Racing alive and well in CQ
THERE was plenty of action around the track at Emerald's Pioneer Park on Saturday where the new-look Emerald Cup day was held.
With clear skies and strong fields of horses in each race, the crowds turned out in force to support one of the major events on the Emerald racing calendar.
Billed as the new look Emerald Cup day, it didn't disappoint.
"The crowd this year has been one of the biggest for years,” Leon Roberts said.
"We had a great response to our fashions of the field events and the lunch on the lawn tent was a big hit with patrons on course.”
He was equally enthusiastic about the success of the day, showing racing in Emerald was truly alive and well.
Roberts was very pleased with the field sizes and to have a full complement of jockeys available for the day's racing was an outstanding effort.
He said much of the credit must go to his hard-working team at the Emerald Jockey Club who were now looking forward to October and the club's feature day, the Emerald 100 and another successful season of racing at Pioneer Park.
The racing action featured runners from as far afield as Rockhampton, Miles, Roma, Barcaldine, Longreach and Ilfracombe.
It included the tough effort of the Ilfracombe trained winner of 1600 metre benchmark 60 handicap from Rodney Little's Ilfracombe stable Song One, ($7), ridden by Clermont apprentice Emma Bell, who narrowly held off the challenge of Kalangadoo Chrome ($5) from the Attard stable in Rockhampton.
The Ilfracombe galloper looks set to win more races over the upcoming country winter carnival period after Saturday's gutsy effort.
In the benchmark 65 handicap over 1200 metres local Emerald trainer Raymond Williams saddled up Shigeru Mahogany.
He was the ($4) favourite in the event.
Shigeru Mahogany was given a beautiful run in transit by in-form jockey Brooke Richardson.
He kicked away to win strongly from Glenda Bell's duo, who made it a locally trained trifecta in the event with her runners, The Baker in second placing ($5) and stable mate Clappers ($7) who ran home well for third place.
No solid plans have been set in stone for Shigeru Mahogany.
Williams is eyeing off a tilt at the $12,500 Belyando bracelet the open handicap sprint over 1000 metres on Alpha Cup Day for the new Williams stable addition.
The long trip from Miles was well worth it for premier country Queensland trainer Bevan Johnson.
He took out the feature event, the 2019 Emerald Cup over 1615 metres, in a dominant win by veteran eight year galloper Arties Shore, ($7) who was ridden to perfection by Dale Evans.
Second place getter was Macho Tycoon, ($3.20) ridden by Nicole Seymour, who looked to be travelling well on turning for home after a tough run in transit.
In a perfectly timed Dale Evans' ride, Arties Shore charged past his competitors with ease at the 150 metre mark and charged to the line for a two length winning margin.
Consolation can be taken away for the Hohn stable with Macho Tycoon showing that he is well on his way to a winter carnival cup.
The galloper will line up in this weekend's $31,000 Mackay Amateur Cup along with Oralea Park track Fastnet Flyer from Glenda Bell's Emerald stable.
Saddle up for Bluff's cup day
BLUFF and Blackwater Amateur Turf Club welcome back racing for their annual Bluff Cup day on June 8.
The club will run two feature races on the day.
The $9000 benchmark 60 handicap Bluff Cup will be run over 1800m, meaning the field will pass the winning post on two occasions.
Just like the Melbourne Cup, patrons will get that big-race feeling as the thundering hooves make the earth rumble when they pass the winning post on the first occasion.
Winner of the Bluff Cup will also receive a service to Vinery Stud stallion Pluck which is valued at $6600.
In a coup for the club, Vinery Stud in the Hunter Valley, has come on board to support the club. The second feature race on the program will be the $9000 benchmark 65 Bluff Newmarket which will attract a good field.
In total the club will distribute $45,000 in prizemoney to ensure a top day of racing.
Newly appointed club secretary Sam Conway said her hard-working committee had jam-packed the meeting with plenty of entertainment to complement the racing action, including family friendly activities such as jumping castles and slides.
The renowned and highly competitive Bluff fashions on the field will be back bigger than ever with great prizes on offer for competitors in several categories.
A licensed bar and canteen will operate on the day and bookmakers will take bets on local and southern races. A bus service will operate throughout the day between Blackwater Hotel and the Bluff racetrack with gates open from 11am.
Bluff Race Club stalwart Warren Mclaughlin said the club would be offering free entry to all patrons and hoped the Bluff and Blackwater surrounding areas supported the day strongly.