WINNER: Jockey Matthew McGillivray.
WINNER: Jockey Matthew McGillivray.

Crowd-less CQ races streamed across state

YOU could say the Emerald Jockey Club took one for the country racing fraternity on Saturday by staging non-Tab racing with no crowd due to COVID-19 preventive measures that are being enforced in Australia and much of the world.

Early last week, Emerald Jockey Club secretary Kristy Peters got on the front foot after hearing racing all over Australia had been abandoned due to mass gatherings over 100 being outlawed, and racing restricted to crowd-less racing.

After liaising with the Springsure St Patrick’s Day club committee, a group decision was made to transfer the meeting to Emerald and salvage the $37,450 in prize money made available by Racing Queensland.

Paper Talk with Lachlan Vagg and jockey Chris McIver in the winner's circle.
Paper Talk with Lachlan Vagg and jockey Chris McIver in the winner's circle.

The three non-Tab meetings were streamed across the state by Matty Peters’ racing page On the Bit, which covered meetings in Emerald, Cloncurry and Cairns.

It kept owners and fans up to date with the racing action across country Queensland, with one highlight of the Pioneer Park meeting being Ross Vagg from Bluff breaking through for a maiden win.

His ever-consistent galloper Paper Talk is part owned by two of the Central Highlands’ most loyal racegoers Tom Robertson and Brad Peckett.

They couldn’t be there on Saturday to cheer home Paper Talk with team Vagg.

Dan McGillivray, the younger brother of group one winning jockey Matt McGillvray, rode a winning double to bring his career as an apprentice jockey to a tally of five wins from only 16 rides.

McGillivray looks to be a rising star in the jockey ranks and could have the talent to emulate his brother’s feats in the saddle.

Capricornia country board chairman Leon Roberts has pledged to do everything in his power to keep non-Tab racing in Queensland going during the COVID-19 crisis.


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