Bourke fired up all the way home
By TONY McMAHON ? POPULAR Rockhampton trainer Tom Bourke's luck certainly had to change for the better after a harrowing couple of weeks and it did just that at Callaghan Park races yesterday.
Bourke was discharged from hospital after treatment for a painful stomach ailment just a few days ago. As he was leaving for the races yesterday, he became alarmed when a fire broke out underneath his North Rockhampton residence.
"There were flames gushing out of the meter box. Fortunately I doused it just in time with the hose or the whole house would have gone up,'' Bourke said.
Just 90 minutes after playing fireman, Bourke's Mr Amore, backed from $3 to run at $2.35, burned bookmakers with a smart win in the opening race, the XXXX Bitter Class 4 (1000m).
Mr Amore looked the winner for Dale Evans a long way from home while $2.25 favourite Cindy Kate was trapped hopelessy wide when at the same time refusing to stretch out on the yielding track.
Stewards noted Cindy Kate had done likewise in a Doomben flop in April, which was her only other experience on a dampened track.
Evans later combined with Bourke to win the $12,000 XXXX Class 3 (1400m) with promising Piccolo(BB) mare Bay Owl who looks like racing through the classes.
Small-string Rockhampton trainer Anna-Maria Chardon was another worthy winner when her frustrating Kendel Star gelding Kenya Keepa Secret (Davin Green) blew the whistle and came with a barnstorming run to claim the $14,700 Maiden (1200m).
Chardon also trained the gelding's mother Secret Keeper to win at Callaghan Park in the mid1990s.
Anna-Maria should have trained a winning double as stablemate The Roan Ranger should have won the Class 1 (1500m) instead of finishing a close fifth behind Gympie trainer Bill Kingsbury's stud-bound Native Knight (Kenji Yoshida).
While The Road Ranger could not get clear running, the talented Yoshida had stolen the race with a clever front run. Part-time trainer Kingsbury is in for a busy spring as already 70 mares have been booked to his impeccably bred first season Redoute's Choice sire Master Of Ceremonies.
Trainer Ernie Clanfield and owner Nobby Drillis had to scratch themselves to ensure they were not daydreaming after their No More Dreams (Stan Watkin) finally won at Callaghan Park.
"He has run four seconds here for us so winning is overdue,'' Drillis said. Clanfield agreed.