Springsure enjoys great day
RACING: It was a case of "the luck of the Irish" when magnificent weather conditions lured a crowd of about 2000 people to the Springsure's St Patrick's Day Race Club's day and night of action and celebrations on Saturday.
The club deserved to be rewarded with such an ideal day and a huge crowd after losing last year's annual meeting, which would have marked the anniversary of 60 years as a racing entity on the Central Highlands.
So with just a morsel of Irish devilment, Saturday's occasion was officially branded the Diamond Jubilee race meeting for the Springsure club and officials were elated with the response from all categories of racing industry participants, as well as the patronage from race goers and sponsors.
Fittingly the $8000 Diamond Jubilee Cup (1300m) developed into a classic two-horse war, with favourite Down Another Track (Shane Egan, $2.00) getting up in the last stride to beat Rattle'N'Run (Joshua King, $8.00) by a nose.
That pair streeted the remainder, with Joe Kwila (Nathan Patchett, $13.00) coming in 6.3 lengths back third.
Former Toowoomba-based apprentice Egan (now at Barcaldine), with 50 previous winners to his credit, rode Down Another Track sensibly, sitting three lengths behind Rattle'N'Run before starting his move at the 500 metres.
Stride by stride down the 400 metres of the Springsure straight, Down Another Track gradually pegged back ground off Rattle'N'Run, which drew two lengths clear at the 350 metres.
For favourite backers - and there would have been a multitude on them - the challenge from Down Another Track looked forlorn even as close as 20 metres from the post.
Down Another Track had joined Rattle'N'Run at the 150 metres but he seemed to lack concentration and the necessary determination to head the leader, while Egan certainly didn't.
Under Egan's unrelenting urgings, Down Another Track extended his stride in the nick of time to win Emerald owner-trainer Glenda Bell the $5200 first prize, as well as magnificent trophies.
For former jockey-turned trainer Bell, who has put in the hard yards for more than three decades on the current Central Highlands's racetracks and those long gone, the win was significant while emotion-charged.
"He's (Down Another Track) been a good horse to me, winning four from four.
"I don't know where I'll head with him now. I'll take this in first, then think about it," Bell said yesterday.
Since being acquired at a moderate price from Gold Coast trainer Trevor Bailey just before Christmas, Down Another Track has won twice in Rockhampton, as well as at Emerald, and with Saturday's win thrown in he has won Bell $22,200 in prize money.
Associates of Wondai trainer Norma King could not believe their good fortune when bookmakers bet as much as $17.00 about their winning Jet Spur filly Beebee's Last (Joshua King), which beat Fraha (Shane McGovern, $15.00) in the Class B (900m).
Backed in to $9.00, race goers weren't left in the dark, because when introduced to the crowd before the race King's son Joshua rated Beebee's Last his best ride on the card.
New father jockey Scott Sheargold was all smiles after ending a hectic 24 hours by leading all the way to win the QTIS Maiden Plate (1100m) on trainer Lindsay Challacombe's Almost Diamonds ($3.50).
Sheargold's partner Kellie Shaw gave birth to a healthy 4.5kg baby boy the previous night.
Rockhampton trainer Kath Mylne had a mixed day. Her previously barred Bagabob resumed in the Maiden but refused to jump with the field, but her luck changed when Ferocity Blue (Carly-Mae Pye, $8.00) won the Class B (1400m).