By Duane Ranger
Racing Queensland’s QBRED bonus scheme is receiving praise left, right, and centre from owners, breeders, and horsemen alike.
Toogoolawah horseman and auctioneer, Darren Ebert, termed the initiative as “unbelievable”, after his P B Bulville gelding, Moonlight Butcher, has picked up $13,000 in bonuses.
After failing to earn any stakes at the Ekka Show in Brisbane in August, Moonlight Butcher, has now won four of his last five starts, including a $10,000 bonus in race five at Redcliffe last Wednesday.
He has also picked up $1,000 each time he won at Marburg on September 22, October 7, and October 13.
The Dan Russell trained 7-year-old bay is raced by Ebert and his wife Kerry. He was a graduate of the Redcliffe Yearling Sale.
“It’s keeping horses racing. He will race on again next season and try and pick up $7,500 for his second win. Without this initiative his career would be in jeopardy, especially if he was showing no form.
“But he hasn’t reached his mark, and we will keep on racing him. It’s an astonishing initiative shown by Racing Queensland. They need to be applauded,” Ebert (Darren) said.
He also paid a tribute to trainer, Russell.
“I gave him to Dan because he suffered feet problems at the Ekka Show, and he has done wonders with him. Dan is a farrier, and a very good one at that. Marburg and Redcliffe have been the making of him,” said Ebert who works his own team of seven.
Moonlight Butcher was the $3.70 favourite at Redcliffe. He drew six and then Adam Richardson managed to lob him into the trail throughout.
In the lane he had too much sprint for the favourite, My Wingman, getting the decision by half a head. He paced the 1,780m mobile in 2:13.1 with a 2:00.4 mile rate.
Moonlight Butcher was bred by Burns Bloodstock. He is out of the As Promised mare, Bindys Promise. He also collected $2,841 for winning the race.
Meanwhile, the John Ballin owned, trained, driven and bred, Myrtle Beach, also nailed a $10,000 QBRED first win bonus for winning race seven at the same meeting.
The 9-year-old Armbro Invasion mare won her first race for Ballin, who is also the Marburg track curator.
That seventh event was also a QBRED cash race, which ensured another $1,000 in the bank. He also nailed another $2,000 for his first trotting win in Queensland.
Throw in the $2,776 winning stake and that was $15,776 in total purses for winning the NR 40-70 Discretionary by 1.5 metres.
Ballin was obviously delighted.
“It’s a terrific scheme and has given my horse a new lease on life. She’s racing real well at the moment. I’m glad I ‘rolled the dice’. The bonus scheme is a real credit to Racing Queensland.
“’Myrtle’ is looking a picture and will line up at Redcliffe tomorrow night (Wednesday). She seems to like racing under the lights. Perhaps because it’s not so hot. She’s a bit of a scatter brain, but the bonus scheme made me want to persevere with her and it’s worked wonders,” Ballin said.
The 58-year-old said she was the first foal out of four-win Jeremy Lobell mare, Love Shack.
“She’s 22 now and only had one other foal. I’ve tried getting her in foal again but had no success, so she’s all done now.
“That’s why Myrtle Beach is a bit special. I’ll breed from her one day hopefully, but she’s only had 21 starts and this bonus initiative has encouraged me to keep racing her for a while yet,” Ballin said.
“Love Shack was actually dual-gaited and won two races trotting and two pacing, but this girl is strictly a trotter,” he added.
Ballin said he was also breeding from a sister to Love Game called Cottonwood valley – a 12-win Jeremy Lobell – Love Game (by Vanston Hanover) mare named Cottonwood Valley.
“He’s a Grinfromeartoear yearling colt who is yet to be named.”
Ballin’s comments came after Churchable trainer, Brian McCall praised the QBRED scheme bigtime after his pacer, Fortyeighthenson, banked a $10,000 bonus after winning the ninth race at Albion Park on Saturday night.
That story was on yesterday’s Racing Queensland website.