Locals take on the big league
THE feature $100,000 Capricorn Classic, run at Callaghan Park in Rockhampton last weekend, was taken out by Brisbane raider Wicked Ways ($3.20) ridden by Chris Whitley and trained by Liam Birchley.
The best of locals was Rockhampton trainer John Wigginton's runner outsider Dismond Account.
Half a length away in second, former Emerald boy and premier Rockhampton trainer Tom Button came within 0.7 of a length of taking out the rich Capricorn two-year-old feature race, with third place getter Ruby George ($12), who was run down in the shadows of the post late.
The Button stable also lined up with ($2.80) favourite Gypsy Toff, ridden by Nigel Seymour, who was brave in defeat doing the hard yards carting the big field up and fading late on the rain affected track for fourth placing.
Button looks on track to take out this year's Rockhampton trainers premiership and is 10 wins clear of his nearest rival.
CLERMONT mature aged apprentice jockey Emma Bell continued her rise to prominence after trekking west over the Drummond range for the Arthur Moody Memorial Longreach meeting last weekend, riding a winning treble on the five race program.
Two of her three winners came from Ilfracombe trainer Henry Forster on Lend me a Tenner ($2.50) in the class B handicap over 1000 metres and Ashiko $2.50 in the class three plate over 1400 metres.
Bell chimed in for Ilfracombe trainer Rodney Little on Italian Son ($5) in the benchmark 50 handicap over 1200 metres.
The feature event on the Longreach program was the Arthur Moody Memorial over 1000 metres which saw the Mark Oates trained Longreach galloper Magic Jewel $1.30 ridden by Pietro Romeo scorching the track in quick time.
The Longreach mare will be primed for the $10,000 battle of the bush heat in Emerald on April 28 after her six length win on Saturday.
Magical Jewel is raced by Central West race caller Andrew Watts, who has indicated the mare will be starting in the Emerald heat to try to qualify for the June 23 final on Tatts Tiara Day in Brisbane.
The Glenda Bell trained hopeful remains on target with Ossenhagen ($6.00), ridden by Elyce Smith, running a brave second placing under a big weight in the $20,000 country cup.
This was taken out by the Leigh Wanless trained Mista Busy ($5.00), ridden by Dale Evans at Capricornia Sales Racing Carnival.
Bevan Johnson has indicated he will line up with runners in the heat also.
In a further coup for the meeting, number one Queensland caller for country racing's Facebook page, On The Bit, Sky Channel's Josh Fleming, was visiting on holidays in Longreach.
He called race three on the program, which was live streamed on Facebook via On the Bit, and was a guest tipster on the panel of the meeting preview.
Josh Fleming called his first ever race at Longreach almost 20 years ago as a 15-year-old and has since gone on to reach the pinnacle of calling in Queensland.