By Tony McMahon
A bumper crowd estimated by Yeppoon Turf Club president Gary Hall as being “upwards of 2500” flooded Keppel Park racecourse on the Capricorn Coast for the races last Saturday.
The Keppel Park racecourse grounds were temporary homes to dozens of marquees pre-booked by patrons while hundreds upon hundreds packed the giant St Brendans College Old Boys Foundation marquee.
Gary Hall described the on-course attendance as a “mighty crowd”.
I will go on record one better declaring it the biggest attendance I have witnessed at Yeppoon’s racecourse in my 31 years going racing there.
Colourful and boisterous while always under a canopy of laughter interjected by screams of encouragement as the races were being run, the crowd had obvious reason to be in such good humour.
This was ignited by four favourites and one second favourite winning on the five-race local Keppel Park program.
Naturally the half dozen bookmakers who fielded would not have shared those emotions as short priced favourites Our Girl Tamika ($2.00); The Mechanic ($3.00EF); Frugal ($1.90) and Burden ($1.60) won the first four races as they liked.
How the Lyle Wright trained Golden Archer-Sagre x Clang filly Our Girl Tamiya (Chris McIver) wasn’t posted shorter than $2.00 in the opening race, the Patlaw Security Maiden (950m) is surprising.
Afterall, just last Monday the speedster was impressive in winning a 900 metres trial in Rockhampton.
Aiding and abetting the rot setting in for bookmakers was the gifted heavyweight jockey Ashley Butler who had afield day with a winning treble.
Firstly “Ash” kicked-in bringing the Glenn Richardson Nanango trained Myboycharlie (IRE) gelding The Mechanic motoring home late to accelerate past Malkara ($15.00) in the St Brendans Old Boys Foundation Open Handicap (950m).
Next-up 40 minutes down the track, Butler changed his riding tactics by bouncing Ricky Vale’s deceiving somewhat gross looking All To Hard gelding Frugal straight to the lead in the Regal’s Dental Class 3 Plate (1100m).
Frugal made light of his 60kg impost and clocked from manual timing 1min:03.20 seconds for the trip, which was not recognised as a record as the hold Noopy (1:03.36) did so under electronic timing in 2002.
In keeping with his training finesse, Vale has placed Frugal astutely since he joined his stable in September 2018 racing him 12 times for four wins and seven placings – statistics which say it all.
Much to the delight of leading rider of winners in Queensland in Justin Stanley, his former riding colleague turned trainer Adrian Coome got him back in the winners’ circle on Burden in the G.J. Gardner Yeppoon QTIS 3YO Maiden (1200m).
With his catchy name Burden emanating from his sire Unencumbered, race favourite Burden was never in danger but only claimed $5000 prize money and not the $8500 had he been QTIS registered.
Stanley has endured a slow start to the 2019/20 new season as from 28 race rides he has only won two races but Justin has time on his side in his attempt to eclipse the record 117.5 winners he rolled in last season.
Coome and Stanley sent the seven-years-old mare Poetic Show to the barriers for the last race with renewed confidence from some punters at $3.00 favourite but the “lethal lads” of Butler and Vale prevailed with San Vincenzo.
Butler, who mainly rides around the 58kg mark these days must have thought it was Christmas being able to ride in a big saddle on San Vincenzo who lumped 63.5kg.
Undoubtedly the best-bred thoroughbred doing the gallops at Keppel Park being a son of So You Think (NZ) and bearing an Irish mother Stage Beauty sired by Desert Prince, the six-years-old San Vincenzo ($3.50) made it look all too easy.
He too was leading most of the way in the Star Liquor Railway Hotel BM 55 (1300m) and its odds on that many racegoers later celebrated his win at the race sponsor’s popular Yeppoon venue.
Now the tireless workers associated with the Yeppoon Turf Club will have some downtime before it all happens again at Keppel Park for the Derby Day races on Saturday, November 2.
In Brisbane on Saturday, the Garnett Taylor trained and Central Queensland owned Dawson Delight was the closest of seconds to Don’t Waiver in the $100,000 QTIS 3YO Handicap (1600m).
Dawson Delight has a made a mesmerising commencement to racing as she won at her only other start in a feature 2YO race over 1300 metres at Townsville on July 27.
Racing Queensland webnews August 19