who will horse of the Year?
THE Tony Button-trained Stoutfast staked his claim in the Pioneer Park Horse of the Year Award when he took his number of home track wins to six by taking out the 1300 metre Open Handicap last Saturday.
Jockey Adrian Coome gave the $4 chance a cosy run behind the early leader Rogerrab and as heads turned for home it was clear he was going to be the one to beat.
Stoutfast put paid to his rivals and won by three quarters of a length with something in hand.
Earlier in the day bookmakers breathed a sigh of relief when the Neil Boyle-trained Kalkie Miss ($13) just held out the $2 favourite Chairmanship and Golden Sails ($7) in the 1000 metre Class 2 Handicap.
This race was marred by an incident shortly after the start that saw Mackay jockey Stanley Watkin transferred to Emerald Hospital for observation after he was dislodged from Show Seeker.
The closest finish of the day came in the 1200 metre Maiden Plate when the judge required a developed print to separate the $3.50 favourite Mrsooty and $4.40 chance Giggle ‘n’ Gossip after they hit the line locked together.
A margin of a nose was declared in favour of Mrsooty to bring up the first leg of a riding double for Rockhampton jockey Mark Barnham.
Barnham made it a double when he landed Larry’s Song ($6.50) an easy winner in the Class 4 Handicap over 1200 metres.
The win broke a frustrating run of outs for trainer Ross Meek and also owner Bill Squire who has raced horses in this area for as long as anyone can remember.
Squire confided he had been worried by the bad draw but Larry’s Song made light work of the outside gate and led from barrier to box.
Apart from the winner, the run of the race came from the David Munns-trained Lola Brigida who came from back in the field and finished off impressively.
After the win of A Class Above ($4.40) in the 1615 metre Class B Handicap, trainer Brian Challacombe stated he was happy to get the mare over some ground and wasn’t surprised by her win.