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Seven of the nine winners on opening day of the 2019 TAB Queensland Winter Racing Carnival at Toowoomba were supplied by current or former Darling Downs trainers.
Five Downs conditioners chipped in with winners, while former Toowoomba trainer Tony Gollan secured a winning double.
But it was premier Sydney trainer Chris Waller who picked up the two big features, taking the 2019 Toowoomba Cup with progressive stayer The Lord Mayor and the Listed Weetwood Handicap with Sexy Eyes.
Re-live all the action and see what the winning connections had to say below.
RACE 1 - SPIRIT OF BOOM QTIS 2YO HANDICAP (1100M)
1st - Gem of Scotland - Rex Lipp
2nd - Howwonderfullifeis - Ben Currie
3rd - Devils Marbles - Michael Nolan
Winning trainer Rex Lipp said his filly had come along in leaps and bounds since her first start and was considering a QTIS 2YO Fillies race at Eagle Farm next week.
“She was very green in the lead up to her first start and still managed to win despite doing a lot wrong, so I decided to tip her out and do a bit more education," Lipp said
Gem of Scotland remains unbeaten in the QTIS 2YO’s for Rex Lipp. Here what the local trainer had to say about the filly. pic.twitter.com/bKSQXxTug1— Racing Queensland (@racing_qld) April 6, 2019
Gem of Scotland remains unbeaten in the QTIS 2YO’s for Rex Lipp. Here what the local trainer had to say about the filly. pic.twitter.com/bKSQXxTug1
“She came back a much more relaxed filly when she won at the Gold Coast and since then we’ve just carried her along very lightly, she’s only had the one little gallop in between and it had her cherry ripe for today.”
Hoop Jimmy Orman said despite being put under pressure by Howwonderfullifeis he had some horse under him.
“I knew I had something under me, even though it might have appeared the other one was travelling a bit better she had a bit up the sleeve.”
SPIRIT OF BOOM QTIS Two-Years-Old Handicap 1100m
RACE 2 - F&M BM 75 HANDICAP (1300m)
1st - Splitter - Baylee Nothdurft - Tony Gollan
2nd - Lady Bing - Mark Du Plessis - Rex Lipp
3rd - Star Adele - Troy Pascoe Taylor Marshall
Tony Gollan claimed the BM 75 Fillies and Mares with Splitter who the trainer said was rewarded with a city win after a nice last start third at Eagle Farm.
“She’s been a really consistent mare without getting the results, she got in the right spot today and really nice to get a city winner for the owners, she’s in for a good prep," Gollan said.
Gun apprentice Baylee Nothdurft said the race went to plan.
“All Tony said to me was to get her in an even breathing pattern, which we did for most of the run," Nothdurft said.
“She hit a little bit of a flat spot at the top of the straight but picked up again nicely”
AG RIGGING Fillies & Mares BenchMark 75 Handicap 1300m
RACE 3 - GEMLIFE COLTS & GELDINGS BM75 (1300M)
1st - Want to Bolt - Ben Currie - Jeff Lloyd
2nd - All From Scrap - David Atkins - Jimmy Orman
3rd Real Ego - Rex Lipp - Mark Du Plessis
Jeff Lloyd pinched a break at the turn on the well backed Want to Bolt, who held on by a nose to make it five on end for the gelding.
"The plan was to go forward and see if they could run him down," Lloyd said.
"I knew there would be a wall of horses coming at us, but he's a fit horse and did just enough."
GEMLIFE Colts, Geldings & Entires BenchMark 75 Handicap 1300m
RACE 4 - QTIS 3YO HANDICAP (1200M)
1st - Rock Beat - Tony Sears - Emma Ljung
2nd - Veranes - Chris Waller - Jeff Lloyd
3rd - Burning Crown - Michael Cahill - Sue Grills
Tony Sears gelding Rock Beat further bolstered his outstanding record overcoming barrier nineteen in the QTIS 3YO Handicap making it four wins in five starts.
The trainer said the QTIS scheme had been a huge bonus for the horse and thanked his staff and jockey Emma Ljung for a cracking ride.
"He's a QTIS horse so we'll just continue to target QTIS races," Sears said.
"It's always good to win a race on your home track, i've got really good owners in John and Gai Harvey and it's a credit to all my staff to get a result like this."
"I told Emma to just take him back and ride him cold, she did a great job."
Ljung said she had built a good affinity with the gelding who she rode to victory in his Maiden at Toowoomba last November.
"He leaves it all out there this horse, not much was in our favour today but he keeps finding a way to win," she said.
BARRIER REEF POOLS QTIS Three-Years-Old Handicap 1200m
RACE 5- TOOWOOMBA GUINEAS (1625M)
1st - Rosendahl Red - Matt Kropp - Matthew McGillivray
2nd - Barefoot - Tony Sears - Mark Du Plessis
3rd - Gem Dealer - Brett Cavanough - Jeff Lloyd
Matt Kropp has headed a local quinella with Rosendahl Red claiming the Toowoomba Guineas in a photo over Tony Sears Barefoot.
Kropp said he'd had some rotten luck with the fillies talented brother Global Red and was appreciating the bargain buy's success.
"Her brother Global red was set to run in the Mick Dittman a few years ago and he broke down."
"We knew they were good bloodlines so we picked her up for a bargain ($5000) at the January sales a couple of years ago and she's delivering in spades."
"We'll push on to some black type fillies races in the Winter."
MOORE TRAILERS TOOWOOMBA GUINEAS 1625m
RACE 6 - BENCHMARK 80 HANDICAP (1625M)
1st - Ruby Guru - Michael Nolan - Dale Smith
2nd - Veladero - Chris Waller - Robbie Fradd
3rd - Reiby The Red - Les Kelly - Baylee Nothdurft
Michael Nolan became the fifth Toowoomba trainer in six races to salute as Ruby Guru clung on the in Benchmark 80 Handicap.
Nolan explained how important it was for the stable to have a runner on Cup Day.
"It was really important for us to have her in on our marquee day," Nolan said.
"On paper she probably didn't stack up too well from wise, but it's easy to forget she's a city winner and what a thrill to win on Cup Day."
"I was caught wide early and had to make the decision to press on from the 600," Smith said.
"I thought we hit the front a bit early and come see Robbie (Fradd) coming on my inside and actually thought he would get me, but she held on."
K&R PLUMBING SUPPLIES BenchMark 80 Handicap 1625m
RACE 7 - TAB TOOWOOMBA CUP (2000M)
1st - The Lord Mayor - Chris Waller - Brad Stewart
2nd - Kubis - Robert Heathcoate - Dale Smith
3rd - Mishani Vaidra - Ben Currie - Josh Oliver
The powerful Waller stable lined up four live chances in the Toowoomba Cup and it was the well fancied The Lord Mayer who outstayed his rivals.
Waller Assistant Trainer Paul Shailer said the horse was primed to win and would take plenty of confidence toward the Brisbane Cup.
"He was our best chance leading into the day, I thought the writing was on the wall last start and she worked really well through the week," Shailer said.
"I have to give Ryan Maloney some credit he suggested to put the blinkers on during the week and unfortunately couldn't make weight, but it was a ten out of ten ride from Brad (Stewart)."
"He enjoyed a cosy run didn't spend a penny and had the class to finish it off."
"He's headed towards a Brisbane Cup Campaign, so this is a great stepping stone."
TAB TOOWOOMBA CUP 2000m
RACE 8 - LISTED WEETWOOD HANDICAP (1200M)
1st - Sexy Eyes - Chris Waller - Robbie Fradd
2nd - Tycoon Ace - Tony Sears - Emma Ljung
3rd - Mishani Hustler - Ben Currie - Taylor Marshall
The Waller stable has taken out the Toowoomba Cup, Weetwood Handicap double with Sexy Eyes forging clear for a flashy victory in the Weetwood.
Waller Queensland Foreman Paul Shailer gave credit to Waller Racing's Sydney team with the filly just landing in Queensland 48 hours ago.
"The Sydney team brought her here in great nick, we thought it might be a bit short for her today but they set it up nicely with a strong tempo," Shailer said.
"She'll stay here for the Winter, Chris will sit down and find some Black Type races for her."
Jockey Robbie Fradd was full of praise for the filly, hoping to stay on throughout the carnival.
"She's built like an oaks filly long and lean, but also has that turn of foot."
"The further we went the better she was going, she's got a big prep ahead, fingers crossed I'm on her."
AUDI CENTRE TOOWOOMBA WEETWOOD Handicap 1200m
RACE 9 - CLASS 6 PLATE (1100M)
1st - Natch - Tony Gollan - Brad Stewart
2nd - I've Gotta Nel - Barry Lockwood - Corey Bayliss (a)
3rd - Capital Connection - Tony Gollan - Jeff Lloyd
Tony Gollan scored a training double at his old stomping ground as Natch grabbed them in the last stride under hard riding from Brad Stewart in the Class 6 Plate.
The five-year-old gelding was a drifter in the market, but made it two from two at the track closing at $13.
The win gave Stewart a riding treble featuring the Toowoomba Cup on The Lord Mayor.
TOOWOOMBA PLASTICS Class 6 Plate 1100m