The focus of the racing World may have been on Flemington but the large crowd at Cloncurry’s Schumacher Park was provided with the drama and intrigue of Derby Day. Black and white was the order of the day for fashions on the field but on the track it was a kaleidoscope of theatre.
Late jockey changes, whirly winds whipping up the sandy track and bookmaker boards crashing to the ground were just some of the occurrences entertaining the masses.
The Gary Cannon Memorial Open Handicap (1000m) belonged to Trainer Tanya Parry’s Siamese twins.
Wicked Wiki and World Of Pain continued their see-sawing battle with the latter finishing on top in Saturday’s instalment.
Wicked Wiki skipped away from the start and was two lengths clear at the 800.
World Of Pain, Encoronada, Ollie Runs Riot, Craiglea Cruz and Your Way Or Mine gave chase with the hoofs full to the floor. At the 400 Wicked Wiki had held his lead but when they hit the straight World Of Pain emerged from the pack to challenge.
Down the straight they duelled with World Of Pain inching his way closer and closer with every step until he caught him on the post to win by half a head.
Ollie Runs Riot finished third four and a quarter lengths third with the time a scintillating 56.47.
The CQ Field Mining Services BenchMark 45 Handicap (1200m) featured a brilliant ride by Keith Ballard that gave him a Derby Day double.
Tim Brummel had Hunting out like a scalded cat to lead with only Inner Silence unable to stay close.
Dreamward Bound, Watto’s Jet and Scripts were on Hunting’s hammer with Carry To Gold, Red Charmer and Amber’s Girl tucked in behind.
Entering the straight the field fanned out but Ballard kept his nerve and quietly crept Carry To Gold along the rail.
By the time the field realised it Ballard had pinched the lead and like the artful dodger, the race.
A length and a quarter was the margin with Hunting holding on bravely for second a long neck from Scripts.
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A blanket finish in the Curry’s Diesel Maintenance/Hydraulic BenchMark 65 Handicap (1400m) provided the perfect finish to an exciting day’s racing.
Last Side tried to lead from the inside barrier but How Bigs The Hole moved up to him, dragging Sensoeofwonder and Mandalong Pass with him.
Slithering Suzie, Born To Fire and Diurnal Tiger were in the second bunch and Going Grey tailed off.
The order remained the same until the 400 when Slithering Suzie made her move and took the lead entering the straight.
Last Side, Slithering Suzie and How Bigs The Hole strived for glory down the straight but the Barra Man, Jason Babarovich, was able to get enough out of How Bigs The Hole.
The bay mare won by a neck from Slithering Suzie on the outside and Last Side on the inside a short neck third.
Babarovich didn’t quite have as much luck in the Central Hotel Class 1 Handicap (1000m) aboard Ima Pocket Rocket.
A barrier mishap saw his mount declared a non-starter as he watched the field go hell for leather in front of him.
Alpha Stryke and Toucan were the heavy favourites and they found their way to the front alongside Apache Gal and Nothin’ Zappenin’.
Alpha Stryke and Toucan broke clear of Apache Gal and Nothin’ Zappenin’ until they found the straight and Nothin’ Zappenin’ came again.
The big powerful long-striding Toucan proved too strong for Alpha Stryke and won by two lengths with Nothin’ Zappenin’ fading and finishing three and a half lengths third.
Tanya Parry collected the first of two quinellas in the opening IOR Petroleum Maiden Plate (1000m).
Power and Design, Eynhallow, and Stradify led the way until the halfway point.
That was until the halfway point when Zizangga Zou made his move, making it four in a row round the bend. Stradify was behing the leders until he saw the crowd and stirred to action.
By then Ballard had guided Zizangga Zou to the front and he went to the line strongly to win by five and three quarter lengths.
Stradify was second and Power And Design three quarters of a length third.
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