Home Hill News

Racing Recognition for Ray “Drover” Tapiolas

TOP weights dominated the results of the five events at the Burdekin Race Club’s July race meeting with four of the races resulting in the top weight passing the winning post first – and the only reason the other race did not go the same way was because the top weight was a ‘late’ scratching during the afternoon.

The afternoon of racing on the Home Hill track was dedicated to the memory of long-serving local owner, trainer, former President and Life Member of the Burdekin Race Club, Ray “Drover” Tapiolas, who passed away 12 months ago.

With the track in excellent condition following rain earlier in the week, the Burdekin Club received strong support from owners and trainers from throughout North Queensland, resulting in most of the races having capacity fields.

The Tapiolas Family also strongly supported the race meeting, with all races carrying names relevant to Ray Tapiolas’ association with the sport, including the main race, Drovers Cup over 1830 metres, while special prizes were also awarded to the leading trainer and jockey on the day.

One of the jockeys in each race also wore the pale blue and red colours that were well known as those used by Ray Tapiolas with his horses.

Several trainers vied for the top honours on the day, with Burdekin Club President, Ricky Gudge recording a win with Old School (Isabella Teh) in the fourth event and a third with Rebel Lake (Nicole Seymour) in the last event; while former Burdekin jockey and current Townsville trainer, Alby Molino won the second race with Smart Thinker (Frank Edwards) and the third race with The Sherpa (Frank Edwards).

However, the award for the leading trainer on the day went to Mackay’s John Manzelmann, a strong supporter of racing in Home Hill, who trained the winner of the first event, Victory for Us (Graham Kliese) and the last race, The Driller (Jade Dolan), together with a second with Dawn Rebel in the second event and a third with Police in the fourth race – both ridden by Jade Dolan.

Two jockeys were also in line for the award for the leading jockey, with Jade Dolan riding Whiskey Row to a second place in the first race and followed up with another second on Dawn Rebel in Race Two, a third place on Police in the fourth event and a victory on The Driller in the last event.

However, the prize for the top jockey on the day went to Frank Edwards, who combined with Alby Molino to ride the winners of the second and third races, while also riding Medal into second place in the final event of the day.

The Burdekin Club has been receiving good reports on the standard of its track since its recent upgrade and planning is under way for the TAB meeting on Thursday, August 31.