An equine Mother’s Day lunch doesn’t need social distancing (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Gunsynd's GossipMay 25, 2020

One very pleasing upside of Mothers Day this year was that folk were permitted to travel for family celebrations.

On the other hand, for a large number of racegoers, it was a symbolic reminder of the disappointments they’ve endured since mid-March.

Normally a horde of campers at the Burrandowan races would be packing up to head home around this time of year.

But for 2020 that fixture – along with the popular Anzac Day race program at Wondai and Nanango’s Easter Saturday fixture – were cancelled.

It must be said that the loss of key race days is very minor, given the deep disasters millions upon millions of people are facing globally.

The fact that the thoroughbred industry has been able to soldier on in a restricted form has to be highly appreciated.

But with the number of positive COVID-19 cases attributable to contacts at racecourses or training tracks at zero, it would be nice to see some easing of the current restrictions as soon as it’s safe to do so.

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Relief Via A Major Breakthrough

Racing Queensland has just reduced the number of its thoroughbred racing zones from five to three.

Metro North and Metro South West were recently merged to create a Metropolitan Region, and RQ will now include the South East Region into that mix to establish a new Greater SEQ Region.

The Central Coast and North Coast regions are now combined under the Central and North Coast Region banner, while the rest of the state stays as the Greater Western Region.

This massive area is bordered by a line (with a bend) extending from the Gulf to the west of Emerald and east of Roma to the border.

The existing protocols limiting participants to their designated location outside of raceday, including trials, trackwork and jump outs, remain in place, whilst horse movement outside of RQ’s regions may only occur as previously advised with some minor revisions to arrival times.

Raceday protocols will keep participants grouped at the races according to their original zone.

In short, South Burnett based horses, trainers, strappers and jockeys can now be involved in the action at a significantly larger numbers of meetings.

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In Her Time (Dean Yendall) on the inside defeated all bar Impending in the 2017 Stradbroke at Doomben (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Bits And Bridles

  • The Bundaberg program on May 5 provided trainer Lindsay Anderson and jockey Gemma Steele with a double apiece, courtesy of Kentford and Momentum Glory. On the same card, Hannah Richardson booted home the Darryl Gardiner prepared duo Plunge and Joe Albert.
  • A dead heat for first in the Maiden at Dalby on Saturday, May 9 probably would have suited Richardson. She got the judges’ pat on Andrew Donnelly’s charge Special Case ($1.65 favourite). The winning margin over Brigalow Queen (Hannah Phillips, $8.50), the contender saddled up by her husband Glenn, was a nose.
  • There is a gamble about purchasing bloodstock in any circumstances. However, given the current climate, it was a tad surprising that In Her Time recently sold for $2 million. The rising eight-year-old grand-daughter of Redoute’s Choice has accrued $3.7 million in earnings. Six of her nine victories were at black type level including a pair of Group Ones (The Galaxy and the VRC Lightning Stakes). Her sire Time Thief’s sole stakes win was in the Listed Zedative Stakes.
  • At the same sale, the Group I winners Samaready, Booker, and Youngstar were knocked down for $1.8 million, $1.6 million and $1.4 million respectively. It will be fascinating to see how prize money for elite events and the prices yearlings fetch in the times ahead.

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