WHILE wet weather may have dampened the enthusiasm of many of the regular patrons of the Burdekin Race Club for their February 18 meeting, the small crowd was still able to enjoy a competitive five-race program with close finishes in most of the events.
It was a big day for the Home Hill club with the delegates from the Leichhardt Area Clubs meeting at the local facilities before enjoying the day’s local racing in between the rain squalls that blew across the grounds during the afternoon.
Recent improvement works on the track meant it was in top condition for the racing and the track condition was set at a “Good 4” for the start of the first event.
However, the rain throughout the afternoon resulted in that condition being downgraded to a “Slow 5” and later to a “Soft 6”. However, racing continued despite heavier falls in between the events.
The first race, the Benchmark 50 Handicap over 1460 metres, provided some interesting points of interest for punters with six of the seven runners being entered by the John and Joshua Manzelmann Stables from Mackay, while six of the seven runners were ridden by female jockeys including five claiming apprentices—with one of those, Erin Molloy, having her first race ride.
Regular punters would have noticed a return of familiar colours, with third placed Dawn Strike wearing the pale blue and white stars that Tapiolas horses have carried for many years, after the family passed the colours on to trainer, Joanna Hassett following the death of long-time Home Hill racing stalwart, Ray Tapiolas.
- Milky Rocket (Jade Doolan) first with Collombatti (Jenna Edwards) second and Dawn Strike (Nathan Day) third.
- Ashton Blair (Jeffrey Felix) first, Hit Snooze (Jenna Edwards) second and Miuron (Isabella Teh) third.
- The Lout (Isabella Teh), Our Addiction (Graham Kliese) second and Golden Athena (Jade Doolan) third
- Mersey Girl (Pietro Romeo) first, Chilena (Colin Lennon) second with Mishani Platinum (Brooke Johnson) third.
- Mishani Jewel (Brooke Johnson) first, Line of Kings (Jeffrey Felix) second and River Daisy (Erin Molloy) in third place.