In the winner’s circle with Bob Stretton, Kerry Munce, Jason Hoopert, Jack Dagan, Bill Taylor and Shane Gill.
In the winner’s circle with Bob Stretton, Kerry Munce, Jason Hoopert, Jack Dagan, Bill Taylor and Shane Gill. Contributed

Foregone takes cup

A CROWD of more than 1100 racegoers packed the Gympie Racecourse for the Christmas Party, Diggers Cup raceday to conclude Gympie racing for 2015.

With all 20 available marquees overflowing, a big day in Fashions of the Field plus the Dash for Cash sprints down the straight for men and women, racing was conducted in a festive if hot atmosphere.

Last season's Gympie Horse of the Year, Foregone, earned a spell with his convincing win in the 1470m Diggers Cup rounding out a successful preparation by trainer Kerry Munce.

Foregone, who was third in Gympie's richest race, the Muster Cup, in August, had not raced for about a month after a good effort for 6th in the Gympie Cup.

The six-year-old appreciated the drop back in class to the Benchmark 60 running out a 1¼ length winner after a top ride by Jason Hoopert.

Sent out the $2.50 favourite, Foregone settled in the box seat behind four tearaway leaders.

Hoopert moved him off the fence on the home bend and the chestnut quickly raced to the front as heads were turned for home. Come by Often ($4.50, M. Savva), made up good ground from last at the 500m to be second with early leader, Mr Seduction ($7, J. Missen) a creditable third.

With four wins and three placings from nine starts this preparation, Foregone is now off for a spell.

He is raced by Brisbane businessman David Israel whose family previously operated the high profile Segenhoe (now Vinery) Stud near Scone, New South Wales.

Bundaberg trainer Tony Hess only obtained Class B winner, Star of Aquarius about three weeks before his Gympie victory.

The former Toowoomba-based Stromberg Carlson four-year-old mare, had been third and fourth in 1850m Toowoomba maidens at her two previous starts but was freshened up by Hess on his horse walker. Star of Aquarius ($3 eq. fav., T. Williams) jumped straight to the lead from the 1170m start and was never in danger, winning by 2½ lengths from another Bundaberg galloper, Infinite Miss ($4, K. Gates) with The Joystick ($7, P. Romeo) third. The winner is raced by the trainer's wife Rhonda and skipped maiden class for her win.

Well bred compact filly Rustic Miss ran right up to her breeding with a win in the 1030m maiden for apprentice Amy Van der Sanden.

By Sequalo out of a Show a Heart mare, the $10,000 Magic

MILLIONS buy got home by half head after leading most of the way to just hold off the fast finishing Exceed with Speed ($2.70, T. Williams with Manny Suggestions ($11, R. Faehr) 2½ lengths back in third. Rustic Miss is trained at Caloundra by Tom Bourke being a stablemate of smart galloper Rocky King.

Kumbia trained I am McLovin, who had won twice on the Wondai sand recently, found the Gympie surface greatly to his liking at his first visit in winning the 850m Class 2 in a tight finish.

The Murtajill four-year-old, who does most of his work in ploughed paddocks at Kumbia to protect his knees, battled on strongly for jockey Alisha Taylor to just edge past leader, Coley ($3.60, J. Hoopert) winning by a short neck with Hopetoun Street ($2.70 fav., J. Missen) running on for third after finding the 850m a shade short. Trained by James Curtain, the Patinack-bred gelding is raced by James' brother Laurie and James' wife.

Unfortunately, the other programmed race, the BM 7 was abandoned due to insufficient acceptors resulting in an unusually brief card of just four races.

The Gympie Turf Club now has a break from racing over the holiday period and will resume activities with the March 5 fixture in the new year.