Barry and Hannah Phillips, the South Burnett racing duo that prospered at Monto last month
(Photo: Ross Stanley)

Gunsynd's GossipApril 16, 2020

Despite the reduced opportunities, South Burnett players are attending to their cash flows.

Jockey Hannah Phillips has landed a winner at each of her most recent outings.

At Monto on March 28, she collected a medal of each colour on gallopers prepared by her father Barry.

Tell Off earned a gold reward, Kartanup picked up a silver prize while Glam Rock was awarded a bronze disc.

Monto, with results devoid of starting prices because of the mandated absence of bookmakers, was among the final non-TAB fixtures before the introduction of the zonal racing set-up.

At Roma on April 4, Phillips scored on Christavao for Grant Arnold’s Dalby stable and was second on Il Bandito for local mentor Wayne Baker.

Then on Tuesday at Bundaberg’s TAB fixture, she saluted on After The Storm for Kilkivan trainer Kym Afford.

Meanwhile Hannah Richardson (nee English) prevailed at Roma and Bundaberg respectively on Silent Flyer for Norma King and Daryl Gardiner’s charge Ten Taubada’s.

She has also chalked up recent placings with Mr Noddy, Eight Over, Senko Sidra and Bel Seleva for her husband Glenn.

Kumbia horseman Royce Connolly was in Bundaberg’s winner’s slot with Chamberlain, a leg of a treble for apprentice Tessa Townsend.

Leeanne McCoy booted home Lucky Machu in the last there to give the lady riders a clean sweep of the six event card.

The only male jockeys, the Westerners John Rudd, Shane McGovern and Chris Bryen, would have had no problem maintaining the social distancing requirements in their race day quarters.

* * *

Vale Fred Freeman

Although it is a never a good time to for families to lose a loved one, the passing of Fred Freeman on Saturday, March 21 after a very short illness did have a little silver lining.

The 95 year-old was alive when his grandson Glenn Richardson married Hannah English.

The male members of the wedding party prepared for the occasion at the Kingaroy-born farmer’s residence.

Freeman started out as a share farmer near Maidenwell.

Although he was kept busy with dairying, agriculture and running cattle, he always pottered around with a couple of racehorses.

His final sixty years or so was spent along similar lines at his property just outside Kingaroy, and he was still working with his cattle until his passing.

Fred was a highly successful amateur jockey in the Burnett, and was also also eligible to compete against the professionals on the Darling Downs.

A major racing achievement was his outstanding work on Mick’s Luck, a warrior the Freeman family acquired when the grand performer was aged nine.

Fred’s brother Clive put the initial polish on the sprinter that added some 50 wins to his resume during the Freeman chapter before his retirement at 14.

Remarkably, Fred Freeman had 31 rides for 22 wins on the gelding by The Magistrate.

Among their four unplaced efforts were two Eagle Farm outings in contests reserved for amateur hoops.

After retiring from riding, Fred trained horses at his home base.

His daughters Glenda and Margaret were both victorious aboard Mick’s Luck with the former also training the weight-carrying bush champion.

Glenda (now Richardson) took out a trainer’s licence at 21.

She was part of the dedicated and determined females who pushed for equal opportunities against the men.

During the pre-1979 era, the women were restricted to riding against themselves, mainly on rural racetracks.

Glenda finished fourth in the QTC Dame Merlyn Myer International, an invitational event for lady riders in the early 1970s.

In all likelihood, she and Fred became the first father and daughter to ride at Eagle Farm.

The pattern continued when Glenda’s son Brad sported silk at Brisbane’s principal racecourse.

Last year, Glenn saddled up Arnwood at the same track. The two-year-old with Hannah aboard ran third.

* * *

Compromise And Compensation

Most of the racing fraternity are delighted that wheels are still turning to a useful degree, particularly in a climate that has seen so many high profile sporting events closed down.

However, there have been understandable glitches.

Bundaberg – after morning rain on Sunday – had its program postponed until Tuesday.

Southern riders Jason Missen and Daniel McIllivray were then unavailable.

All up, a jockey shortage triggered ten late scratchings.

Charleville, with the benefit of very long drives being undertaken by Hannah Phillips, Hannah Richardson and Gemma Steele, will be serviced by sufficient jockeys to cover the fields that range from four to nine in size.

Interestingly, the town’s meetings originally slotted in for April 25 and May 23 have been transferred to Dalby.

Barcaldine’s fixtures for April 4 and 18 have been abandoned without any published reasons. The races were added to the ensuing Emerald meetings.

Reminder: Bundaberg is scheduled to race every second Sunday. These dates are the only offerings for stables based in South East country areas and parts of Capricornia. Jockeys can ride in two zones. Burnett based riders can ply their trade at Bundaberg, Charleville, Roma and Dalby.

Take care.

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