Hannah Phillips and Hannah Richardson will again be familiar faces at Wondai on Saturday (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Gunsynd's Gossip

UPDATE: The Wondai Race Meeting on July 6 has been abandoned due to the weather.

July 5, 2024

Let’s start by wishing jockeys Hannah Phillips and Hannah Richardson the best of luck on Saturday at the South Burnett Race Club’s Duff Family Memorial Race Day.

After significant time on the injured list, they both returned to the winner’s circle at Gladstone on May 25. Although Richardson has not sported silk at Wondai this year, Phillips did so on Anzac Day.

After finishing fifth on that occasion, Hannah’s mount Takemeoutback crashed in the pulling-up phase. This time Dame Fortune did smile and Phillips was soon back in the saddle.

Hannah Richardson will link up with her relative, the Deagon trainer Pat Duff, with On the Target and Epauvescent. She will also ride the Gympie galloper Red Gadget for her husband Glenn, Gordon Hay’s Sunshine Coast representative Grandeur Rose and Media Gem for Daryl Gardiner’s Bundaberg yard.

Phillips has been engaged for Amanda Park’s Oakey pair Hattusa and Untamed Spirit, All A Lady for Kumbia’s Laurie Curtain and Queen Nina for local mentor Kay O’Neill.

Major interest will centre around her booking for Oakfield Comanche in the Lewis Duff Memorial Open Plate. All but one of the baldy chestnut’s 11 victories have been registered with Hannah on the pigskin.

The gallant sprinter, owned and trained at Wondai by John Hamilton, has not started since February. However, he has won three from six when resuming from a break.

This 1100 metre contest pits three proven Wondai track performers against four others that are making their debut on this sand circuit. The conditions of the Plate vary from a straight out handicap.

Below is key data for the trio that is handicapped to carry 61.5 kilograms apiece.

Oakfield Comanche has an official Rating of 72 with a Wondai form line of 7:4-1-1. Hard Landing’s numbers are 73.5 and 4:2-0-1 while Diggity’s figures are 68 and 4:1-2-1.

Hard Landing, the 2019 VRC Maribyrnong Plate (Gr 3) winner, is trained at Deagon by Pat Duff and is part owned by Duff family members. Pat launched his long and distinguished training career at Wondai. His twin brother Cedric has been a wonderful horseman and a staunch supporter of racing in the South Burnett.

The All Too Hard gelding took out the 1000 metre sprint for tomorrow’s rider Morgan Butler at Wondai on Anzac Day. Third home was Diggity, handled by the four kilogram claimer Jade Metcalfe, the apprentice who will be allowed a kilo less on Saturday. In that clash, Hard Landing, in carrying 58 kilograms, conceded Diggity seven kilograms and the margin was a length and three-quarters. This time, the load difference will be just three kilos.

Other Saturday acceptors that do fast work at Wondai are Kym Afford’s duo Gossiaux Opaquely ,Tom Moloney’s aspirants Diggity and Absalon Tulip while Gemma Steele, a former successful jockey at Wondai, is hoping to break through as a trainer with Widgee Lace.

The Kristen Roon-trained Jain, with a 3:1-1-1 score at home, is looking to repeat her Anzac Day excitement for the Wenck clan in the Neal Duff Memorial. The Drumbeats mare was a tidy third at Gympie on 15 June at her only subsequent assignment.

* * *

The Battle Of The Bush Thrill

Moscini (Angela Jones) warming up for its 2024 Battle of the Bush finale (Photo: Ross Stanley)

Moscini, the eight-year-old Mossman gelding that qualified for last Saturday’s $200,000 Ladbrokes Battle of the Bush Final (1200m) at Eagle Farm by winning the heat at Burrandowan, finished an unlucky third of 16 in the coveted annual event.

The $18 chance, handled by Angela Jones and prepared at Toowoomba by Dale Groves, was mentioned in the Stewards Report as having raced in restricted room approaching the 600 metres.

* * *

Hi To Hoops

Jason Hoopert and The Carpenter heading to the start at Eagle Farm last Saturday (Photo: Ross Stanley)

A familiar face appeared in the Battle of the Bush in the form of Jason Hoopert, atop The Carpenter.

The chestnut by Rothesay hailed from Terry Hall’s Cloncurry stable. The $16 pop gave plenty of cheek as pacemaker before tiring in the straight.

The combination was coming off successes at Gregory Downs and Mount Isa.

Hoopert, who cut his teeth as an apprentice at Wondai, has chalked up recent sorties also at Mackay, Maxwelton, Julia Creek, Hughenden and Richmond.

Jason explained how he has landed on his feet with an ideal Monday-to-Friday job associated with supervising workers at an Isa smokestack.

Although Jason is kept busy, he still potters with photography.

* * *

Race Day Reminders

There were sufficient entries to run to six events and so it is an early start at 1:00pm.

Bring cash! There are no ATMs on course.

The fashion theme is Black and White.

Have fun. It is fine to have a crack with the an occasional omen pick. Diggity’s colours are black and white while his rival Bleriot is named after a real flyer.

In 1909 Louis Bleriot piloted the first plane flight to cross the English Channel. The feat earned him the £1000 prize offered by the Daily Mail. Bleriot’s thoroughbred ancestry boasts the monikers Jetting to London, Jet Spur, Lady London and the 1986 Queensland Oaks heroine Travel Light. Bleriot certainly would not have packed any excess luggage.

Looking forward to being trackside!


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