Pepperina track lights up
MORE than 600 patrons herded through the turnstiles at Pepperina Park racecourse last Saturday as the Clermont Race Club hosted its last meeting for 2019, celebrating all things good about horse racing which is well and truly alive in Clermont.
The well behaved patrons, colourful and jovial, exuded a feel-good aura which became contagious, bringing together the large mix of young and old.
Clermont Race Club president Billy Bell described the revamped Clermont Lightning race meeting as a “fantastic arvo and a great success for the club”.
“Everything about the day was good,” he said.
“I suppose the yard stick, which is the best barometer available, could be gauged by the fact that I did not receive one complaint about the race meeting itself.
“It was so good to see hundreds of people enjoying themselves on the racecourse in Clermont and enjoying great country racing.”
Mr Bell and his team held a Christmas appeal for local child Grayson Little, who is suffering from a rare disease Dyskeratosis Congenita, and raised more than $1200 by raffling Winx merchandise.
No one was more overjoyed than Jenny Bell the trainer, owner and mother of Emma Bell, the jockey of the courageous eight-year-old gelding Flinders Deagon ($2.50), who took out the QTIS benchmark 50 handicap over 1400 metres.
Flinders Deagon lifted off the canvas to defy a charge of the light brigade and displayed grit and determination under the urgings of apprentice Emma Bell leading all the way in Race 1, in a competitive field for the richest race on the program.
Turning for home, Flinders Deagon looked a spent force after being given no peace in front, coming into the long straight at Pepperina Park.
Flinders looked like it was sure thing to wave the white flag but kicked strongly to hold off the Billy Johnson trained If by Chance ($9.00) and the John Manzelmann trained Rockethead $7.00 in a three way go.
Team Bell picked up a cool $9025 in prizemoney for the win of the veteran galloper and it didn’t stop there.
Bell unleashed her fury on the on-course bookies riding four consecutive winners, teaming up with John Manzelmann for a race to race treble which included Vamparina in the class B over 1200 metres and then with Annie Laughalot in the maiden handicap over 1000 metres.
Global Rocket was an extremely well backed $2.30 chance that took out the benchmark 60 handicap over 1000 metres in a fine training and riding performance, with Bell putting on a riding clinic on her home track in a career personal best day for the Clermont apprentice.
The four wins brought her tally to 82 career wins and 11 individual wins at Pepperina Park, at a strike rate of 33 per cent.
She continues to be a punters’ pin up at Pepperina Park giving her loyalists an early Christmas fill up.
It was a similar scene after Bevan Johnson combined with his daughter Dakota Graham who took three very narrow second placings behind Emma Bell to take out the feature race on the program the $9500 Clermont lightning.
Graham hunted the speedy mare out of the barriers and never looked like being headed, rating Margot $4.20 to perfection, running away with the Clermont lightning by a widening 6.5 lengths with Daryl Johnson’s new stable addition tapestry vision getting home well for second placing.
IT COULD be the start of a big week ahead for the Johnson stable who line up with two runners, including country Queensland horse of the year Fabs Cowboy, heading into the $105,000 country cup final at Doomben on Saturday and will go in with a wet sail after last weekend’s effort.
Glenda Bell will represent the Central Highlands with The Baker who is a last start winner at Rockhampton and will be ridden by Larry Cassidy, has drawn barrier six and is $4.00 in early markets.
Springsure owner Ian Rohden lines up with his evergreen 10-year-old Hunter Island $21.00 who took out this year’s Emerald 100 and will be ridden again by Les Tilley who was in the saddle for his Emerald 100 victory.
The two Central Highlands gallopers have strong each way claims.
PIONEER Park trainer Raymond Williams makes the trek to Kilcoy tomorrow to line up in the $30,000 great northern cannonball final after running a promising second placing first up in the Gatton heat last start.
Williams’ veteran 10-year-old Bootshaker will go quick over the 800 metre short course trip with Hannah English in the saddle at Kilcoy in the $30,000 final.
Many jockeys rate Bootshaker as one of the quickest horses they have seen out of the barriers and the horse will be right in the finish at odds.