February 17, 2020
Nanango Race Club’s Valentine’s Day meeting had one more race than initially expected, giving punters a bonus at Lee Park’s first meeting of the year.
Partly because of race cancellations at other circuit tracks due to recent weather, Nanango received more nominations for Saturday’s meeting than the normal five-race card could accept.
Racing Queensland intervened and opted to give every acceptor for the Nanango Bookmakers Association’s Benchmark 50 Handicap a run by splitting one race into two with 10 runners apiece.
This avoided the alternative of a single race of 12 horses with five reserves, which would have deprived many connections of a vital opportunity.
To squeeze the program in, the program started slightly earlier and concluded slightly later … but no one seemed to mind.
The weather was hot an humid – and then briefly very wet – which encouraged racegoers to gather under the awnings, in the grandstand or the betting ring, emerging briefly trackside to cheer their favourites.
It wasn’t exactly a sea of pink trackside, but there was enough of it to make the task of picking the Fashions Of The Field winner difficult.
The club’s annual Valentine’s Day meeting always has a pink fashion theme and Deputy Mayor Kathy Duff – whose fondness for the colour is well-known – always judges it.
On Saturday, after a lot of deliberation, Cr Duff selected Gatton polocrosse player Haylee Martell as this year’s winner, and presented her with a hand-made silver bracelet.
Haylee, who normally rides for the Cunningham Polocrosse Club at Bony Mountain, is no stranger to the South Burnett.
She regularly plays on the Tansey polocrosse fields and said she’s looking forward to this year’s carnival, which will be held in May.
But Haylee was a newcomer to Lee Park on Saturday, and said Cr Duff’s bracelet would be a nice memento of her visit.
On the track, the meeting was largely incident-free until the last race.
Local trainer Glenn Richardson suffered a tragic blow in Race 6 when his five-year-old gelding Gallopinakis suffered a serious shoulder injury after an incident at the starting barriers.
Jockey Melissa Cox was unhurt, but the horse had to be euthanased.
Race 1 – Bechley’s Transport Class B Handicap (800m)
1. El Demonio (2) – Emma MacPherson
2. Glam Rock (1) – Hannah Phillips
2. Miss Carolee (5) – Hannah English
Margins: 3/4 length x 1/2 head
Race 2 – Heritage Bank BenchMark 65 Handicap (1000m)
1. Arnwood (6) – Hannah English
2. Shiver Me Timbers (10) – Minonette Kennedy
3. Last Armageddon (2) – Kate Patch
Margins: 3 1/2 lengths x 1/2 length
Race 3 – Nanango Caravan Service & Repairs Maiden Plate (1200m)
1. Camouflage Girl (6) – Vishan Venkaya
2. Daddy Warbucks (1) – Robert Faehr
3. Ventures Sight (7) – Stephanie Lacy
Margins: Head x 3/4 length
Race 4 – Nanango Bookmakers Association BenchMark 50 Handicap (1200m)
1. Warners Landing (1) – Isabella Rabjones
2. Raku’s Secret (9) – Tessa Townsend
3. Wild Element (4) – Robert Faehr
Margins: 2 1/2 lengths x 2 3/4 lengths
Race 5 – Nanango Bookmakers Association BenchMark 50 Handicap (1200m)
1. Black Envy (8) – Hannah English
2. Positive Spin (7) – Robert Faehr
3. Tin’s Pocket (9) – Hannah Phillips
Margins: 1 length x 1 1/4 lengths
Race 6 – Ken Mills Toyota BenchMark 55 Handicap (1600m)
1. Nine Cigars (5) – Robert Faehr
2. Stormborn Angel (10) – Kelly Gates
3. Harbour Skies (6) – Angela Taylor
Margins: 1 1/2 lengths x 3 lengths