Mount Isa bade farewell to the 2019 racing year with an exciting five race card at Buchanan Park on Saturday.
The mood was good with Christmas parties in progress and it only got better after the televisions showed Champion jockey Dan Ballard winning the Country Cups Challenge at Doomben on Damien Finter's Deadly Choices.
Back in Mount Isa Race 1 was the Steejo Press Benchmark 60 Handicap over 1450 metres and it proved to be a quinnella for trainer Stephen Royes.
His horse Tipsy Choice with Rhiannon Payne aboard won by three and half lengths from another Royes' challenger Raptor ridden by Jason Hoopert.
Prince of Baroda finished third.
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In Race 2 the Congrats Dan Ballard Premier Jockey Benchmark 65 Handicap over 1000 metres, Hoopert went one better.
He rode the favourite, the Bob Burow-trained Split the Atom and in a thrilling three way finish, Split the Atom won by a short head from Brave Jewel, with Ansinna a similar margin behind in third place.
In Race 3 Julia Creek trainer Tanya Parry could only claim a minor placing in the race named in her honour - the Congrats Tanya Parry Premier Trainer QTIS Maiden Plate over 1100 metres.
In Race 3 Julia Creek trainer Tanya Parry could only claim a minor placing in the race named in her honour
Instead it was Shryn Royes one and two - Shaun Mossman rode Elland Road to victory by almost three lengths from Belar Blue ridden by Jason Hoopert.
Parry's McKeegan with Terrance Hill aboard finished third.
The Parry and Hill combination had better success in Race 4 Congrats Will She Appeal Premier Horse Class 2 Plate over 1200 metres.
Hill rode Parry's Makatiti to victory by a head from Echelon Rose with Rock and Swing a further one and a half lengths back in third.
The final race of the year was appropriately called the See You All Next Year Open Handicap over 1200 metres.
And there was satisfaction for those tipping a Tipping horse.
George Tipping's $8.80 chance Recalculate with Tim Brummell aboard was first past the post with jockey Jason Hoopert getting his third second of the day on Bob Burow's Try N Run A Muck.
Clateau finished in third place.
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