A jubilant Billie-Rose Andrew after her 2021 Kumbia Cup triumph aboard Destiny’s Own (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Gunsynd's Gossip

November 4, 2023

In 2021, punters were happy with their lot when Destiny’s Own took out the Kumbia Cup.

The hot favourite – prepared by Brenton Andrews and ridden by his wife Billie Rose – romped in.

Sadly, last year’s cup was washed out and only a phantom meeting could be held.

Tuesday’s Cup is not as clear cut as the 2021 race …

Top-weight Real Key recorded a hat-trick last month at Mackay.

Nine-year-old Bon Hoffa’s Rockhampton mentor and part-owner Mark Cochrane has already struck gold on this southern trip with Kefalonia at Gayndah.

The bay, by Sizzling, is having its first start for Cochrane and is engaged in the Liberty Fuel BM 60 Handicap at Kumbia.

The pair of visitors will be handled by Michael McDonald, a jockey on the comeback trail after a break of more than six years.

The best outcome from his eight recent rides was a second placing at Stanthorpe.

But back in the day, the journeyman’s previous ports of call included the likes of Eagle Farm, Wychproofe in north western Victoria, Alice Springs and King Island in Bass Strait.

The Matt Kropp-trained Coynes Road ticks two major boxes.

The son of Spirit of Boom is the only candidate on the program to have scored at Kumbia, and Paul Hamblin is in fine form.

His last 17 mounts have chalked up five wins.

The heavyweight hoop has an unquenchable thirst for success and continues to travel far and wide to attain it. He sports silk at Barcaldine on Saturday.

Prior to disappointing a month ago at Dalby, Coynes Road – which happens to be the only Cup acceptor with a whole career based in Queensland – had been consistently thereabouts.

Sammy, a late entry, is running in a leg of the Country Cups Challenge at Yeppoon on Saturday.

It would seem unlikely that the son of the champion filly Samantha Miss will back up at Kumbia.

Although unplaced, the Megalia D’Oro gelding was considered smart enough to start favourite in last month’s $35,000 Warwick Cup (1500m).

His trainers Kylie and Corey Geran and part owners KO Racing are also represented in the Yeppoon event by Torbreck.

Villaden and Barrymore were originally trained by Chris Waller.

The former was a failure in the 2022 Queensland Derby, and the latter’s only appearances for his new trainer Rodney Hay were at Beetoota, Birdsville and Bedourie.

However, Barrymore’s sire was the superstar – and Melbourne Cup placegetter – So You Think.

Chris Meehan and William Kropp with Coynes Road after scoring at Kumbia in 2021 (Photo: Ross Stanley)

* * *

Russell Reed (with hat, at front) with some of his 2021 Kumbia racegoing party. (Photo: Ross Stanley)

The race that precedes the Cup is dedicated to the contribution made to the Kumbia Race Club and the wider community by Jim Lenihan, Helen Smoothy, Josie McConville and Joyce and Morris Reed.

Russell Reed will again host a large contingent from Brisbane.

* * *

Somehow the ethos of Melbourne Cup day intensifies at a country meeting – probably because the heritage aspect is enhanced.

And omen punters might like to ponder some obscure links to the Melbourne Cup for Kumbia’s competitors (not everyone takes a “form only” approach):

A dinki-di Australian flavour comes through with Real Key.

His maiden success was registered at Gundagai, a few miles from where the dog sits on the tuckerbox.

He has also raced at Dingo!

With respect to Melbourne Cup winners, Zabeel sired Might and Power, Efficient and Jezabeel; while his father, Sir Tristram, did likewise with Gurner’s Lane, Brew and Empire Rose.

The pedigrees of Sammy and Destiny’s Own display Zabeel on the maternal side while Villaden’s paternal grandsire, Montjeu, produced the 2012 Melbourne Cup hero Green Moon.

Kale Sinclair, who will saddle up Afroginasock in the Powersafe Kingaroy BM 45 Handicap at Kumbia, hails from Thangool.

Back in 1938, the town celebrated Catalogue’s Melbourne Cup win by Fred Shean, one of Thangool’s sons.

* * *

Meanwhile, the usual Kumbia regulars – trainer Tom Moloney and jockey Hannah Phillips – will be with Diggity at Gladstone on Tuesday.

Their target is a heat of the Country Stampede Qualifier, where a victory for the game Equiano (Fr) gelding will cement them a place in the $105,000 final at Doomben on December 2.

* * *

Jockeys will be chasing a different chequered flag as they straighten for home at Kumbia on Tuesday, November 7
(Photo: Ross Stanley)

Countdown To Kumbia

With the first Tuesday in November looming, here’s a check list for patrons heading to the Flemington of the Bush on November 7:


The first port of call is the relevant Trybooking website where you can explore the full details of various key elements.

You can book unpowered trackside camping, Wine and Cheese Bar seating, entry tickets ($15 online, $20 at the gate), Racebooks and also place orders for platters (cheese or fruit) which must be in by this Friday.

You can also make a dopnation to the Pink Up Your Town project on thev booking page – this is the Kumbia Race Club’s fifth year of support for the McGrath Foundation’s local breast cancer care nurses.

The Sunday Warm-Up

Transactions for the Calcutta at the racecourse on Sunday, November 5 at 2:00pm, must be made in cash but EFTPOS will be available for the drinks and the barbecue.

A Calcutta is essentially like a Melbourne Cup sweep but with one added step.

After the draw, the runners are auctioned and their ticket holder picks up half of the sale price.

The rest goes into the prize pool that is distributed according to the Cup outcome. Those who have drawn a runner can bid to retain the “ownership”.

Interested folk who can’t make it in person but would like to purchase tickets should ring Myolene on 0407-645-574, preferably before Sunday.

Phone bidding is an option.

Carrollee Hotel Fashion Contests

The fashion theme this year is Tickle Me Pink, and the categories which will be judged after the third race are Most Stylish Goddess Over 50, Most Stylish Goddess Under 50, Best Dressed Gent, Best Headwear and Most Stylish Couple.

Entry is by gold coin donation to support Pink Up Your Town and registration – which closes at 1:55pm – is processed at the table near the stage.

Fleet Footed Fun

As soon as possible after the final race, Dash For Cash sprints will be run for both genders.

The prizes are $100 for each winner and $50 for the runner-up, and they’ve been generously donated by South Burnett Window Tinting.

Good luck on Tuesday – see you at the track!


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