CH racing's in fine form
THE first Lady of Pioneer Park, Glenda Bell, dominated the racing action with a winning double at last Saturday's meeting.
Bell took out the rich class 3 QTIS plate with her new stable star No Finer Jet who lit the Pioneer track alight to win the 1100 metre scamper in a tough gritty effort.
The lightly raced mare has amassed close to $19,000 in prize money for connections in only two starts for the stable for two wins.
Bell said the mare had plenty of upside and would tackle a Tab venue in upcoming starts and could be a strong Battle of the Bush contender.
Bell then combined with newly crowned Queensland Country Jockey of the Year Dan Ballard, who made a 2500 kilometre round trip from Mount Isa to attend the On the Bit awards dinner, and took out the Fairbairn Bakery benchmark 65 handicap over 1300 metres.
It was a peach of a ride, with Ballard sneaking home along the fence on the Bell-trained veteran galloper Ossenhagen.
They held off the challenge of Battle of the Bush contender Stellar Knight, from Olivia Cairns' Mackay stable, who rattled home with Ashley Butler in the saddle, with a steadier weight of 66 kg putting the writing on the wall.
He will be a player in this year's $125,000 Battle of the Bush final over the winter carnival.
Ossenhagen is part owned by Yeppoon Turf Club stalwart Greg Simpson, who was on-course Saturday for the win.
He said the old fella continued to defy father time at nine years of age.
He said Bell had prolonged the gelding's career in the rural environment of her Hogan's Road stable.
"Everything he has done for Bell is a bonus and the old fella will tell us when he has lost his zest for racing.”
Emma Bell chimed in for the local jockey ranks, guiding Home the Joao Campaoe trained Hyper Drive in a beautifully timed front running ride to take out the benchmark 45 handicap over 1300 metres for a dominant win.
It was a case of beginner's luck for local trainer Raymond Williams, who took out the 1000 metre maiden handicap with lightly raced speedster Zorro Femino, ridden by Brooke Richardson, leading all the way and holding off the fast finishing Ross Vagg trained Paper Talk.
Williams was a professional jockey in his younger days and a regular face on the picnic circuit. He still holds his picnic rider licence.
Williams has taken out his trainer's licence, training for owner Roy Woods, and is open to new stable additions.
The Woods-Williams duo look set to continue a successful partnership with Zorro Femino who is looking set for more wins.
Emerald Pioneer Park trainer Trevor Williams also secured another fairytale result for Emerald Jockey Club committee man and notorious lucky long-shot punter Brock Smith, who was one of the lucky owners of last week's Rockhampton winner, Seige of Ennis.
The five-year-old gelding which was ridden by apprentice Hannah English who snuck home along the fence to earn $10,500 in prize money for connections in the 1400 metre class 1 handicap.
Smith was one of the connections who were chuffed at securing $201 fixed odds about him winning.
The Ensham Mine dining room was also abuzz Thursday night with several of Brock's colleagues securing a juicy collect.
Dan and Rae Fletcher ventured to Flemington to watch their super filly Sunlight tackle a hot field in $75,000 time honoured group 1 lightning stakes.
The stakes was taken out by Kris Lees' Trained in Her Time ridden by Corey Brown in a blanket finish with Sunlight a small margin away in third placing.
Owner Dan Fletcher said the filly Sunlight was a bit keen through the early stages but she relaxed well and got in to her work late.
She's run really well and will push on to the Newmarket handicap in March.