It’s one of the best attended races in North West Queensland and also has the richest race in the region so there was plenty of attention on Julia Creek as the Dirt N Dust festival moved to McIntyre Park on Saturday afternoon.
It was a good start to the day for Julia Creek’s own trainer Kerry Krogh who saddled up the first two winners.
In Race 1 the Booth Rural / Julia Creek Roadhouse BenchMark 70 Handicap over 1100 metres, Jason Babarovich rode Krogh’s horse Rebel Rover to victory by two lengths from Sparkling Vixen with Revel in the Chaos finishing third.
Then in Race 2 SN Gabbert Constructions / Johnsons Grader Hire BenchMark 50 Handicap over the longer 1350 metres distance Krogh’s horse Rock Spark with Justin Esser aboard edged out Alluder by a head in a thrilling finish.
Lager was four lengths back in third place.
The Ballards had been quiet up to now but that was about to change.
In Race 3 the McKinlay Shire Council Outback Racing Showcase Open Handicap Heat over 1350m Denise Ballard’s Travel in Style came home flying to win by half a length with Denise’s son Dan Ballard aboard.
Diurnal Tiger was second and Chestnut Road finished third.
Race 4 was the big one for the day, the 1200m South 32 Cannington Artesian Express Class 2 Handicap worth $17,000 with $11050 going to the winners.
And there were celebrations for the connections of Bowie Rocks as the $2.40 favourite blitzed the field in the Artesian.
And there were celebrations for the connections of Bowie Rocks as the $2.40 favourite blitzed the field in the Artesian
The Denise-Dan Ballard combo was at it again as Bowie Rocks won by two lengths from Galea Warrior with Kiwi hopeful Target Strike finishing third.
Race caller Grant Walls wasn’t sure if it was Denise’s third or fourth win in the Artesian Express.
“It’ the fourth”, Denise quickly clarified and it was another impressive outing.
Race 5, the final race of the meet, was the Julia Creek / Auzscot Civil QTIS Maiden Plate over 1200m and it was a win for Longreach connections.
The favourite Argento Perlo trained by Mark Oates and ridden by jockey Pietro Romeo was first across the line by a nose from The Fab Three with Nicconi Pasquale a length back in third.