John Hamilton and jockey Hannah Phillips with their 2021 Burrandowan winner Oakfield Comanche (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Gunsynd's Gossip

May 27, 2022

There are strong rays of hope that this weekend’s racing in Queensland will escape all the latest weather upheavals.

On Friday morning, the Lee Park course was rated a Heavy 8 for Sunday’s rescheduled meeting, but importantly, there has been no recent rain and forecasts for the weekend are encouraging.

There were 170 nominations for Nanango’s Non-TAB card, with the result that there are six reserves for each of the first seven events.

Meanwhile, Chinchilla’s offering for Saturday attracted 119 entries.

There are 30 horses that have accepted for both venues so there is a swag of scratchings to be made.

Five horses are in the fields for the Battle of the Bush Qualifier at both tracks.

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Oakfield Comanche is resuming after a four month absence in the Bechlys Transport Handicap.

The five-year-old chestnut with a blaze is owned and trained by John Hamilton, and has hads just 14 starts.

But the horse has won three times first up and has scored twice on his home turf.

Throughout his career he has been partnered by senior rider Hannah Phillips.

However, with an impost of 65 kilograms, the camp has gone with the two kilogram claimer Isabella Teh.

Although the Dream Ahead (USA) gelding does not have wet track credentials and is not ideally drawn, he is a real trier and that is a vital trait.

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Other South Burnett trainers with representatives at this stage are Glenn Richardson, Neville O’Toole, Lindsay Anderson, Kym Afford, Bob Chessher, Barry Phillips, Tom Moloney, Kristen Roon and Patrick Sexton.

There is an obvious New Zealand connection with Calculated Risk and Tapthetill.

The duo are prepared by Clermont trainer Kim McGovern and will be ridden by her husband Shane.

The black and white silks with a Kiwi logo are a tell tale sign that the couple hail from across the Tasman.

With the State of Origin Series looming, rugby league fans should also check out Remember Mary and In Havana.

Emma MacPherson, the jockey for the lodgers at Brian Azel’s Toowoomba yard, will don a maroon jacket with blue stripes and a blue cap.

Ms Minnelli in the Happy 70th Noel Fischer Maiden Plate may appeal to the musically minded.

Her dam Dorothy’s Dream was a daughter of Rainbow Scene.

Do remember that the first race kicks off at 12.05 pm and that Shades of Autumn is the fashion theme.

Nanango Race Club’s final meeting for the 2021-22 season is on June 25.

The action is at Wondai on the following Saturday, July 2.

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Thelwell (Justin Stanley) pictured warming up for his first up run in the BRC Spirit of Boom Stakes (Photo: Ross Stanley)

A Winter Carnival Interest

Although Sharryn Livingstone’s stables are at Kurwongbah near Brisbane’s former Lakeside motor-racing circuit, she certainly has affinities with the Nanango district.

Her pin-up boy Thelwell is competing in the $1,000,000 BRC Sires Produce Stakes (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.

The smart juvenile by Bel Esprit will be improved by his stout first up effort for a share of the minor money at long odds in the $250,000 BRC Spirit of Boom Stakes (Group 2, 1200m) at Eagle farm a fortnight ago.

The bay has Gate 17 but is likely to come in three slots or so.

He handles soft going and will again be an outsider.

Although his sire is best known for the short course sprinters, there is stamina in the pedigree with Nijinksy and Royal Academy appearing on both halves of the page. Easy Date, the mother of Snippets, is on the maternal side.

Livingstone is a front foot player and has lined up sponsors to assist the side and the two-year-old with an independent character.

The team is supported by Peak Pulse Therapy, Horseland at Strathpine, Bernie’s Produce, Hampton and Harlow Equestrian, Equissage and Barastoc.

There may also be room for a locksmith to lend a hand.

Thelwell, aka Kramer, has been known to be akin to Houdini and let himself out for some unsupervised playtime.

On Sunday at Lee Park, Sharryn’s father Ian has Boingo attempting to secure a spot in the Battle of the Bush Final.

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A detail from Susan Crawford’s 1972 painting of The Queen on Worcran at Windsor Great Park

A Right Royal Occasion

Horse lovers, whether they are monarchists or republicans, will probably be delighted that Epsom Derby Day on June 4 is an official part of the Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

To mark the occasion, the Queen’s Stand will be permanently known as The Queen Elizabeth II Stand.

A guard of honour will be formed on the track by 40 retired and present day jockeys sporting Her Majesty’s famous purple and gold livery.

Amidst this welcoming party of jockeys will be the 79-year-old Willie Carson, the four-time Derby hero who also rode The Queen’s Oaks winner Dunfermline in 1977.

The Derby trophy continues to be the only one of the five British classics Her Majesty is yet to collect.

Missing from the 2022 starting line up will be her aspirants Educator, General Idea and Reach For The Moon, the promising See The Stars colt that was injured last September.

Four days after her coronation in 1953, Aureole provided the young monarch with the runner-up’s prizemoney.

Carlton House gave her a great thrill with his close third in the Blue Riband in 2011.


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