Fire King, pictured taking out the 2023 Country Cups Challenge Final for Adam Sewell, is seeking a Battle of the Bush Finals’ berth at Burrandowan (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Gunsynd's Gossip

May 9, 2024

Saturday’s annual renewal at Burrandowan is a ripper with several key events set down for decision.

First home in the fourth race (sponsored by Seilers Transport and Jim’s Jerky) is assured of a place in the field for the $200,000 Battle of the Bush Final at Eagle Farm on June 29.

Olivia Cairns, the former North Queenslander who now calls Beaudesert home, has the knack of preparing her regiment for war.

Her charges Mason’s Chance and Ammoudi Bay put their foes to the sword in the 2018 and 2022 editions respectively.

Last December, Fire King did likewise in the lucrative Country Cups Challenge at Doomben.

In the qualifying heat of the Battle of the Bush at Burrandowan, the chestnut by Worthy Cause out of Princess Cinders has merits to consider.

The consistent little gelding’s number has been in the frame 38 times from 53 opportunities.

He has 11 wins on the board and has banked over $470,000.

At Jandowae last Saturday, Fire King was last at the 800 metres before rattling home for a tidy fourth.

Cairns shelled out a mere $33,000 for the horse that had been passed in at Magic Millions and Rockhampton sales.

This contest appears to be very competitive with seven of the combatants allotted 61.5 kilograms.

Earlier on the card, the $20,000 Kewpie Stockfeeds Burnett To The Beach Final will feature aspirants from Eidsvold, Wondai, Chinchilla, Bundaberg Gympie and Westbrook.

Deagon will be represented by Masterplan, a three-year-old to be ridden by his trainer Brad Stewart.

The exciting finale is the Kellico Livestock Agents-Tom Hoare Memorial Burrandowan Cup, where the topweight Lucky Exchange is asked to hump 67.5 kilograms.

Paul Hamblin will be the pilot as the thoroughbred that has collected five seconds and a third from its past seven outings seeks a deserved breakthrough.

Across the day, punters face a task because no starters have scored on the course.

Only Diggity, True Tally and Coyne’s Road have been placed, while the vast majority are making their Burrandowan debut.

For folk that like greys, your only chance is with One Last Trick.

Music fans should note the Beatlemania’s mother is McCartney.

In the RES-Graham Memorial Class B, movie buffs might tumble for Wheredacrawdadsing, a horse named for a 2022 American mystery drama film.

At the opposite end of the scale, Verses de Amor with its translation as Love Verses fits as a Mother’s Day omen.

Another point of interest for the South Burnett fraternity will be reappearance of the brown and white livery that Darryl Apps successfully used on countless occasions.

Firebird Two’s ownership includes Apps family members and Glen Richardson.

Chris Kearney, the Russian Revolution gelding’s trainer, was a regular rider aboard Glen’s mother Glenda’s string.

* * *

Checklist Items

A few things to remember when heading out to Burrandowan:

  • There are no ATMs and no reliable mobile phone service at the track, so bring cash
  • For the “after the last” in-field spit-fired barbecue, steak and bread rolls are sold but it is BYO drinks (for that zone only) and BYO side salads and cooking utensils, steak, bread rolls and the barbecue rest
  • Check out camping arrangements at the race club’s website
  • The traditional Clay Pigeon Shoot in the infield starts at 9:00am
  • Mr Q’s night time music fades out late and at 10:30pm the main bar closes
  • On-line entry ticket bookings are made at  Printing or screenshots of tickets needs to be done at home as there is no service out at the track

* * *

Fashion Fun Information

An extended break between the third and fourth races will enable all the judging for the 2024 ONF Surveyors Fashions on the Field competition, which will take place in a single session.

Nominations must be made at the tent.

The groupings are Kids and Teens, Couple, Contemporary Lady, Classic Lady and Gentlemen.

The winners of the latter pair of categories will represent the region in the Fashions from Afar event at the Tattersalls Tiara Day at Eagle Farm on June 29.

The awards for Millinery and and Lady of the Day will be by judges’ choice.

* * *

After the 2022 Burrandowan abandonment, former champion rider Malcolm Johnston “occupied” the Chief Steward’s chair (Photo: Ross Stanley)

A Special Guest Returns!

When Malcolm Johnston attended the 2022 meeting, he was not able to perform a miracle and the program was aborted after the opener was decided in soggy conditions.

Johnston then had the opportunity to spend time in the stewards’ room. This time around, he sat on the side that meted out suspensions.

Courtesy of the Carrollee Hotel at Kingaroy, the champion apprentice, top senior hoop in NSW and chief partner of the idol Kingston Town will be at the popular pub again on Friday from 6.30 pm.

The jovial character will also be back there after he has mixed and mingled at the racecourse.

* * *

Owner-trainer John Hamilton, jockey Hannah Phillips and Oakfield Comanche after their hard-fought 2021 Burrandowan victory (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Dame Fortune Owes Hannah

South Burnett rider Hannah Phillips is overdue for a positive run.

Her most recent victory was in December on Oakfield Comanche, the great mate that prospered at Burrandowan.

Subsequently Phillips was injured en route to the barriers and did not sport raceday silk until her second placing on Fort Myer at Gympie on April 13.

During the pulling up phase at Wondai on Anzac Day, Hannah hit the deck when Takemeoutback crashed.

Fears rose when she was motionless, but her eyes opened as the paramedics were treating her.

Although her helmet was damaged, Phillips escaped serious injury.

It is a great relief that she has quickly bounced back.

On Thursday, she resumed at Warwick on the 100/1 chance Queen Nina, and the pair were not disgraced when beaten less than five lengths.

At Burrandowan, she partners Fitzroy Plain, the Kay O’Neill trained stablemate, in the Combined Business Houses of Kingaroy and South Burnett QTIS Maiden Plate.

And on Sunday, she is atop her father Barry’s galloper, Behind The Scenes, at Caloundra.

Hopefully there will be smiles all round over the weekend.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.