By Richard Turnbull
Queensland's 'coal capital' once more proved its passion for racing is alive and well, with more than 1000 people streaming through the gates for the Moranbah Spring Racing meeting at Treasure Park on Saturday.
The racetrack came alive with the glitz and glamour of a spring carnival race day, headlined by the Fashions on the Field and five competitive races.
President Simon Phillips was more than pleased - but not content - with proceedings, and is aiming for a bigger and better race day in 2018, with help from vice-president John Juhas and the hard working committee.
Juhas' was presented with life membership to the club for his services over many years on the day, making it a memorable occasion before a hoof had even touched the track.
John Manzelmann opened his account with a trifecta in the maiden plate, after Bawaardi Rocket ($2.60) for Chris McIver chased down stablemate Ranga Rocket in the final 75m. Al Mah Rocket held on for third.
Manzelmann's trifecta helped him secure the leading trainers' bonus of $500 put on by the club, which was aimed at attracting more nominations for the meeting following a busy Cup week.
It was a big day statewide for Manzelmann, who saddled up four winners at the Cooktown Cup meeting 1100km up the road.
Mackay trainer Olivia Cairns saluted in the first of the day, with long odds-on pop Anzus saluting for apprentice Rachel Shred by a whopping 10 lengths in quick time.
The $12,000 QTIS Benchmark 45 Handicap over 1170m was taken out by Captain Adriatic ($2.50) for Rockhampton trainer John Pointon. It was the first of three winners for Quayde Krogh.
Promising Rockhampton trainer Clint Garland also made the 700km journey to support the meeting, and was rewarded with a winning double. He claimed the BM55 Handicap over 1000m with $1.50 favourite Eldiym, and the feature $10,000 Isaac Regional BM60 over 1550m with Just Michael.