CONTENDER: Glenthorne Avenue is a hot favourite this weekend.
CONTENDER: Glenthorne Avenue is a hot favourite this weekend. LEEROY TODD

Saddles ready for BMW Gympie Cup

TOMORROW'S Brown, Macauley and Warren Gympie Cup will see a battle not only for the $12,800 first prize and trophy but also for the $5000 XXXX Gold Three Cups Challenge.

The two leading contenders for the Challenge, Glenthorn Avenue and Unbowed.

Each have a good chance of landing the $5000 with Glenthorn Avenue in the box seat.

Unbowed, who is trained by last year's Challenge winner Pat Duff, would have to win the Cup and Glenthorn Avenue to finish no better than third for a Pat Duff repeat of last year's win courtesy of Fasta than Light, however a tie for the Challenge prize is also a distinct possibility at the 54th running of the Gympie Cup.

Glenthorn Avenue won Gympie's richest race, the Nolan Meats Muster Cup, in August to gain his 30 points whilst Unbowed gained 10 points for his second in the RSL Cup back in June.


Points on offer are 30 for first, 10 for 2nd, 5 for 3rd, 2 for 4th and 1 unplaced.

Unbowed won last year's Wondai Cup and that race has been a good pointer to the Gympie cup in recent years with Fasta than Light the 2015 Wondai Cup victor.

Victory in the Wondai Cup by the Bundaberg-trained Kuramos prevented a clean sweep of the five race Wondai card by local mentors.

Kuramos (by Hidden Dragon) supplied accomplished country jockey Cecily Eaton with her 300th career winner in piloting home Kuramos for the Darryl Gardiner stable in the 1465m BM 65 Roy and Glennis Radunz Wondai Cup.

Hivesville horseman, Lindsay Anderson dominated at Wondai with two winners and a dead-heat whilst the other Wondai trainer to have success was Tony Williams with National Jewel landing the 1465m Class B. Riding honours for the day went to Wondai track work rider, Gemma Steele, who put her local knowledge to good use on winning on the Anderson trio of Smart Venture, Glenthorn Avenue (dead-heat) and Liverpool Jane.

Rain Thwarted

On a wet day, Stewards brought forward race times after the first event which contributed to the Cup being run just before heavy rain completely saturated the sand track.

In the Cup, Kuramos ($4.25) proved too strong for the Pat Sexton trained Ibelieveicanfly (N. Lentini) with the 2015 Wondai C up winner Fasta then Light ($2 fav., J. Missen) third for trainer Pat Duff.

The Cup winner, who was coming off a good second at Gympie over 1470m, had won his maiden first up for the Gardiner stable at Wondai's 2017 Anzac Day meeting.

Anderson Dominates

Trainer and part owner, Lindsay Anderson, stepped out his newest stable recruit when Smart Venture contested the 1100m maiden first up from a 3 month spell.

A $60,000 Magic Millions yearling originally trained by Gerald Ryan in Sydney had finished 7 lengths from Group 1 winner, Foxwedge when unplaced in a Rosehill race.

It was thus no surprise when bookies put up an initial price of $1.50 about the Smart Missile four year old mare. Although drifting to start at $2.25, Smart Venture won like an odds on pop finishing strongly after gaining a split in the straight to win by 3¼ lengths from Danish Diction (H. Phillips) and Pipemajor (C. Eaton).

Dead Heat

This year's Bundaberg Cup (1600m) winner and recent Gympie Muster Cup (1600m) victor, Glenthorn Avenue locked horns in the 1100m Open at Wondai. Fab's Cowboy (H. Phillips) surged down the centre with a strong run in the straight whilst Glenthorn Avenue came from last on the turn to fly home along the fence in a thrilling finish.

The judge could not separate the duo declaring a dead heat between the Bevan Johnson trained Fab's Cowboy (6g by Greenwood Lake) and the Lindsay Anderson prepared Glenthorn Avenue (9g by Bel Esprit) with early leader Squeemi ($3.25 fav, N. Lentini) in third.

Trainer, Lindsay Anderson, is in line for the $5000 prize in the Gympie Turf clubs XXXX Gold Three Cups Challenge if he runs Glenthorn Avenue in this Saturday's $20,000 Gympie Cup.

Weight No Problem

Speedy Captain Gerrard mare, Liverpool Jane, who had carried 64.5kg to win over 1030m at Gympie at her previous start, made light of the 63.5kg burden in leading all the way to win the 1100m QTIS BM 55 over 1100m.

The $2.90 favourite kicked on strongly in the straight to win by 2 lengths from Champagne Warrior (C. Eaton) with Luck's In running on well for third.

Liverpool Jane is now unbeaten in her three Wondai starts and is yet to be defeated in 7 starts on sand tracks having also won three in Gympie as well as one in Bundaberg.

Jewel Shines

Court of Jewels five-year-old mare, National Jewel, who had won a 1600m Sunshine Coast maiden for her Wondai trainer Tony Williams earlier this year, outstayed her rivals to win the 1465m Class B ridden by Hannah Phillips just as the heavens opened up.

National Jewel ($2.90 fav) got home by 2 lengths from Ascot Bound (A. Badger) with Star of Bethlehem (G. Steele) third.