Jockey Sally Sweeney and Jye Banks were elated over Hidden Budget’s success in this year’s Huston Motors Kumbia Cup

Gunsynd's GossipNovember 11, 2019

Oakey trainer Graham Banks was victorious in the 1998 Bat Out Of Hell Flying at the Gold Coast with Royal Rego, piloted by Mick Dittman.

The very handy city class sprinter was sired by Black Zephyr.

However, the wind speed was more in the gale force bracket at the Flemington of the Bush last week when Banks’ purple and white livery prevailed in the feature event.

The Huston Motors Kumbia Cup (1400m) was collected by Banks’ son Jye, a part-owner of the winner Hidden Budget ($7).

The Hidden Dragon gelding drew the inside gate. And although it was slowly away, his rider Sally Sweeney had plenty of room to move on the fence as heads were turned for home.

Chamberlain, locally trained by Royce Connolly, filled the all-important second spot.

Should Hidden Budget, whose dam Blown Budget was by Dehere, not proceed to the $105,000 Country Cups Challenge Final at Doomben on November 30, the All American gelding has first call on being the replacement.

The Hivesville galloper Clouds, having qualified at Gympie, already has a Finals berth.

Hidden Budget’s 26 outings for the Kelly Schweida yard produced a 4-4-6 form line.

The six-year-old’s other success since transferring to Banks this season was at Goondiwindi in September.

The mare, that has won on firm, good and heavy surfaces up to a mile, did find the task of backing up at Chinchilla four days after Kumbia a bridge too far.

Graham, like most jockeys at any time, had no hope of making the 45.5 kilograms mark to partner the Norm Higgins-trained Lucky Cloud in the $30,000 Stradbroke Handicap way back in 1973.

He had been regular jockey for the bay by Hasty Cloud in the lead-ups but had to give way to Fred Marsland.

The four-year-old proved the Eagle Farm triumph as a restricted class galloper was no fluke by finishing third soon after in the Doomben 10,000 taken out by Craigola (Mick Dittman, 46.5 kg).

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Gladstone winner Telloff (with Hannah Phillips aboard) on show before running second at Nanango in February (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Phillips Pockets A Dual-Venue Double

South Burnett jockey Hannah Phillips was part of an amazing “have saddle will shuttle” venture on Melbourne Cup Day.

The pivotal point was that Gladstone staged a brunchtime program that kicked off at 10:30am, with the last of the five events decided at noon.

Phillips had two rides for her father Barry.

After scoring on Telloff in the opener and running second on Stick With Me in the next race, she drove to Bundaberg where the first was timed to start at 1:35pm.

Meanwhile, the five jockeys that turned out for the Rockhampton card had all competed at Gladstone.

Lucky they made the dash to Callaghan Park, because five had to be scratched there because of a rider shortage.

Phillips booted home her great mate Al’s Brief at Bundaberg.

Her log book from November 1 to 9 covers race-riding at Kilcoy, Yeppoon, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Gatton, Caloundra, Chinchilla and Toowoomba.

Sonja Wiseman also ‘double-dipped” on Melbourne Cup day, chalking up a Rockhampton treble to add to her victory at Gladstone.

Kumbia, with eight late scratchings, was one of the other tracks affected by jockey numbers.

Gladstone’s very early program together with a delayed start at Rockhampton obviously worked well and Phillips was fortunate that she was not still in then pigskin around midday at Gladstone.

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This year’s Melbourne Cup hero Vow And Declare pictured en route to his easy 2019 Tattersall’s Cup victory with Glen Boss aboard (Photo: Ross Stanley)

The Aussie Bounce Back

As with the Michelle Payne-Prince of Penzance Melbourne Cup story in 2015, Vow And Declared clawed back some glory for Australia with last week’s gritty staying performance.

Brisbane was crucial to the Declaration of War gelding’s preparation.

Between late May and late June, the chestnut was sixth in the Grand Prix (2200m), runner-up in Mr Quickie’s Derby (2400m) and a runaway winner of the Tattersall’s Cup (3000m).

The iconic Rising Fast, prior to acquiring his 1954 Caulfield-Melbourne Cup double, raced in Brisbane from May 5 to August 7.

He managed a second in a Doomben Flying, a fourth in the Stradbroke, a Doomben Cup minor placing and an easy victory in the J.H.S Barnes Plate.

After a fourth for Andy Tindall in the Memsie, Rising Fast’s nine remaining spring efforts in Melbourne put together an astonishing eight wins and a second.

Naturally, the New Zealand bred gelding drew a grand following.

Meanwhile, huge sums are still being shelled out by parties seeking northern-hemisphere bloodstock capable of a spring carnival jackpot.

A quarter share in Mustajeer was sold for $320,000 to Richard Pegum early last month.

The horse’s Caulfield Cup sixth earnt him $30,000 of that $120,000 prize but he was then rearward at Flemington.

For the record, the Cup prizemoney is allocated as follows: First ($4.4m), Second ($1.1m), Third ($550,000), Fourth ($350,000), Fifth ($230,000), Sixth to Twelfth ($160,000) and a two per cent contribution is directed to jockey and equine welfare.

Although Aidan O’Brien and his son run separate teams, collectively the family missed out on $550,000 when Master of Reality was relegated from second to fourth following the upholding of a stewards’ protest.

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Get Ready For Nanango

The South Burnett’s calendar racing year wraps up with Nanango’s pre-Christmas Sunday fixture on December 1.

The crowd numbers for this program have been steadily growing as folk realise it is a great opportunity for a festive season gathering and also a chance for a day at the track for those who usually have Saturday commitments.

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