Burrandowan in 2015 before the construction of a new tower and a roof over the betting ring (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Gunsynd's Gossip

May 6, 2022

I wonder what the pioneers who put together the first Burrandowan race meeting on Burra Burri Road at Chahpingah would make of this year’s event?

Fortunately, the relay baton that was lit on May 13, 1922, has been passed on to generations imbued with that group’s enthusiasm and determination.

Their collective energies over time have not only covered all the basics such as upgraded toilets (and showers for the campers) but also added many other elements en route.

In recent years, the Hall has been relocated and lately the betting ring has been protected by a roof.

Early this century, Queensland Racing required that Burrandowan Picnic Race Club put up all the prize money for their programs.

For seven years – at great expense – the organisation did just that.

Other bodies would not have cleared the high hurdle with survival crouched on the other side.

Somewhat ironically, on Saturday the Burrandowan Picnic Race Club will host a leg of the peacetime Battle of the Bush Series with the winner securing a spot in the $200,000 Final at Eagle Farm on 25 June.

Further delving into the colourful past is now on tap with “100 Years of Racing at Burrandowan”, the book by Dr Judith Grimes OAM that will be sold at the course.

Others to cover a lot of ground are the tourist racegoers that came from afar.

Many make it an annual pilgrimage, and the influx boosts the local economy which allows the club to make regular course improvements.

Remarkably, horses engaged on Saturday have competed at very distant parts.

During this season, candidates have raced at venues such as Gundagai, Oakbank, Quirindi, Grafton, Bowraville, Cooktown, Stony Creek, Cunnamulla, Blackall, Dingo, Barcaldine, Ingham and Eagle Farm.

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Foxy Rose and Hannah Richardson prior to their Maiden success at Burrandowan last year (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Form Pointers

Most of this year’s equine aspirants are making their Burrandowan debut.

Track experience can often be a telling point, so keep in mind that Foxy Rose and Galapagos have prevailed here before while Stormyzone and Sweet Venom have been placed.

Jockeys with a deal of recent experience at Burrandowan include Hannah Richardson, Hannah Phillips, Kelly Gates, Gemma Steele and Isabella Teh.

The Kellco Livestock Burrandowan Cup holds extra regard because it is a leg of the Burnett To The Beach series.

Kilkivan trainer Kym Afford, with 59 points in his section, opted not to accept with Modern Family, the present head of the table with 35 points.

The nearest challengers, the Bob Murray (49) trained Ourlastpenny (25) and Jackie Crompton’s charge Foxy Rose (16), are in the Cup and will be handled respectively by Gates, the current leading jockey on 37, and Richardson (24).

Mista Busy’s partner Shannyn Stephan (29) will also be looking to earn valuable points.

Meanwhile, it was great to note that Hannah Phillips chalked up a double at Chinchilla last weekend with Raku’s Secret for Patrick Sexton and Red Gadget for Glenn Richardson, the Nanango conditioner who will leg her aboard his newcomer Muwarrad in the Cup.

By the way, Hannah Richardson has an affinity with Foxy Rose.

She has been in the saddle for each of the three victories recorded thus far by the mare with Danehill on both sides of her pedigree.

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Names As Omens

The once-a-year racegoer may care to dabble using names as omens.

Western fans could have something on Outlaw Josey Wales. The topweight in the Seilers Transport Handicap is named for the title role played by Clint Eastwood in the 1976 movie about the murder of his family and the ensuing revenge in the American Civil War.

The Cup runner Sethlans is also the name of a mythical god of fire, the forge, metalworking and craftsmanship. The dam of this thoroughbred is Hestia, a goddess of the hearth.

Haumea is the goddess of fertility and childbirth in Hawaiian circles. Her daughter Trust In Aloha is the Cup topweight and must surely attract attention given that Sunday is Mother’s Day! The bay, with good Rockhampton form to her credit last spring, will be second up after a five-month absence.

In the Gilliland Livestock Marketing-Patrons Trophy, Kaliya, whose dam is Serpent, is understandably named for a mythical snake while Wararba just happens to be a spot west of Caboolture.

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There will be countless catch-ups at Burrandowan again this year (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Miscellaneous Reminders

  • The best advice is to get there early. Buy the very comprehensive race book to read all about the day. Have a bite to eat, check out the merchandise stall and take in the Clay Pigeon Shoot on the infield.
  • To enhance the celebrations, a Fashion on the Field category of Vintage Lady has been added this year for those that want to display outfits from decades ago. The two sessions of judging will be after the third and fourth races.
  • Those who are setting up their own tables should decorate them because there is a prize for the best in this category..
  • Saturday night camping is free! Don’t forget to bring barbecue tools, any salads you care for and BYO drinks to the infield. Steak with roll tickets are sold there.
  • After the last, the Kingaroy High School Band and then Ryza will entertain you.
  • There is no ATM, reliable mobile phone signal or TAB, but there is Sky Channel television coverage.

For all the necessary information, go to burrandowan.com.au with its link to Facebook.

First timers to Burrandowan will quickly appreciate the idea that it belongs to a special element of Australia’s cultural heritage, and don’t be surprised if you reminisce about John William’s signature song, “Home Among The Gum Trees”.

See you there!

Anderssons Fruit Market for quality fruits and vegetables


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