Melanie Manktelow is happy again after winning the first at Gatton Saturday aboard Kensfair Lady. Mel had a bad week leading up to the meeting - more on that tomorrow or Thursday.
Last Saturday at Gatton seven races were run and won and big fields were the order of the day. The new “Results Board” sponsored by this website was in use for the first time and was well received by patrons.
Seven different trainers shared the spoils, but in the jockey ranks the best performances were doubles scored by senior female rider Cecily Eaton and three kilogram Caloundra apprentice Michael Hughes. Michael Hughes went within a half head of riding a treble, whilst Cecily Eaton also rode a second and a third placegetter during the day.
The first race on the program was a Maiden and was won brilliantly by recently married Melanie Manktelow on the Darren Bell trained Kensfair Lady. Melanie had a sad time leading up to the meeting – and the reasons for her sadness will be on site tomorrow or Thursday. The equal third favourite in the betting at $5.50, Kensfair Lady never gave the opposition a look in and won running away by 3.25 lengths. The Barry Gill trained Lady Aura travelled all the way from Gympie and ran second to Kensfair Lady. Canungra trainer Bob Sutton combined with the man who rode the great Vo Rogue – Cyril Small – to run 3rd with She Shiraz. In this race Mocan Bafo Da Onca ran 8th which no doubt pleased racecaller Paul Dolan! Fancy calling Mocan Bafo Da Onca, You Ome One and Kensfair Lady in a big, bustling, three way photo!
Race 2 saw another easy win, by ironically the same winning margin as the first race – 3.25 lengths – to Little Lady Dancer for Gleneagle (near Beaudesert) trainer Florence Braybrook. Young Caloundra three-kilogram apprentice Tye Huxham gave a good display to land the money over Cecily Eaton on Inscribe Smytzer for Patricia Arnold. Another Beaudesert horse King’s Ivory, for trainer Ricky Ludwig and jockey Melanie Manktelow clocked in 3rd.
Race 3 and the Sel Andrew trained Gatton horse Glendee started second favourite behind Little Missy Maroo, but proved too good on the day for its opposition. Cecily Eaton rode the galloper hard to get it home in a close finish, where just 1.3 lengths covered the first five horses home. By bread and butter stallion Blue Run, Glendee proved too strong for another local horse – Frozen Time – for trainer Sharyn Chirnside and jockey Brett Calkin.
Tiartoo ran 3rd in the race for Toowoomba jockey Ron Goltz and trainer Bruce Ruming, who trains at Landsborough, which is not that far from where Steve Irwin does that “Crikey” stuff with 18 foot crocodiles, which would surely keep one “regular”!
Race 4 was a Class 1 handicap and Escude was the second leg of a winning double for Cecily Eaton. Escude is trained at Allora by Merv Wilson and it scrambled home by only a half head, over Oakey galloper Kiap for trainer Robyn Wilkins and Caloundra 3 kilo apprentice Michael Hughes. Toowoomba trainer Robert Cole’s charge Manly City came in 3rd for jockey N. Spencer.
Race 5 winner Regal Charmer produced the story of the day from Gatton. Regal Charmer is trained at Kaimkillenbun, by Graeme Postle. Next question of mine was “where the hell is Kaimkillenbun?” Sounds like it could be in Scotland, but it is actually 23 kilometres from Dalby! Graeme trains Regal Charmer on his 10-acre property in the town of “about 200 people”. Graeme stated he has “trained for 30 years and has five horses in work”. After the win he declared, “Regal Charmer is a nervous horse and he’s just learning how to race”.
Regal Charmer is one of those nice stories in racing. “He lost his mother – My Lady Grey, a Black Zephyr mare – when he was only 3 or 4 weeks old with a colic attack and we reared him on powdered milk for the next six months of his life and he’s won three of his last five starts”, explained the trainer.
Graeme Postle is a member of a famous Queensland racing family. His father’s cousin was Gordon Postle from the hotels brokers firm of A.V. Postle and Co. Gordon made his mark when his horse Spedito won the great Brisbane sprint double of the Stradbroke and the Doomben 10,000 in 1975 for Gold Coast trainer Jim Griffiths. Graeme’s grandfather’s brother was 5 times world champion sprinter Arthur Postle. “Over 75 and 100 yards, he was undefeated for about 5 years. He was born and trained just up the road at Pittsworth”, Graeme advised.
Regal Charmer was ridden by Shannon Apthorpe whom Graeme described as a “great fellow who is well mannered and a gentleman of jockey’s. He and his wife Jessie are wonderful people. When I take my horses to Dalby to do fast work, Shannon will drive out from Toowoomba to ride them”.
Regal Charmer had an ever widening 2.25 lengths to spare on the line from Peter Moncrieff’s Ipswich galloper Cannykia, a 16-1 chance that was ridden by Caloundra jockey Chris Kearney. Another horse at double figures – Heiki Lass – a 12-1 chance for Warwick trainer Len Bryant ran 3rd .
The last two races on the program were both won by Caloundra 3 kilo apprentice Michael Hughes, who is apprenticed to former Caloundra premiership trainer Trevor Miller. Michael is 28 years old and engaged to be married and has now ridden eight winners between the tracks of Kilcoy, Gatton, Gympie and Nanango. “I’ve ridden three doubles now – two at Gympie and one at Gatton from Saturday ” Michael told me yesterday. Michael was granted his provincial license yesterday after his great riding display on Saturday at Gatton. That will allow him to now ride at Ipswich, Caloundra, Gold Coast and Toowoomba etc.
Michael’s master Trevor Miller told me yesterday of Michael, “he’s a very nice chap. He’s tall, but he’s only 51 (kilos) or so. He’s got a good future and now he’s got his provincial licence he should really kick on”.
Being apprenticed to Trevor Miller means Michael is coming through the apprentice’s ranks with Trevor Miller’s other promising apprentice Matthew Morris.
The first of Michael’s double was Slerch for Nanango trainer Anthony Greaves. The second horse Gen Set is trained just down the road from Nanango at Hivesville, by “Machtig Man” (trains horses with that prefix - best to date has been Machtig Mihi Panis) Peter Blackwell. Promising apprentice Owen Turpin had the ride on Gen Set. Finishing third was Philip Wolfgram. Philip’s wife Tracey finished up training Australian National 900 metres track record holder – Wiselink. He clocked a scintillating 49.87 at the Gold Coast on August 21, 1999 – the fastest time ever recorded in Australian racing history over 900 metres. Philip Wolfgram also broke in a handy sprinter called General Nediym to the racetrack. He won on him at his first start in a race at Eagle Farm by 4 lengths, then he was aboard again at the same track when he won his second start by 7 lengths, after which, in what I have always thought was one of the greatest injustices I’ve seen in racing, he was replaced by Mick Dittman, before the horse went on to run 4th in the Golden Slipper!
The last race at Gatton was won by the aptly name Forgot, because punters forgot to back the horse and he started the longest priced winner of the day, at $9. He also won by the biggest winning margin of the day – 4.75 lengths. Forgot is trained at Ipswich by Syd Watters. Toogoolawah trained horse Good Luck ran 2nd for Max Guldbransen and jockey Mark Wood, who recently returned from injury, whilst Carlyle came in 3rd for “Machtig Man” Peter Blackwell and 3 kilo apprentice Owen Turpin.
Leading country bookmaker Tony Purvis reported bookmakers had a winning day when no favourite was successful on the seven race program. "There were three horses heavily backed in the locals, Semi Wells (Race 1 - 4th), Amron Fair (Race 2 - 4th) and Inaspin (Race 5 - 6th) and none ran a place which saved us big payouts", said Tony.
South East Queensland racing venues around Queensland next Saturday are Goondiwindi and Nanango. The Nanango meeting features an $8,000 Maiden QTIS race. Way out west they are racing in the rodeo and mining capital of Mount Isa. There is also a meeting out in “a big, big thirst needs a big, cold beer” country at Charleville, whilst Springsure is also racing and has as its feature race a $7,000 Class 5.