Barry Fitzhenry racing identity.
Barry Fitzhenry racing identity. Craig Warhurst

Exodus of horses, trainers, riders from Gympie racecourse

NANANGO trained sand track specialist Bel Seleva will be chasing her seventh successive win on the sand when she contests tomorrow's Battle of the Bush qualifier at Bundaberg.

The Bel Esprit four-year-old mare has won three from three starts in Gympie, two from two in Bundaberg as well as a Gladstone victory after beginning her winning sequence on November 24, in Gympie when she won a 1030m BM 60.

Should Bel Seleva make it to the $125,000 final of the Battle of the Bush to be run at Eagle Farm on June 20, the Glen Richardson-trained mare may need a rain affected track to show her best form.

The $10,000 Battle of the Bush qualifier at Bundaberg drew an initial entry of 11 for the 1212m Open event, with Bundaberg trainer Darryl Gardiner nominating three for the race in Al's Briefs, All Host and Craiglea Pistol.

All 11 accepted for the race with Bel Seleva to be ridden by 2kg claimer, Miki Nakao with the outside barrier.

Lil Ruby Rose has drawn the inside barrier. The top-weight on 61.5kg, Marksfield, has barrier 10 and will be ridden by Gary Geran.

A total of 41 horses will contest the five races at Bundaberg tomorrow after an initial nomination of 44 horses.

Gympie trainer Cherie Vick has a hand in the Battle of the Bush qualifier with much-improved galloper Lil Ruby Rose, who scored a great win on Anzac Day at Wondai in the QTIS BM 60 over 1100m.

Ridden by Robbie Faehr, Lil Ruby Rose beat the $2.50 favourite Accumulated by a half length to scoop all the QTIS money of about $10,250 for first. 

This gave the Longhorn mare five wins from eight starts this preparation. She has won both of her Bundaberg starts but is stepping up to 1212m for the first time.

The 1465m Wondai Digger's Cup was won by the Harry Richardson prepared Supervisor ($3.20, J. King) who completed the demise of favourites in beating Clouds by two and a half lengths with Prince of Flinders third.

Supervisor had won his only previous Wondai start in a 1465m Class B back in January and had since won at Warwick and Kilcoy.

Supervisor was scratched from Kilcoy yesterday when the track was in the heavy range.

The annual exodus of horses, trainers and work riders from the Gympie Racecourse is to happen by this weekend as Adrian McClintock Park reverts to its role of a Showground for two weeks after functioning as a racecourse for 50 weeks of the year. Gympie trainers wishing to keep horses in work over the Show period have to find alternative places to work horses.

Several have transferred to Wondai or the Sunshine Coast if not deciding to spell their horses.

The iconic Burrandowan Picnic race meeting is set down for Saturday week, May 11. The Burrandowan Race Club is this year paying a $100 travel subsidy to all starters at Burrandowan who do not earn prize money.

Main race at the "middle of nowhere” racetrack west of Kingaroy will be the $10,000 Burrandowan Cup, a BM 55 over 1750m.

The Gympie Turf Club will pay trainers of horses finishing fifth to eighth $100 from the start of August. The next Gympie races will be on June 22, when the RSL Cup, a $10,000 BM 65, will be run.