Two-horse race for $5000
THE stage is set for an enthralling climax to the CaseIH/Milne Bros Emerald Jockey Club trainers' premiership at the last meeting for the year at Pioneer Park racecourse this afternoon.
Just a single point separates the two trainers vying for premiership honours.
Going into the meeting, Rockhampton's Neil Boyle leads Emerald's Ross Meek 27 points to 26 and both have multiple runners on the five-race card.
Points are allotted to trainers on a 3-2-1 basis for first, second and third placings recorded by horses they train.
Boyle will start Kalkie Miss (Class 5, 1000m), Let's Be Mary (Class B, 1100m) and Senorita (Class 3 Plate, 1300m).
Meek has an advantage with “ammunition” as he saddles up Black Angus (Class 5), Too Cluie (Class B), Larry's Song (Open, 1200m) and Two Bob Snob (Class 3).
In what is a two-horse race between Boyle and Meek because of both being well ahead of their rivals, one will leave the racecourse this afternoon with the winning premiership cheque of $5000.
In all the CaseIH/Milne Bros offers $10,000 in purses for the trainer, jockey and Horse of the Year.
This makes it one of the richest, if not the richest, events in provincial and country Queensland racing.
“It has been a mighty success in its first year of operation and the club is so grateful to Ron Milne and his company for the initiative in bringing about this sponsorship,” EJC president Leon Roberts said.
“Ron will be making the presentations after the last race today and his staff will be on course enjoying their Christmas party celebrations.”
While the trainers premiership is a cliffhanger, so too for that matter is the race for the Emerald Horse of the Year.
Tony Button's Stoutfast has a three-point advantage over Neil Boyle's Kalkie Miss and both are engaged in separate races today.
With $3000 up for grabs, a lot more than the 64kg Stoutfast will carry in the Open Handicap (1200m) will be riding on his back.
Mark Barnham has the EJC jockey's premiership all parcelled-up which will earn him a cheque for $2000.
Brisbane jockey Brad Stewart yesterday lost an appeal to Queensland's First Level Appeals Committee for a careless riding suspension imposed last week in Rockhampton over a Mackay incident on August 17 which resulted in jockey Kelvin Wharton falling.
However, the appeals committee varied the penalty whereby Stewart is now outed from midnight tonight until midnight Friday, December 17.
At Rockhampton races on Thursday, apprentice rider Cassie Priest was suspended for one week from December 3 to December 10.