With only one horse to saddle up on Spring Cup Day Trainer Jay Morris became the envy of all when Expat Envy cruised to victory in the Isa Hotel Spring Cup (1,450m).
The race doubled as the first qualifying race in North West Queensland for the Country Cups Challenge.
That means Expat Envy will line up with 15 other country cup winners on George Moore Stakes day at Doomben on 1 December and via for $70,000 in prize money.
The 16 country cups are held between September and November with the second and last chance to qualify in North West Queensland this Saturday at Cloncurry.
Expat Envy was the odds on favourite and never looked in trouble.
Good Job Bro and Dreamward Bound led the way past Broso’s Hill with Expat Envy in perfect position behind them. Just in behind was Devil’s Fire, Admiral Ruff and Diurnal Tiger.
Three lengths covered the field at the 800 as Loud Enough slid along the rails to join Good Job Bro at the front. Expat Envy and Admiral Ruff were tucked in behind with Diurnal Tiger just behind and Two Of A Kind beginning to make ground.
Good Job Bro led by a couple of lengths at the 400 from Expat Envy but when the entered the straight the favourite took control.
Two Of A Kind moved forward with Admiral Ruff as Diurnal Tiger faded from the contest.
Good Job Bro tried to challenge but Expat Envy went to the line for a comfortable two and a quarter length win with Two Of A Kind third by the same margin. It was a fitting way for Jockey Dan Ballard to end his successful two year reign as President of the Mount Isa Race Club.
The famous Lord Derby Stakes (1,200m) finished the day with the bookies smiling wider than the open cut when Mandalong Pass upset the winning run of glamour gelding Deadly Choices.
Safdie tried to steal the race and led by three lengths leaving the back straight.
Deadly Choices had been like a panther stalking his prey and into the strike sailed past Safdie and looked all over the winner. With 150 to go outsider Mandalong Pass gathered momentum and like a tsunami swallowed up Deadly Choices to win by one and a quarter lengths.
Another outside in Senseofwonder came at the favourite at a slower rate of knots and finished long neck third.
Regal Conserve, Wicked Wiki and World Of Pain led the way out of the barriers in the Atom Industrial Hardware & Safety Open Handicap (1,000m) with Split the Atom slightly slow out.
Wicked Wiki and Regal Conserve got away from World Of Pain and the rest of the field leaving the back straight.
Wicked Wiki led into the straight as World Of Pain launched another offensive and Regal Conserve stuck to the rails.
Split The Atom speared through a gap and when Regal Conserve wilted it was a race in three.
Split The Atom was between stablemates Wicked Wiki and World Of Pain and it was Tamara Tincknell who lifted World Of Pain to the front.
Split The Atom took another shot close to the line but the winner held on by half a neck with Wicked Wiki a length third.
In the Dawson’s engineering Class 1 Handicap (1,000m) Denise Ballard saddled up two runners but it was the lesser light that shone bright. Alpha Stryke led the way with Keith Ballard aboard and looked home and hosed at the top of the straight.
That was when Aaron Spradau released the hand brake on Lord Windemere.
Like Usain Bolt reeling in his rivals Lord Windemere came home over the top of Alpha Stryke to catch him in the shadows of the post to win by a short neck with Zooks game third four and a quarter lengths away.
The City & Country Realty QTIZ Maiden Plate (1,000m) started the day in sensational fashion with the youngsters playing up like second hand lawnmowers. Romani Star was making his race debut and revved up by the occasion lashed out and sent super steward Ray Smith into the surrounding shrubbery.
Jockeys dismounted while the ambulance checked the steward out and remounted when he passed the fitness test. With all loaded and red light flashing Group session reared and sat down in the barrier like a protested at a rally.
Eventually he was released and cleared by the vet but as Tamara Tincknell returned to the barriers stablemate Truffle Hunter went up and over the barrier stall necessitating the innocent Mr Palomino to be backed out.
Truffle Hunter was scratched at the barrier and the starter finally released the field.
Favourite No Crystal Ball gave trainer Bob Burrows the first of his winners for the day and a good day it was with two first and two seconds from five runners.
Ima Pocket Rocket made it three runner up pay cheques in a row six lengths back and Bidaflare was a long-priced third four further behind.