POUNDING: The line up at Emerald 100, 2018.
POUNDING: The line up at Emerald 100, 2018.

Strong fields and big crowds for tomorrow

It’s Emerald 100 day at Pioneer Park tomorrow and the big five race card is sure to draw a mammoth crowd to witness the 53rd running of the time-honoured event. Leon Roberts from the Emerald Jockey Club is anticipating over 3500 punters to rattle through the turnstiles and fill the marquees which will be at full capacity. The scene is set for a mammoth day of racing with over $50000 in prizemoney on offer. The day will not be short on class with a number of well- performed TAB calibre provincial horses in town to take on the mighty Central Highlands gallopers.

The benchmark 65 over 1200 metres will see a clash of the local Central Highlands trainers in a Pioneer Park edition of the Central highlands Everest with no fewer than 6 of the 12 runners being locally trained in the Central Highlands. I give an extremely strong chance to the Ross Meek trained Bound for me. The gelding has performed strongly on the provincial TAB circuit with the Meek trained galloper last start 2nd placing at Springsure had plenty of merit to go with it and will strip fitter for tomorrows assignment and gets in very well at the race conditions with a luxury weight of 56.5 kilograms. Glenda Bell lines up with 2 runners which include track specialists The Baker and Mono lad. Other Pioneer Park based gallopers include Raymond Williams’ Bonny mare Hayyler’s Tary and Noel Coyne with Solo Melody. Clermont trainer Jenny Bell lines up with Flinders Deagon from Clermont and Bluff is well represented with team Vagg saddling up Tyrannize and their Bluff training colleague Bill Trimble with his lightly raced galloper Sweet.

The feature event the $15000 Emerald 100 is a tricky affair, with runners hoping to earn a tilt towards the $105000 country cups final in Brisbane on November 30th. On course punters can couple that with the fact that it is one of the most even fields we have had class-wise for some years, illustrated by the fact that the bulk of the field has been allotted the minimum of 55kg, you come to the realisation there are many winning chances. Fastnet Flyer has a big impost of 59kg. Fastnet Flyer is the most well performed runner over a staying trip in the field but has paid the penalty to the handicapper. The Bell trained runner will be primed to be in the finish if he can grind it out with the big weight with hired gun Luke Dillon in the saddle and give Bell the feat of riding and training a Emerald 100 winner.

Ian Rohden and Patrick O’Toole team up with recent Springsure and Longreach cup runner up Hunter Island who has claims to take out the event in his third attempt at Emerald 100 glory and was only narrowly beaten in to second placing in the 2017 edition of Emerald 100. The veteran 10 year old is racing as well as ever and should be right in the finish this year. Emerald Cup winner another veteran Arties Shore who is trained by the Miles magician Bevan Johnson is coming off a solid effort at Rockhampton last start only beaten 1.5 length by boom galloper Absolute Artie. He drops 3kg from that effort if he can run up to his last start effort he will be in the finish.

Last but not least it’s hard not to over look the feats of Todd Austin’s veteran 9 year old French Hussler who last month took out the $42000 Birdsville cup and backed it up in the $15000 Longreach cup on September 28. The grand old campaigner will be right in the finish if he can run out the 1850 metre staying but will carry his lion share of weight 60kg and looks an each way proposition in the open Emerald 100 in many years.

The gates will open at 11am tomorrow and the first local event is timed to go at 1pm.

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