August 6, 2021
Saturday’s XXXX Fitzroy Hotel Cheers Liquor House Nanango Cup day has attracted players returning to the scene of previous joyful jaunts.
Toowoomba trainer Jackie Crompton and her husband Wayne picked up the 2017 Cup with Cecily Eaton’s mount King Ludwig.
The trophy took the eye of their six-year-old daughter Jorja, who cast her computerised device aside to admire the silver memento.
The Cromptons are represented by the topweight Ritchford for this year’s renewal of the metric mile open handicap that boasts a purse of $10,000.
The bay by Von Costa de Hero has been over the trip ten times for three wins and a second placing.
Prospects will be enhanced by Isabella Rabjones’ two kilogram claim and the good surface.
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Billie Rose Again
Another prime aspirant for Cup honours is Sugar Buzz, a strong winner over 1575 metres at Wondai last Saturday for the trainer-jockey unit of Brenton Andrew and his wife Billie-Rose.
The effort came to the rescue of favourite backers following the earlier failures of the short priced runners Diggity ($1.60), A Good Chance ($2.25) and Igbo ($2.10).
Oddly, Sugar Buzz meets the third placed Kentford two kilograms better in the Cup for beating him by four lengths.
Back in June 2018, the team scored with The Hooligan at Warwick.
Billie-Rose’s next success was also for Brenton with the Exceedingly Good siblings Speedy and My Boy Blue at Nanango in September 2019.
The double for the former Gympie apprentice came after the birth of the Gatton couple’s first child Arthur.
Billie-Rose was again sidelined for maternity purposes in October last year, and last weekend’s single Wondai booking was her first since the arrival of Darby.
Sugar Buzz’s previous five outings had been over distances ranging from 2000 to 2500 metres with the Mulaazem gelding running sixth in the Ipswich marathon behind the top Melbourne Cup fancy Incentivise.
Fitness will not be an issue.
The stablemate Trojan Angel is scheduled to do battle in the opening contest, the National Jockeys Celebration-J.A.Lee Memorial BM 50 (1000m).
Hannah Phillips, who booted home another Cup acceptor in Gambit at Bundaberg recently for Laura Cronan, will partner the chestnut on Saturday.
Her father Barry now prepares the Strategic Maneuver gelding that has a 6:1-1-2 record for the course’s mile test.
His gameness is reflected in the fact that he has been on the podium seven times in his latest eight attempts.
The only time he missed a medal was when he encountered an unsuitably soft surface at Esk.
Trainer Tom Dougall knows what it takes to succeed at Nanango.
The Toowoomba horseman was the premier trainer at Lee Park for the 2016-17 season.
His entry Perfect Page has an excellent reputation as a miler, winning twice at the distance at Toowoomba and once at Gatton.
The mare by Instinction has been very consistent of late, and was runner-up over 1640 metres at Clifford Park on July 24.
It goes without saying that Glenn Richardson and his wife Hannah excel on home ground.
The Nanango couple have just defended their respective premiership titles at Nanango.
The side link up with Brutus, Suffice, Hairy Lover, The Old Bird and Vermutin in the Cup.
The Oakey conditioner Graham Banks, who is set to saddle up Miss Cruisey, Rock Easy and Punctuality, chalked up the 2011 Nanango Cup victory with Hidden Assets, piloted by Kristy Banks.
In a surprise move, Krystle Johnston has opted to start her charge Craiglea Arion in a Thangool event worth less prizemoney than the Nanango Cup offering.
She misses a chance of a hat-trick in the Lee Park feature that most recently went to Craiglea Simmo and Executed.
Craiglea Arion has only three rivals (including stablemate Craiglea Cetina) at Thangool.
The Sunshine Coast galloper was awarded the 2021 Nanango Race Club Horse of the Year honours on a countback from John Hamilton’s warrior Oakfield Comanche
Meanwhile, Jandowae trainer Geoffrey Schrader had reason to be delighted at Wondai after Miralie (Leeanne McCoy) won his third race, having won twice previously at Corowa under different ownership.
Back in 2016 at the Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, the So You Think-Merlene colt was sold to Victorian trainer Vincent Nolen for just $35,000.
Some of the Golden Slipper winner’s progeny have fetched as much as $510,000, $550,000, $700,000 and $775,000.
Schrader’s shady hat bears a badge inscribed with the words Australian Stock Horse Society Platinum Member.
The experienced campdrafter, along with his wife Shirley, was a long term manager of Sandringham, a massive cattle station in the Bedourie-Boulia district that was part of S. Kidman’s Pty Ltd’s grazing portfolio.
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Cup Day Racebook
Nanango Race Club has inserted a long list of its Cup winners in Saturday’s program.
It is a great reference point and will no doubt trigger memories for many.
Kelly Gates is shown as the jockey and trainer of The Raging Prince in the Star Motel BM 60 Handicap.
This is not an error – she now has a dual licence and is based at Gympie.
At Wondai, Roma jockey-trainer Cheryl Rogers booted home Hard Enough ($12)in the Kevin Duff Memorial.
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Although fixtures in the impacted Local Government Areas are patron free, it is business as usual with some restrictions at Nanango.
Checking in with the QR code is necessary.
But while essential racing personnel must wear face masks at all times in the core racing areas, members of the public and owners are not required to do likewise unless they have been inside the locked-down South Eastern districts during the past 14 days.
Of course, many people in unaffected zones do opt to don masks as a personal precaution.
Take care as you enjoy Cup Day 2021 – and I’ll see you at the track!