Robert Faehr, Garry Schwenke and Positive Spin after their Easter victory at Nanango in 2019 (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Gunsynd's Gossip

April 1, 2021

There will be an international flavour amidst the riding ranks at Lee Park on Saturday.

Chris Taylor was a trainee at the South African Jockey Academy at Durban in the mid 1990s, but after a couple of years into his career, he was injured in a road accident and his progress stalled.

So – after recovering – he took up an opportunity to ride trackwork in Dubai, which soon evolved into race riding in Bahrain and Qatar where he prevailed at Group Three level.

The programs in those arenas involved thoroughbred contests and events for quality Arabian horses.

Taylor sported silk in the Arabian Group One event at a Dubai World Cup meeting, and was the first South African registered to ride in Korea at Seoul.

However, that particular stint was brief. The course was dangerous and the monsoonal weather was distinctly uncharitable.

A major thrill was in partnering the likes of Mourilyan in work.

The Irish born stayer came out to Australia and finished third for his South African jockey Glyn Schofield in Shocking’s 2009 Melbourne Cup.

After seven years in Dubai, Chris resettled back in Abu Dhabi. But when the situation there became unstable, the Taylors opted to get out and eventually landed in Australia on Christmas Eve in 2015.

Visa stipulations meant that there were limits initially on job options, and when Sydney proved impractical the Taylors relocated to Tweed Heads.

There they relished a slice of overdue luck: Myles Plumb, who had been a clerk of the course in Dubai, was now associated with Gold Coasters Gillian and Hoss Heinrich.

He paved the way for the couple to sponsor Chris and key boxes were ticked.

Today, Chris plies his trade in South East Queensland and the Northern Rivers.

Angela Plumb (Myles’ niece) prepares Daunting Warrior, one of Taylor’s five mounts at Nanango this weekend.

Another of his bookings is the Garry Schwenke-trained Positive Spin, a winner handled by Robert Faehr at the Easter meeting at Lee Park two years ago.

Chris will also be atop the stablemate Stryking Princess as well as Sense Of Expense and Run Pam Run.

Meanwhile, Hannah Phillips will pilot her family’s runner Jondy Qualo, Viceman and Turbo Teddy for Steven Thomas, Oakfield Comanche for local trainer Janene Armstrong and Russian Missile from Bob Murray’s Eidsvold yard.

Hannah Richardson will link up with Sweet Venom for her husband Glenn, Fend Off for Hivesville conditioner Lindsay Anderson, Granma for Beaudesert trainer Bob Mahon, Coffee Coming for Toowoomba’s Harry Richardson and Craiglea Arion from Krystle Johnston’s Sunshine Coast stable.

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In form local jockeys Hannah Phillips and Hannah Richardson have full books at Lee Park’s Easter race meeting on Saturday (Photo: Ross Stanley)

No Man’s Land

There were no male jockeys in action at Monto last weekend when several South Burnett players earned incomes.

Kym Afford, the Kilkivan based horseman who gallops his string at Wondai, teamed with jockey Isabella Teh to collect a double with Modern Family ($13) and Flick ($6.50).

Other locals who did well in the north included Glenn Richardson and claiming apprentice Melea Castle who successfully combined with Duready ($2.20), Hannah Richardson who booted home Rather Salubrious ($4.00) for David Reynolds and Hannah Phillips who prevailed on Kartanup ($4.60) for her father Barry.

The other four female hoops that participated in the unique occasion were Rebecca Wilson, Shannyn Stephan, Kelly Gates and Cecily Eaton.

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Brisbane’s Rachel Suter and Belinda Kinderman stayed with friends in Maidenwell over Easter in 2019 … but the protocols will be a little different at this year’s Easter meeting thanks to COVID-19

Racing Queensland Protocols (1-15 April)

A week or so ago, another COVID-19 lockdown seemed unimaginable. But now that we’re on the tail end of the latest one, Racing Queensland have issued directives about how patrons should behave at racetracks.

The current protocols are:

  1. Essential racing personnel must wear face masks at all times (including in mounting yards and behind barriers). Jockeys are not required to wear a face mask whilst racing but must wear one at all other times.
  2. Patrons are able to attend race meetings but must comply with Queensland Health directions. This includes the need to wear face masks when indoors, as well as outdoors when not able to physically distance
  3. There is also a requirement for seated eating and drinking when indoors. However, people may stand to eat or drink in outdoor areas (i.e. areas that are not substantially enclosed by a roof and walls, regardless of whether the roof or walls or any part of them are permanent or temporary, or open or closed.

Pandemics and cyclones are both erratic and devastating, so I guess the lesson here is to make hay while the sun shines because things could be a lot worse.

This week’s Doomben and Ipswich meetings were both patron free, and without patrons they were pretty dismal outings.

So it makes sense to get out to Lee Park (and the other tracks) whenever you can, obey the rules and have a great time.

See you at the track on Saturday!

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