Saturday’s Gympie winner On A Comet (with Hannah English aboard) pictured at Nanango in May (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Gunsynd's GossipNovember 25, 2019

On A Comet, a lightly raced son of the unraced Redoute’s Choice mare Starwish, brightened Gympie racecourse on Saturday.

The More Than Ready gelding’s easy victory in BM 55 company over the metric half mile on the sand track was his fourth from his six tasks since linking up with Lee Park trainer Glenn Richardson.

The bay ran fourth at his Queensland debut in May at Nanango.

That was a promising first-up performance after an eleven month absence.

A week later, he demolished a field of maidens at Gladstone before producing a fine second in a $21,000 Class 1 Handicap at Caloundra.

Next up, the sprinter scored narrowly on a very firm surface at Warra on July 6.

After a spell, the very well bred commodity prevailed at Gatton on November 7.

Starwish’s dam was Stella Cadente, the Italian word for shooting star.

She won the 1997 Tea Rose Stakes, Furious Stakes and the 1998 MVRC Australia Stakes, a contest won five times by Manikato and twice each by Black Caviar and Apache Cat.

Vo Rogue, Campaign King and Family of Man are also among the host of illustrious names on the honour roll.

Stella Cadente, a daughter of Centaine, was from the same family as the stellar gallopers Filante, Bint Marscay and Kenny’s Best Pal.

As a yearling, On A Comet sold for a very significant six figure amount.

His first appearance was as an April three-year-old at Scone, and the best of his five chores in New South Wales picked up $3,470 for a second placing at the same venue.

The five-year-old’s current owners – namely Richardson, Peter Jackson, Dexter Sullivan, Denise Scriven, the 90 year-old Eric Fraser and Tansey identity Noel Pearce – have already doubled their purchase price.

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Bells Will Jingle At Nanango

Although it is unlikely that a school bell will ring out at Lee Park on Sunday, December 1, there will be a gathering to farewell Matthew Vine, the popular principal of St Patrick’s Primary School at Nanango.

A significant number of groups will be staging Christmas parties.

Naturally the fashion theme is: It’s All About Christmas.

On the racing front, it is moving day for owners, trainers and jockeys chasing the money at stake in the Burnett To The Valley Series.

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Bits And Bridles

  • Hannah English has posted five winners during November. Nanango’s leading rider kicked off with a double at Kumbia with Bel Strider and Ruler’s Pride. She booted home On A Comet at Gatton and Gympie and landed another one at Chinchilla courtesy of Ritchford.
  • Macchu Picchu (Hannah Phillips) returned from a break in the Myall Creek Open at Dalby on Saturday. The consistent trier went down by a head to He’s A Moral, the Not A Single Doubt gelding that chalked up his hat-trick for the David Reynolds-Leeanne McCoy team. The side also had joy at Bunya Park at Benchmark 60 level with Pick of the Pubs.
  • During a period when thoroughbred racing is under heavy scrutiny, jockeys Michael Walker and Glen Boss horrendously infringed the whip rule this month, while Frankie Dettori’s careless riding triggered a successful Melbourne Cup protest. Racing NSW stewards suspended Boss for two weeks and fined him $4000 while Racing Victoria stipes sidelined Walker for seven meetings and relieved him of $10,000. Dettori, who copped a month and a $20,000 penalty for careless riding on Max Dynamite in the 2015 Melbourne Cup, was required to sit out nine meetings this time around. All three cases occurred in elite events that have gigantic purses when motivation is a fever pitch. Does anyone really believe the punishments dished out for these offences are going to serve as a future deterrent? In 2014 Chris Waller was fined $30,000 when his Metropolitan Handicap winner Junoob was found to have the diuretic Frusemide (aka Lasix) in its system. Waller explained that the drug is legally used in his stable as a prelude to fast work. How long does it take Waller to earn $30,000? The four penalties described above are nothing more than a tickle to the wrist. Country apprentices are fined if they are not able to claim their full allowance. In Sydney, the top jockeys have been allowed, on application, to ride a kilogram over the allocated weight. When it comes to discipline, there is a fair bit of tidying up to do in some backyards.
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