The Vic Vagg-trained Aspiran, ridden by Dale Missen, enjoyed a gutsy first-up win in Mackay on Tuesday and is set to start at Rockhampton's Callaghan Park next week.
The Vic Vagg-trained Aspiran, ridden by Dale Missen, enjoyed a gutsy first-up win in Mackay on Tuesday and is set to start at Rockhampton's Callaghan Park next week. Lee Constable

Keppel Park grass track not soggy

YEPPOON Turf Club president Greg Simpson branded rumours yesterday that the Keppel Park track was rain sodden as rubbish and said he expected the grass surface to race extremely well at Saturday’s Cup meeting.

“We actually mowed the track on Monday with a new $25,000 mower that the club has invested in,” Simpson said.

“The grass came up really well and the surrounds look wonderful.

“I’d say the track is probably rated slow at present but if the dry weather persists it will race well on Saturday.

"Let’s just say if the weather holds nobody will be able to use the state of the track as an excuse for a beaten horse.

“For the life of me I can’t understand where these ridiculous rumours gather momentum from,” he said.

Pre-dawn yesterday at the local breeding ground of racing rumours – Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park racecourse – some trainers were questioning why the Yeppoon meeting had not already been transferred to Gladstone’s sand track.

Simpson’s disclosure of the “all clear” for Keppel Park should ensure a high percentage rate of starters from the 53 nominations, including a strong line-up for the G. J. Gardiner Homes Yeppoon Cup (1400m).

Bonny Rockhampton mare Aspiran will be an added drawcard for next Thursday’s $200,000 TAB race meeting at Callaghan Park, where she is set to start in the Open Handicap (1050m).

Despite looking as big as a proverbial house, Aspiran was too good for her rivals in a gutsy first-up win in the $12,000 WFA Handicap (1050m) at Mackay on Tuesday.

“That run will do her the world of good,” trainer Vic Vagg said.

“She was big and new and will improve on that.

"Her main aims this winter are the Townsville Lightning and Cleveland Bay Handicaps.”

Trainer Garnett Taylor confirmed yesterday that he planned to stick with apprentice Cassie Priest as his rider for brilliant Garrison Savannah filly Bonny The Viper in the $134,000 Capricornia 2YO Classic (1200m) next Thursday.

“The father in me wanted my daughter Alisha to ride Bonny. However, to Alisha’s credit she told me to keep Cassie on the filly,” Taylor said.

Meanwhile, jockey Glen Lee, who won on Bonny The Viper at Thangool on March 25, hopes to be given a medical clearance to resume riding track work next Wednesday.

Lee was trampled by a horse after it unseated him at Callaghan Park recently.



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