April 23, 2021
The South Burnett Race Club is in for a spectacular six-event Anzac Day program.
Sunday’s opener, the Wondai IGA and Harley’s Heavy Diesel BM 60 Handicap, is scheduled for 1:30pm.
There were sufficient acceptors for the QTIS Benchmark 50 Handicap to be split into two divisions of nine apiece while the Hivesville Hotel Maiden Plate has five reserves.
There will be no shortage of horses or riders.
An exciting aspect on the racing front will be the introduction of a new starting point.
The barrier stalls for the 1465 metre contests were on the course proper but the despatch point is now 110 metres further back in a chute.
This innovation is a not only a safer option but also should allow the runners to sort themselves out of before reaching the turn out of the straight.
All the trackside marquees were quickly sold out.
This indicates an extremely encouraging level of interest in Wondai’s popular fixture.
It will be just so great to get back to a full scale meeting after the COVID-19 enforced restrictions.
The weather forecast is delightfully promising.
The Fashions On the Field Theme is Shades of Autumn with categories for Ladies, Gentlemen, Boys and Girls.
Patrons are reminded that there are no ATM facilities at the course.
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Fend Off May Brush Aside Rivals Again
Lindsay Anderson, the Hivesville horseman whose horses do their fast workouts at Wondai, has two entries that command contemplation.
Hannah Richardson dictated terms in the lead on Fend Off at Nanango at Easter.
The four-year-old by the Melbourne Cup winner was very strong over the 1600 metres in BM 55 company with 59 kilograms to contend with.
He began well and was able to cross and settle in the vanguard position.
Fend Off, to be handled by heavyweight hoop Paul Hamblin, goes up two kilos for the Murgon Outdoor Equipment and Amcal Chemist Murgon 55 BM over 1575 metres.
An obvious danger is the locally trained galloper Elusive Element.
The veteran by Red Element has chalked up a win and a placing from his four outings at Wondai.
Kym Afford’s charge has scored four times in the 1500 -1600 metre range.
Although the gelding has finished second 17 times from 87 runs, he has prevailed twice on the sand at Gladstone at his most recent appearances.
Shannyn Stephan was atop on both occasions and her two kilogram claim will be again be useful.
Anderson also has Kentford engaged.
The Master of Design gelding has a good record at home, winning there on Anzac Day 2019 and finishing second at the Patron Free Day in October.
Hamblin’s mount has also scored on the sand at Gympie and Bundaberg.
The bay is knocking on the door, following three straight runner-up performances this year.
Lindsay is adept at targetting his string for set races.
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Wishes For An Encore
Oakfield Comanche, under Hannah Phillips’ guidance, led all the way to post an Easter victory at Nanango for owner John Hamilton.
Previously, the chestnut’s success at Lee Park’s Christmas meeting had been the final official winner trained by his late wife Kaylene.
Following her horses was a wonderful tonic for Kaylene during her long illness.
The Dream Ahead gelding, now with Nanango’s Janene Armstrong, has prevailed three times from just six opportunities.
Importantly, he has already chalked up a win at Wondai so he will be in familiar territory in the Original Hair by Gina QTIS BM 50.
An opponent in that race will be Hard Enough.
The aspirant will be ridden by his trainer Cheryl Rogers, a dual licensee from Roma.
Although the five-year-old has been out of form this camapign, it is one of the few runners that have won at Wondai.
He is by All Too Hard, a name that matches the quandary punters will face because the vast majority of starters have never stepped out on the track before.
The only hint about their ability to handle the surface would be any form references they have with respect to the venues at Gympie Bundaberg and Gladstone.
Turbo Teddy, a candidate in the first race, is a reminder of the difficulties in following form.
The ten-year-old finished a poor second last when having its 100th career start at Nanango last month.
The ten-year-old backed up at Toowoomba seven days later and picked up the $3,500 runner-up cheque after firming from $71 to $51.
We are dealing with animals and not computerised machines.
Make your selection and don’t listen to experts who try to dissuade you
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Folk planning to attend the annual Burrandowan meeting on Saturday, May 8 are strongly advised to explore the club’s website
There have been some welcome changes to the original blanket bans.
The traditional Pit-Fired BBQ and dancing to the music of RYZA will now be on the agenda as is limited camping on the Saturday night.
Swags, vehicles and small tents can be used but, due to space restrictions, no caravans or camper vans will be alllowed on the grounds.
Ticketing requirements are in place and patrons are reminded that there are no ATMs on the course and there is no mobile phone reception.
Meanwhile, it is time to make the most of live racing at Wondai in an era when things can’t be taken for granted.