With the support of the Barcoo RegionalCouncil, the Jundah Club committee under the leadership of Dan Pittman have constructeda new building for jockeys and officials, renovated and transformed the patronsarea, enclosure and kitchen producing an open plan atmosphere for all to enjoy.
Jockey feedback on the day was praiseworthyof the work done on the racetrack, with more give in the surface for thebetterment of horse and jockey welfare. The future of the Club and racing inJundah looks bright with the progressive committee aiming for more improvementsin 2021.
The racing did not disappoint the crowd, witheverything from a good old-fashioned plunge on a first stater, nose finishes intwo key races and a story to be told about every winner.
The feature 1400 metre Barcoo Shire Cup Open Handicap saw the Mark Oates-trained Argento Perlo finally crack a win in a feature Cup race after having been one of the most consistent mares racing in the Central West in recent years. Racegoers were treated to a thrilling finish as two superlative rides by Dan McGillivray (Argento Perlo) and Alisha Ross (Show ’Em) resulted in the barest of margins separating their mounts on the line, with Hacksaw Ridge over two lengths away third.
Ross had utilised Show ’Em’s natural pace to put pressure on leader Zendaye 600 metres from the finish, whilst McGillivray had settled Argento Perlo back in the field, but had moved into third at the 400 metres and was building a strong finish. Ross booted Show ’Em to a clear lead rounding the turn and it looked to be a winning move, but McGillivray continued to chase hard on Argento Perlo and the mare dug deep to reel in the leader right on the post. A matter of inches rewarded yet denied two top rides.
Argento Perlo has a large group of loyal owners who have now seen the mare win her eighth race from 39 starts with 17 minor placings, and now has a feature country cup win added to her record.
Jundah trainer Darrel Dolgner produced an unraced five-year-old horse in the Snow ane Mary Hall Memorial 1000 metres Maiden Plate, and a good old-fashioned betting plunge saw the price of Nazario drop from $4.40 to $1.70 by the start of the race.
Jockey Steven Galvin earned his riding fee as Nazario’s mind seemed to be on anything but running truly throughout the race. Galvin was able to bring Nazario around the heels of leader Tzar Bomba near the turn, and just when it appeared that an easy win was coming up, Nazario started to stargaze and race greenly. However, the plunge came off as Nazario, even though running-out in the final 50 metres, saluted by just under a length from Tzar Bomba, with Super Sid third.
Trainer/jockey David Rewald was thankful that he had only been on the road to the races for 10 minutes when he received a call to tell him that emergency runner, Granola State, had gained a start in the Ramsey Pastoral Company Benchmark 65 Handicap 1000 metres.
Rewald had been frustrated in trying to gain a run for Granola State in recent weeks, and Saturday was only the second start for the stable with the previous run being back on August 1. He ensured Granola State received the run of the race just off the pace before finishing too strongly in the straight for Angels Of Fenway and Wicked Grimshaw, which had shared the lead turning for home.
It was a bitter-sweet result for the Brendan Richardson stable when race favourite, Star Silk ($2.50) provided jockey Dan McGillivray with the first leg of his double with a photo finish win over Archade and Zilitor in the Braidwood Investments QTIS Class 6 Plate 1200 metres.
Brendan’s daughter Brooke, who is one of the leading jockeys in the Central West, was dislodged from Leo’s Express shortly after the start, and whilst the Richardson family on course were cheering home Star Silk, their immediate concerns were for Brooke as paramedics attended to her on the track.
With concerns she may have broken a leg, Brooke was flown-out by the RFDS and, thankfully, initial reports are that there does not appear to be any fracture.
The win by Star Silk was impressive as it was resuming from a short break and racing over a shorter distance than normal, so future wins are likely for this gelding.
Patience and perseverance paid-off for trainer Rodney Little when Grey Falcon repaid the stable’s faith in its ability by powering home to win the Smiley Transport and Hilly Maunsell Memorial Class B Handicap 1400 metres.
Somewhat of an enigma due to not knowing what Grey Falcon will do on a race day, Saturday proved to be the day when the gelding put its best hoof forward and did everything jockey Emma Bell asked for.
Jumping cleanly and staying in touch with the field was the first obstacle overcome and Bell, who is developing an affinity with the horse, was able to build momentum prior to the turn and find gaps in the straight to surge past maiden performer, Pacqualo, and race clear to win by a length, with Brookville holding on gamely for third.
As the distance range increases and Grey Falcon continues to mature with racing, better wins are in store for this Top Echelon gelding.
All eyes now turn to the 2020 Longreach Cup meeting on Saturday, September 26, featuring the Sprout Ag Longreach Cup as a heat of the Country Cups Challenge and also a heat of the country Stampede series.