Fletcher filly is at height of her game
Pioneer Park races
Last weekend's five-race program at Pioneer Park didn't lack excitement, with several races on the program being extremely close finishes.
The most impressive effort of the day was the training performance of Bluff trainer Bill Trimble, who produced the winner of the last race on the program, the benchmark 55 handicap over 1615m, in a fine first-up training performance.
It was a thrilling four-way finish with Trimble's galloper Spare Ticket getting the prize by the barest of margins with Rockhampton apprentice Lachlan Dodds in the saddle.
Earlier in the day, the first race on the program was taken out impressively by Glenda Bell's newest stable addition Real Deal McNeill, with Elyce Smith in the saddle, running away for a dominant two-length win in the maiden handicap over 1000m.
Fletchers win in Melbourne
Dan and Rae Fletcher's trek to Melbourne paid rich dividends when their star filly Sunlight produced her second Group 1 win to claim the time-honoured $1.25million Newmarket Handicap.
In doing so she became the first three-year-old filly to win since Alinghi in 2005.
Fletcher said it was onwards and upwards for Sunlight and she is likely to head to Sydney for the $2.5million Group I TJ Smith Stakes at Randwick on April 6.
Long term, Sunlight has all but secured a slot in the $15million Everest in October after Saturday's win.
As brave as she was, there were no excuses for anything behind Sunlight as she fought off all comers, including favourite Osborne Bulls by three-quarter lengths, with another short half-head back to Brave Smash in third.
Sunlight's full sister lines up tonight at Mooney Valley. Fletcher said Sisstar has plenty of ability and Tony McEvoy thinks lightning has struck twice and she will run as favourite.
Tomorrow the racing kicks off for 2019 at Treasure Park in Moranbah, with the club hosting its annual Moranbah Workers Club Race Day.
Club president John Juhas is expecting a big crowd.
Moranbah Workers Club is the major sponsor of the autumn meeting. Manager Ash O'Dowd said he and his team were proud to be getting behind a great community event and hoped it was a big day for the club.
The club has more than $40,000 in prizemoney on offer, which has ensured good-quality country racing with both John Manzelmann and Bevan Johnson lining up with strong teams of runners.
The feature race on the program is the $10,000 Moranbah Workers Community Cup, which will be run over 1550m.
The Olivia Cairns-trained runner Mastarrid jumps off the page and looks to be the one to beat after a solid last start at Mackay - even with the allotted 66kg.
The Manzelmann-trained Don't Cheat Charlie looks well placed under the race conditions and will get a big relief in the weights, which bring the Mackay-trained runner in with a strong hope in the feature event.
Live music will kick in after the last race so racegoers can groove the night away with the bar operating until late.
Gates open at 11am at Treasure Park.
Be sure not to miss a great day of racing.