonuses and points on a 3,2,1 basis for placegetters in the series developed by six of the South East Region country clubs.
Legs have been decided at Eidsvold and Gayndah.
Nanango has a turn on December 1.
The owner(s) of the horse that earns the most points pick up $3,000, while the leading trainer and jockey are awarded $1,500 and $500 respectively.
Supporting these attractions, all with $8000 purses, is the Jim Lenihan-Helen Smoothy Memorial Ratings Band 0-55 (1400m), a Class B Handicap (900m) and a Maiden Plate (1200m).
Patrons need to remember that there is no EFTPOS facility at the course and that State law forbids BYO alcohol.
The four categories for the fashion contests are Most Stylish Lady (under 45s), Most Stylish Lady (45s and over), Best Dressed Gentleman and Best Headwear of the Day.
Sashes are awarded to each winner and runner-up.
While the Dash of Pink applies to the fashion, it is the theme for the day with its specific link to the McGrath Foundation.
Information about the South Burnett’s support for the Pink Up Your Town Breast Care Nurses Project is available online.
Kumbia Hotel is again the venue for the Melbourne Cup Calcutta on Sunday, November 3. It is a “2:00pm for 2:30pm” gathering.
Racegoers with inquiries about the 11am bus service should contact Kingaroy’s Carrolee Hotel on (07) 4162-1055.
General questions about the race day should be addressed to (07) 4163-7200.
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Sand Again On Saturday
Fifteen gallopers that missed out on racing at Wondai have accepted for Saturday’s Gympie fixture.
Clouds, the probable favourite for the ill fated Wondai Cup, is nicely drawn in the $24,000 Gympie Cup.
The grey’s allocation of 58.5 kilograms for this heat of the lucrative Country Cups Challenge gives him a weight edge on Mackay’s Sensational Ally and Roma’s Oggie.
The mile trip of the Cup has been mastered twice before by the aged gelding.
Although well beaten at Eagle Farm over 1800 metres a fortnight ago, Grande Casadora should have been topped off nicely by the run.
The mare by Big Brown (USA) has scored three times from four attempts at the Southside course.
From the perspective of number of starters, Bundaberg’s Melbourne Cup program on the sand should draw from a pool that differs from Kumbia’s grass.
Gympie has plenty of riders for this weekend’s feature schedule.
Hopefully, there will be enough hoops around on November 5 to cover the six meetings in the south-east corner.