The 125 year Longreach reunion was the perfect tonic to Longreach racing when crowd numbers reached golden day heights on Saturday, September 22. The Longreach Cup raceday saw over 600 people flock to the course to take advantage of a great six event racing program as well as support the Heart Kids Queensland luncheon.
With the town welcoming so many people back to Longreach, the racetrack was the perfect place to be and the Longreach Jockey Club thanks all supporters of the meeting for coming out in force and enjoying racing, raffles, Fashions On The Field and Kids and Ladies Fashion Parades.
A highlight of the meeting was guest Master of Ceremonies Tony Clements (morning announcer on Radio Tab) whose prerace commentary and post race interviews added extra colour to the meeting.
Tony declared the meeting as another highlight of country racing in Queensland showing how country towns enjoy and benefit from racing. A great example of this was the hugely successful Heart Kids Queensland luncheon organised by Mel Ramsay and Tanya Kamerling catering to over 100 people.
The feature race of the day was the G & D Ballard/Starlight’s Tavern Longreach 125 Years Anniversary Cup Class 4 1300m. Mount Isa trainer Neil Byrne combined with jockey Shane Egan to win the cup convincingly with Cavalryman defeating No Other Way by two and a half lengths with Tatyoon in third place. Egan had Cavalryman placed handy to the lead turning for home and although carrying 61kg, the Flying Spur gelding took control of the race at the 100m mark and kicked clear to win easily.
Neil Byrne indicated in a post race interview that he had specifically set the galloper for this race and that it was great to take the cup home.
Shane Egan was the jockey to follow on the day winning three races. His winning run started with Spirit Of Sarah which virtually led all of the way to defeat Surrounded By Sin and Foxi Eli in the Geoffrey Grealy Memorial QTIS Class 2 Handicap 1100m. Spirit of Sarah is owned by Barcaldine Race Club president Gerry Fogarty and has now won two of her last three runs after a long injury enforced spell.
The ride by Shane Egan on Known Prospect to lead all the way and win the Saunders Electrics/S J Marshall Contracting Open Handicap 1200m demonstrated his understanding of this horse and its need to run along in front.
Egan at all times had the galloper running freely and although challenged strongly by Gesink in the straight Known Prospect was actually pulling away at the finish to win by one and a quarter lengths from Gesink with Heza Flashman a neck away in third. The Knowledge gelding has now won 15 races for owners Julie and Barry Eggerling.
The Suncorp Longreach Maiden Plate 1100m saw the Wes Irwin trained Devious Man get up right on the line to snatch victory away from leader Pippa’s Call with odds on favourite Ardini battling into third place after being held up for a run in the straight. Devious Man has given the stable an early return on his purchase as it was only his third start for Irwin.
The Ringrose Button Class B Handicap 1400m was on paper one of the most even fields of the day but the result was a one act affair as Electronic Bee led all the way to win by five lengths from dead heaters Legal Limit and Bell’s Express. This Richard Simpson trained Savabeel gelding has taken a little time to find form but judging him by Saturday’s win many more wins are in store. He will hopefully prove a worthy replacement for the stable for the recent loss of open company galloper Copper Pin.
The Landmark Longreach Class 3 Plate 800m finished the day’s racing and proved a highlight with many gallopers showing plenty of pace. It was the strength of Blitzed that proved decisive at the finish as he ran down stablemate Silverado to win by a half length with early co leader What do You Want hanging on for third. The two Charlie Prow trained runners dominated the finish with David Rewald’s ride on Blitzed denying Shane Egan his fourth winner for the day.
During the afternoon Mayor Joe Owens presented a new honour board to the club recognising long serving presidents, committee members and supporters. Each person honoured also received a trophy.
Racing in the Central West returns to Tambo this Saturday, September 29 with the meeting that is part of Racing Queensland’s Celebrate Country Series. The following Saturday sees the running of the 2012 Jundah Cup Meeting.
Story courtesy Rob Luck