The Yeppon five-race card on Saturday will start at the earlier time of noon.
The Yeppon five-race card on Saturday will start at the earlier time of noon.

Fine weather will have Yeppoon meeting off and racing

Capricornia-based racing stewards are confident, given fine weather in the ensuing 36 hours, that Saturday’s “patrons-free” Yeppoon Turf Club race meeting at Keppel Park racecourse will proceed.

Steward Tate Hudson said 123ml of rain had fallen over Keppel Park in the six days prior to Thursday.

“The stewards inspected the track at 6am this morning (Thursday) and found it to be in what could only be rated a very heavy condition,” Hudson said on Thursday morning.

“Provided we have fine, good drying weather over the next 48 hours, the track should be right but it will still be in a heavy rating state.”

He said stewards would again inspect the track at 6am Friday and at the same time on Saturday morning.

“We have jockeys coming up (flying) from Brisbane and if need be, we can make a determination before they leave,” Hudson said.

The weather forecast for Yeppoon on Friday and Saturday is “mostly sunny” with a maximum

temperature of 30 degrees.

The Yeppon Turf Club made the decision last week to close the meeting to patrons.

There will be no betting on the race meeting as it is a non-TAB and bookmakers will not be fielding.

The first race on the Yeppon five-race card will be at the early starting time of noon, with the final event scheduled for 2.20pm.

Jockey Nathan Thomas will ride the Ricky Vale-trained Meatball and Fun Tickets at Yeppoon on Saturday. Picture: John Gass
Jockey Nathan Thomas will ride the Ricky Vale-trained Meatball and Fun Tickets at Yeppoon on Saturday. Picture: John Gass

Rockhampton trainer Ricky Vale has engaged in-form Sunshine Coast jockey Nathan Thomas for his two strong Keppel Park chances – Meatball and Fun Tickets.

Meatball, a recent entry for a Brisbane race but a non-acceptor, runs in the Regals Dental BM 60 (1800m) and, despite the big weight of 62.5kg, looks ideally suited.

Fun Tickets starts under 56.5kg in the Country Cups Challenge Qualifier/G.J. Gardner Homes

Yeppoon Cup (1400m).

There will be significant Central Queensland interest on the outcome of Saturday’s $50K NMW (1200m) at Doomben.

That will centre around the appearance of CQ-owned and Tom Button-trained Flying Crackerjack (Race 8 – TAB 5).

Flying Crackerjack has been in magnificent form, winning consecutively his past four outings at Rockhampton and Yeppoon.

This culminated with a highly impressive last start Callaghan Park victory over stablemate The Tax Accountant in the $50K Capricornia Yearling Sales 4 & 5YO Championships (1300m) on October 17.

Through the claiming allowance of 1.5kg for apprentice Georgina Cartwright, Flying Crackerjack will carry the luxury weight of 53kg in what must be termed a highly competitive race.

North Afrika, which made a name for himself through a string of wins for Callaghan Park trainer Jared Wehlow, will run in the BM 78 (1640m) on the Doomben card.

Regular rider Ryan Wiggins pilots North Afrika (R 9 -TAB 9), which was transferred to Gold Coast trainer John Smerdon after his last start Brisbane third for Wehlow.

The move allows North Afrika to be more suitably place during the summer months in South-East Queensland, with the horse likely to come back to Wehlow next year to prepare for the Northern Cups Winter Carnivals.

The Rockhampton Jockey Club does not race on Melbourne Cup Day next Tuesday but expects a large crowd for its Breeders 2YO Plate TAB race meeting next Friday, November 6.



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