Alyssa Hetherington, Wondai; Renee Kratzmann, Kingaroy; and Sophie Gleich, Wondai; were enjoying a day at the races

November 7, 2023

The chaos, colour and excitement of Melbourne Cup Day in Flemington was replicated in full at Kumbia Races on Tuesday.

There were fancy fashions – all in pink as a salute to the South Burnett’s Pink Up campaign to raise funds for the McGrath Foundation – a hectic betting ring, packed bar and on-track excitement with some close finishes, including a dead-heat for third in Race 2.

The Fashions of the Field competitions were equally competitive, with ladies, gents and couples keeping judges Cr Kathy Duff, CROW-FM’s Chantal Harth and former MP for Callide Di McCauley working hard to select the best dressed.

The new team heading the Kumbia Race Club would have breathed a sigh of relief when the weather turned out perfect for racing.

There was no sign of the rain which washed out the 2022 event, but everyone at the track was also eyeing the dark clouds above, hoping there could be some rain falling after the last race …

Out on the track, the winner of the $14,000 Kumbia Cup was Chinchilla-based five-year-old gelding Villaden, ridden by apprentice Tamara Noble and owned and trained by Rodney Hay.

Sadly for punters, favourite Real Key was eight lengths back in fourth place.

McGrath Foundation nurse Sue Cox and her husband Phillip … money was being raised on the day to assist the Foundation
Cr Kathy Duff and her nephew Mortimer Duff … Kathy was having a busy day at Kumbia as she was not only involved in the Fashions judging but was also officially launching her campaign to run for South Burnett Mayor in 2024
Another Mayoral candidate for 2024, Cr Kirstie Schumacher, with Amy Smoothy, from Glencliffe
Acting South Burnett Mayor Gavin Jones with Bruce Webb, Nanango; John Allery, Kingaroy; and Warren Watkin, Maidenwell
Isabel Bredhauer, from Bell, with Evie Waterworth, from Coolum
Rosie Schmidt, from Kingaroy, with former colleague Simon Neal, also from Kingaroy
Mum and daughter Jannine Smith and Peta May, from Kumbia
Trudie Payne, from Eidsvold; Alex Slack, Coulstoun Lakes and Kim Kirk, Gayndah
Henny De Winter, from Kingaroy, was photobombing with Rebecca Pohle, Gayndah
Cr Scott Henschen with Cedric Duff (brother of trainer Patrick Duff) and representatives from Race 2 sponsors (Raine & Horne Kingaroy & Deb Frecklington MP) Jackie, John and Callum Allery with winning jockey Micheal McDonald
Cr Henschen, who acted as compere at the post-race presentations, with Kate Kropp, part-owner of Race 3 winner Laurie
Race 4 was run in memory of members of four well-known Kumbia families (Lenihan, Smoothy, McConville & Reed) … at the post-race presentation were Cr Henschen, jockey Colleen Krahnen, John Byrne (representing the owners of Patrick’s Me Mate), Marlene Charlton, Russell Reed and Kevin and Amy Smoothy
Sharon Reynolds, right, from race sponsors Huston Motors, presented the Kumbia Cup and rug to owner / trainer Rodney Hay and jockey Tamara Noble after the running of Race 5
The betting ring was packed with punters supporting both the local and interstate races

* * *

Fashions Of The Field

A stylish line-up of ladies fronts the judges in the “Best Headwear” competition

The Fashions of the Field competitions are always a huge part of race day at Kumbia, but this year they were a little bit different.

The competitions were a fundraiser for local McGrath Foundation breast cancer nurse Sue Cox, but there were also new names and a new category.

Judges had a tough time separating the winners, so tough, in fact, that the various categories had to be squeezed in between Race 3, Race 4 and Race 5!

And the winners were: 

Most Stylish Goddess (Over 50):  Maureen Culey, Brisbane (1st); Jo Hassan, South Nanango (2nd); and Susan Stephens, Atherton (3rd)
Most Stylish Goddess (Under 50):  Jess Randall, Gayndah (1st);  Jessica Beddows, Murgon (2nd); Felicity Reinke, Cushnie (3rd); and …
… in fourth place, Bobbi Murrell and Tessa, 2, from Goomeri
Best Dressed Gent: Rod Morgan, Nanango (3rd); Riley Cavanough, Kumbia (1st); and Toby Schmidt, Kingaroy (2nd)
Best Headwear: Jess Randall, Gayndah (4th); Beck Pohle, Gayndah (3rd); Amelia Dalton, Cushnie (2nd) and Amy Smoothy, Glencliffe (1st)
Most Stylish Couple were newlyweds Matthew and Shennae Barbour, from Kumbia,  who only tied the knot last month … other placegetters:  Rod & Clare Waterworth, Coolum (2nd);  Rod & Jenny Morgan, Nanango (3rd); and Michael & his guide dog “Rasta”, Chapel Hill (4th)

* * *

Race Results

The pack hits the line in Race 2 with the top-weight Shades Of Louvre (Micheal McDonald) on the rail, edging out Bright Flames in a tight finish for the minor places

Race 1 – Powersafe Kingaroy BenchMark 45 Handicap (1000m)
1. Last Laugh (7) – Shania Willis
2. Richunclemoneybags (4) – Tamara Noble
3. Valar Dohaeris (9) – Colleen Krahnen
Time: 0:56.058
Margins: 1 length x 1 3/4 lengths

Race 2 – Raine & Horne Kingaroy Deb Frecklington MP QTIS Maiden Plate (1200m)
1. Shades Of Louvre (1) – Micheal McDonald
2. Bright Flames (4) – Rhiannon Payne
3. Pride An’ Joy (6) – Shania Willis (dead heat)
3. Alberta The Fox (3) – Lilli Barr (dead heat)
Time: 1:10.16
Margins: 1 1/2 lengths x half length

Race 3 – Liberty Fuel Benchmark 60 Handicap (1200m)
1. Laurie (2) – Paul Hamblin
2. The Orphan (6) – Shania Willis
3. Kefalonia (4) – Micheal McDonald
Time: 1:13.25
Margins: 2 lengths x long neck

Race 4 – Memorial – Families Of Lenihan, Smoothy, McConville & Reeds Ratings Band 0-50 Handicap (1400m)
1. Patrick’s Me Mate (6) – Colleen Krahnen
2. Muwarrad (3) – Micheal McDonald
3. Feudalist (5) – Tamara Noble
Time: 1:27.40
Margins: 1 1/2 lengths x short neck

Race 5 – Huston Motors Kumbia Cup Open Handicap (1400m)
1. Villaden (5) – Tamara Noble
2. Sir Piccolo (7) – Shania Willis
3. Coynes Road (3) – Paul Hamblin
Time: 1:25.39
Margins: 3 3/4 lengths x 1 1/2 lengths

Villaden, with jockey Tamara Noble aboard, romps away to win Race 5, the Kumbia Cup
And this is what it was all about … Kumbia’s equivalent of the Melbourne Cup!


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