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NQ owner's big day out at Doomben

By Jordan Gerrans

North Queensland businessman Brian Jorgensen has owned horses for decades and will register a new career milestone in the racing industry on Saturday at Doomben.

The bookmaker and owner will have three horses he has shares in go around on the same metropolitan race day for the first time, all with decent winning chances.

And, interestingly, all three of Jorgensen’s horses – Derulo, North Afrika and Inquiry – will carry top or equal top-weight across the nine-event program.

The hotel owner across north Queensland, Jorgensen, owns the three top gallopers with his son Chris and close mate Winton Veall, who are also in the bookmaking game.

The trio and their extended families are making the trip down from the north of the state to Brisbane for the special occasion.


The Jorgensen’s are big owners across the north and central regions, having horses in Rockhampton, Townsville and Cairns.

“I can’t believe that we have got the near top weight in all three races,” Jorgensen said of his three chances on Saturday.

“I have had many horses go around in town before but never three at once.

“We are all going down for the day…. win or lose, we are looking forward to having an enjoyable time.

“They are all the highest rated horses in the races.

“Inquiry will have six kgs more than any other runner in the race.”

North Afrika

All three horses are now trained by John Smerdon on the Gold Coast, after previously being prepared in Cairns or Rockhampton, and will be ridden by Ryan Wiggins, who rode a treble at Townsville’s Cluden Park on Wednesday afternoon.

In the early 1980s, Jorgensen had a small share in Torbek, who won Victorian group races, but he thinks Inquiry, who won the Listed Spear Chief at Doomben last year, is the best-quality horse he has had shares in since then.

Stayer North Afrika will be shooting for his third straight win on the trot in the Benchmark 80 Handicap (2000m).

“North Afrika is the best of the three chances, I think, he will be searching for a dry track, the rain this week has probably been his biggest problem,” he said.

“It looks like it will get that way.

“He should nearly win but So Dapper will be the one to beat after he ran second to Paradee last start on the Gold Coast.”

Both Inquiry and North Afrika have metropolitan wins under their belt already while Derulo, who was one of the star north Queensland two-year-old’s last season, is looking to break through in town.

Derulo, the son of Spill The Beans, won his first four starts but is yet to return to the winner’s stall in three efforts since.

“I was disappointed in his run a fortnight ago, I thought he was a lot better than that,” Jorgensen said.

“I think he will be in with a very good chance, from barrier nine, I think we can still lead from there.

“We are looking for a race where we can jump and control.”