Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker, Cr Gina Lacey, Cr Kelly Vea Vea and Cr Jane Pickels.
Isaac Regional Council Mayor Anne Baker, Cr Gina Lacey, Cr Kelly Vea Vea and Cr Jane Pickels.

Close to 1000 patrons attended the Miners Memorial race day

The Moranbah Miners’ Memorial Spring Races, officially presented by Isaac Regional Council, went off with a bang for the mining town’s last race meeting of 2019.

More than 800 people flocked through the gates to support the Moranbah Race Club’s event. Club President John Juhas was more than pleased with the day and indicated racing in Moranbah in 2020 will be back bigger and better than ever.

The meeting will be one not to be missed with the weekend to be dedicated every year in conjunction with the Moranbah Miners’ Memorial Committee. The club will host an annual memorial race day for miners who have lost their lives in the coal mines surrounding Moranbah.

Glenda Bell combined with her niece Emma Bell landed the prize in the CFMEU maiden handicap over 1170 metres.

The lightly raced Belltrained Jacks Dream ($4.00), who was well backed and made it a one act affair, landed the prize, running away by a widening two lengths holding off the fast finishing Bevan Johnson trained Smarty Jack ($2.50), ridden by veteran hoop Stanley Watkins.

Jacks Dream, a five year old gelding who was bred and raced by Dysart grazier Bob Church and Saraji miner Tyson Seidel had had a two years hiatus off the scene after starting its racing career in New South Wales.

It was champagne hour for Bell who produced Brooke’s Pleasures first up to win at Rockhampton for Emerald Jockey Club President Leon Roberts who returned to form after several injury setbacks to win at Callaghan Park in Rockhampton.

The Miles magician and incumbent premier Queensland country trainer Bevan Johnson dominated the meeting with a quartet of four winner’s dominating the five race card.

Johnson combined with three individual jockey in his quartet of winner’s with Stanley Watkins and with his daughter Dakota Graham who landed the prize with old war horse Arties Shore ($2.00) in the open handicap over 1170 metres. Minnotte Kennedy and Johnson are building a strong association with the duo now have combined for 23 wins at a strike rate of 23%. Kennedy took out the opening race on the program on Margot ($3.00) who set the track alight in a one act affair. The duo bookended the program taking out the Isaac Regional Council miners memorial cup over 1400 metres which was win number four for Johnson and number two for Kennedy. The best was saved for last on Johnson’s runner Bon Warrior ($2.70) with the smart apprentice giving it a perfect run in transit, holding off Daryl Johnson’s runner Synonyms $3.40 in a tough gritty effort with more wins looking in store.

The four winners topped off a personal best equalling day for Johnson at Treasure Park and one he won’t forget in a hurry.

Sisstar steps up

Dan and Rae Fletcher’s three year-old Zoustar filly Sisstar has taken a little longer to hit winning form than her famous older sister Sunlight, but she claimed a valuable Black Type success at Flemington on Oaks Day when leading all the way to win the Group III VRC Red Roses Stakes (1100m).

Sisstar, a full sister to their triple Group I winner and $6.5 million earner Sunlight, is also prepared by Sunlight’s co-trainers Tony and Calvin McEvoy. Fletcher said the filly had always shown explosive speed but lacked the composure to harness it on race day.

“The stable and in particular Barend have done a mountain of work with her and she has gone to the next level this preparation,” she said.

“It was fantastic to see Barend get the ride considering how much work he’s put in.”

With easy wins at Murray Bridge and Flemington following her return to racing as a 3yo, connections set her for the rich Red Roses on the penultimate day of the carnival. Like her sister, the filly showed brilliant speed to lead all the way for Barend Vorster and win by half a neck in tight finish.

Sisstar was a $600,000 Magic Millions purchase. She runs for syndicate that includes many of the same owners involved in Sunlight and has the overall record of three wins from seven starts with prizemoney topping $275,000.

She will spell and could be targeted at the Group 1 Sangster next year in Adelaide.

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