STRONG FINISH: Zoe White gave De Mestre his head to finish strongly and win race 1 at odds of 5-1, after firming from 7-1.
STRONG FINISH: Zoe White gave De Mestre his head to finish strongly and win race 1 at odds of 5-1, after firming from 7-1. Chris Ison Rokchorse

Bookies bleed as De Mestre romps home at Keppel Park

THERE was a large crowd on hand at Keppel Park for the Newmarket Cup race day on Saturday, as anticipated.

Upwards of 2000 racegoers flocked to the course and the action started straight away, on a track rated a good four, with local apprentice jockey Zoe White bringing home De Mestre in the first race.

Trained by Rockhampton's Kevin Hansen and raced by John Gibbs and friends, De Mestre finished strongly to win well and break a winning drought for Gibbs.

Before the race, De Mestre was backed heavily, going from 7-1 into 5-1. And the bookmakers would not have been smiling when it romped home.

"We had $1000 on De Mestre and the bookies aren't happy," a delighted Gibbs said after the race.

"We will be celebrating at North Rocky Bowling Club tonight," Gibbs added.

"I have booked a table for 20 people."

For Yeppoon Turf Club's president, Greg Simpson, it was a particularly satisfying day. The Newmarket, which is traditionally one of the YTC's biggest race days, coinciding as it does with Flemington's Derby Day, had to compete with Oktoberfest in Emu Park.

"The Derby Day Saturday, before the Melbourne Cup has long been one of the club's biggest race days on our calendar," Simpson said.

"And today was again exceptional. We had a great crowd. We were delighted with the crowd of 2000-plus people. We think this is exceptional, particularly given that Oktoberfest was on at the same time."



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