Ladies Race day reveals new track champs
RACING: There was a trio of firsts for jockeys at Saturday's Gympie Times Ladies Race day with former Victorian jockey Luke Londregan winning his first race in Queensland, Shayne Shield recording a comeback win and Caloundra apprentice Montanna Savva securing her first Gympie victory to add to her maiden win at Mt Isa.
Jockey Shayne Shield, who rode over 160 winners in Brisbane and at the provincials, took a couple of years off from riding to spend time with his young family and only resumed riding work at Caloundra about six months back.
Having had only a few race rides before teaming up with trainer Pat Duff to ride Fasta than Light in Saturday's main race, the Gympie Times BM 65 over 1470m.
The Hidden Dragon five-year-old, who had won a similar race at his previous Gympie visit, gave Shield an armchair ride to bolt in by nine lengths to be the fourth popular pick ($2) to win on the five-race card.
Early leader Klisnroc ($3.30, K. Gates) held on for second with Way Up There ($5, J. Philpott) third.
The winner is raced by Ipswich resident Glen Abbott who bought Fasta Than Light as a Magic Millions yearling for $34,000 to continue a three-decade stint as a client of the Duff stable.
Fasta than Light might now be aimed at the $19,000 Nationwide Civil Gympie Cup 1600m to be run on October 24.
In a day of big winning margins and below-average field sizes, Orchestral Prince won the 1170m Maiden by 13 ¼ lengths to post the widest winning margin in a very long time.
Starting the $1.90 favourite, the four-year-old Octagonal galloper was the only horse in the field with any worthwhile form, having run fourth in a Caloundra maiden recently.
The favourite led all the way for an effortless win from Mango Tango ($3.20, K. Gates) and Showdown Warrior ($5, J. Hoopert).
Orchestral Prince, who showed early potential but has failed to deliver in his races, is one of 12 horses in a Caloundra satellite stable of Scone-based trainer Greg Bennett who prepares about 40 horses at Scone.
The Kerry Munce-trained Shoulda to Shoulda ($1.65 fav., K. Gates) ran right up to his recent impressive maiden win in Gympie to thrash his opponents in the 1030m BM 55.
The Chateau Istana four-year-old had 13 lengths to spare over his rivals at the post with Embraer ($5.50, A. Spinks) winning the race for second by a half head over Beyond the Storm ($7.50, J. Hoopert).
Jockey Luke Londregan, who relocated to Caloundra from Victoria about three months ago, rode the winner, his first in Queensland from eight rides here.
Luke, who rode 53 winners in four seasons in Victoria, rode winners on all of the major tracks in the southern state with his previous win being at Pakenham in June.
Trainer Barry Gill labelled 850m Class 1 winner, Ten to Life a "problem child" and she lived up to this reputation on returning to the winners' stall.
Ten to Life (a 5-year-old Court Command mare) got a back leg over the partition in the winners' stall and then suffered dental damage when her head hit the rail.
A very difficult mare to manage on the training track, she had to have a 'tie-back' opera
tion to overcome a respiratory problem.
Ten to Life ($9) supplied 4kg-claimer Montanna Savva with her second winner from eight rides after she had won a race at Mt Isa recently.
The 18-year-old Montanna did a school-based traineeship in the racing industry when she was a student at Ipswich Girls Grammar and is now apprenticed to Mick Mair at Caloundra.
Ten to Life's winning margin was the shortest of the day when winning by a short head after a straight-long battle with Nug's Pocket ($5,50, A. Badger) with 1 ¼ lengths back to Indestructible ($3.50, J. Guthmann-Chester) in third.
The $2.80 Trevor Miller-trained favourite Mim's Gallery suffered from the "sand in the face" syndrome after a moderate start and was never travelling well in finishing fifth.
Gallops give confidence
A couple of very strong gallops during the preceding week by Glenthorn Avenue on owner and trainer Lindsay Anderson's near-Proston property convinced him that the sand track specialist was 'spot-on' for his assignment in Saturday's 1170m Open.
The Bel Espirit seven-year-old had raced a little below par at his two previous starts at Dalby and Nanango and may have had a slight virus, according to his trainer.
However, after galloping up a steep hill on the Anderson property, it seemed that Glenthorn Avenue was back to his best.
This proved the case on Saturday when he led most of the way before staving off a determined challenge by Unique Fuse ($4.60, J. Guthmann-Chester) to win by a half-length with the $2.30 favourite, Foregone (K. Gates) 1 ¼ back in third. Starting at $3.60, Glenthorn Avenue has now won four races and has placed twice in his four Gympie starts.
An excellent crowd attended the Gympie Times Day with the Pamper Station and photo booth proving big attractions while Fashions of the Field and the Buff Boys competition drew a lot of attention.