Kelly Gates and Kristen Wenck were happy after Ascot Bound’s placing in the 2019 Col Ryan Memorial at Wondai (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Gunsynd's GossipFebruary 12, 2021

Wondai trainer Kristen Wenck and jockey Kelly Gates finished off 2020 in fine style, courtesy of Allena’s victory at $41 in the $17,000 Benchmark 55 Handicap for Fillies and Mares (1200m) at Kilcoy on New Year’s Eve.

The sprinter is raced by Kristen, her husband Bodie Roon and her parents Jeff and Narelle Wenck.

The same team would love to score again with Allena in the Alan Downie Memorial BM 65 (1000m) at Nanango’s “Pretty In Pink” program on Saturday.

Wenck has saddled up the seven-year-old daughter of Zizou and the Lion Hunter mare Snipp Affair just four times.

The chestnut registered a sound second in early November at Chinchilla when resuming after a five-month absence and then failed at her first crack on the sand at Gympie a fortnight later. The Kilcoy success was followed by another fair run when fifth at Dalby in higher grade on January 22.

Allena, who won twice at both Ipswich and the Gold Coast in her younger days, faces some rivals that have been at competing provincial level of late. It will be a fantastic effort if she regains the form she displayed earlier in 2018 when prepared by Deagon conditioner Sam Strazzieri.

Other points of interest for the Nanango card include:

  • Bookmakers will have their guard up in the opening race with the appearance of She’s Smart. The former Eagle Farm trainer Liam Birchley will be saddling up his second runner from his Caloundra yard after being sidelined by stewards since September 2019. He did take Half Moon Blue to Gympie in 2019 and the $4.60 shot got the goodies. Birchley is well travelled. The Brisbane boy was a student at Longreach before working in New Zealand, England and California.
  • The Devastator, the unraced five-year-old that has had stints with Laura Cronan, Kym Afford and Janene Armstrong, will make its debut in the Timbertowner’s Car Detailing QTIS Maiden Plate (1200m). The Monashee Mountain gelding is now in the care of his Wattle Camp-based breeder-owner Roy King.
  • Bob Chessher, part-owner and trainer of Courtingrock, will be encouraged by his mare’s last start second in a Gatton Maiden (860m, $19). The home track Class B is a tougher proposition but the metric half-mile trip and the small field are positives.
  • South Burnett players that hope to be at the fore include the Barry and Hannah Phillips unit with Glam Rock and Kartanup, Kym Afford (Flying Kass, Blue Boy McCombe), Janene Armstrong and Hannah Phillips (Kitty Kat’s Kitten Phillips), Glenn Richardson (Vermutin, Nathan Evans) while Hannah Richardson partners Curry Connection and Craiglea Daniel before heading to Toowoomba to handle the stable’s aspirants Sweet Venom, The Old Bird and Duready.

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Important Burrandowan News

A Burrandowan stand filled with life prior to COVID-19 restrictions (Photo: Ross Stanley)(Photo: Ross Stanley)

The President and the Committee of the Burrandowan Picnic Race Club have advised on their website they will be operating the May 8 meeting under Racing Queensland’s Racing Industry COVID Safe Plan.

  • There will be no camping
  • Race day hours will be from 10:00am to 6:00pm with no night program
  • Tickets will be pre-sold online  (closer to the day)
  • Due to COVID-19 restrictions placed on the event, all conditions are subject to change.

Given that so many opportunities to watch live racing were lost in 2020, regular fans who have to travel and stay away from home to attend Burrandowan will no doubt make an early start in their search for alternative shelter.

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Richardsons Rejoice At Emerald 

A trio of Mick’s Luck’s winning jockeys at a Nanango celebration …  Glenda Richardson, left, and her sister Margaret Knudsen with Bobby Greaves, dux of the QTC Apprentice School (1957-59) (Photo: Ross Stanley)

On February 6 at Emerald, Hannah Richardson landed a double aboard the Ray Williams-trained pair Jinabelle ($19) and Ahwahneechee ($3).

Later that night, Mick’s Luck was inducted into the On The Bit Queensland Country Racing Hall of Fame.

The iron horse, raced by Mick Wecker, was an idol in the Burnett (and elsewhere). The son of The Magistrate sported silk from age two through to 13, seemingly chalking up an astonishing 88 wins.

The list of his trainers included Mick Maloney, Pat Duff, Clive Freeman and Glenda Freeman (now Richardson), who, along with her father Fred Freeman and sister Margaret, was successful aboard the determined old boy.

Mick’s Luck, aided by remarkable legs and the stoutest of constitutions, constantly amazed Burnett racegoers from 1969 to 1975 with his Herculean weight-carrying performances.

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Make a date to be at Lee Park on Saturday. The day will be a timely prelude to Valentine’s Day!


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