Franki takes out the win at a previous dachshund sprint.
Franki takes out the win at a previous dachshund sprint. Kirra Alexander

Quirky race sure to be a huge hit

THE 2019 Clermont Cup Day was a huge hit in Clermont with more than 1000 people piling in the gates.

Clermont Race Club president Bill Bell said the day was another big success for the club and for the community of Clermont.

Bill Bell thanked the local community for getting behind the day and the generous sponsorship from the Clermont business community.

The main event, the 1400m Tony (Pud) Kenny Memorial Clermont Cup, was taken out by John Manzelmann with Sensation Ally ($3.60) ridden by Chris McIver.

It was a thrilling finish by a nose in a family quinella with his sister, Tracey Simmons, saddling up second-placegetter Don't We Love It ($5.00) and favourite ($2.00) Alert by Sea a small margin away in an unlucky third placing.

Don't We Love It is part-owned by local Emerald racing enthusiast Scott Maguire, who is in for some exciting times with the horse and will push on to the Gladstone Cup on August 10, then on to the $40,000 Birdsville Cup on the first Saturday in September.

Local jockey Emma Bell and her mother, local trainer and Pepperina punters' pin-up gal Jenny Bell, unleashed carnage on the on-course bookmakers in a race-to-race double in the benchmark 55 handicap over 1200m, with the heavily backed track specialist Enemy of Man ($2.40) in a perfectly judged ride from a horror barrier.

The Bell girls served up another nasty result with Flinders Deagon ($2.20) in the 1400m benchmark 60 handicap.

The Miles magician, Bevan Johnson, chimed in with the Bell girls to make it another family affair, combining with his daughter Dakota Graham for two winners in a race-to-race double strive to succeed in the opening race and then with Our Desert Rose in the maiden handicap over 1200m.

That makes it 59.5 winners for the 2018-19 racing season for Johnson, taking out the country Queensland trainers' premiership for the third year in succession.

This weekend the racing action heads to the 2019 Middlemount Cup race day.

Club stalwarts Donald Black and Bill Gray have a huge day of racing and entertainment planned. The day is the mining stronghold's social day of days.

The club has a whopping $54,000 in prizemoney on offer for the day and the club has attracted good fields in all five races.

Chief dachshund stewards Tanya and Dan Miller are expecting capacity fields in the dachshund derby with 23 nominations being taken.

The auctioning will be hotly contested and spirited bidding is expected on the calcutta with all proceeds going to the Capricorn Rescue Helicopter.

The $11,450 Middlemount Cup is the feature event on the program, with both Bevan Johnson and Mackay trainer John Manzelmann lining up with runners again from last weekend's epic Clermont Cup.

Tracey Simmons backs up with Clermont Cup runner Don't We Love It in a high-quality Middlemount Cup field, which includes two Manzelmann runners including Shiranda, who looks the one to beat after an unlucky second placing in last week's $30,000 Townsville Guineas.

Manzelmann also saddles up Calypso Bay, a recent Deagon Cup winner who is coming off a brave last start fifth placing in the Townsville Cup.

Bevan Johnson saddles up last year's Middlemount Cup runner-up Arigold. The gelding will be lining up first up after a short let up and will be charging home late.

The 1475m of the cup will suit the Johnson gelding nicely and it will appreciate the race conditions.

Club stalwart Bill Gray said it would be a big day of racing.

The club has broken all records with sponsorship and marquee bookings - the mining community and local businesses have really got behind the meeting in a big way.

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