Champagne flows as Frenardi wins
THE Gympie Times Champagne and Roses Open Handicap produced a top-shelf finish with two of Gympie’s top gallopers, Frenardi and Try Some Magic, fighting it out.
Frenardi triumphed by a head to remain undefeated in five Gympie starts over 1170m, handing Try Some Magic his first defeat in five Gympie starts.
Jockey Ian Coombes bounced Frenardi ($3.30 favourite) straight to the lead from his inside barrier. He was soon joined in the lead by Nutuzzi, while Melbourne jumps jockey Paul Hamblin quickly positioned Try Some Magic ($6) in the box seat.
Try Some Magic railed up to join Frenardi 150m out but Frenardi’s 9.5kg weight advantage told in the end, with Coombes lifting him to a narrow win over the very gallant top-weight, which was carrying 65kg.
The Hand ($4) was two lengths back in third, ahead of Through the Waves ($8).
Coombes, who rates Frenardi as his favourite horse, was in superb form on Saturday completing a winning treble on the Minardi six-year-old. His next assignment is likely to be the Connolly’s News Flying over 850m on Gympie Cup day in a month.
Swift Cash finds money
A frustrating run of seven minor placings from 11 Gympie starts came to an end when Au Cash mare Swift Cash ($7.50) got up to win the 1170m Class B by a half-neck.
After hitting the lead at the top of the straight, jockey Ian Coombes, on Swift Cash, had reason to worry when Reggis’s Halo ($3.40 equal favourite, G. Coleman) levelled up on the inside.
But the six-year-old mare fought back to win by a half-neck from the Chinchilla visitor, with Stalwart Emma (K. Sawyers) third.
Gallus grinds out win
Torbanlea quarry operator Ian Mills and trucking operator T. O’Reilly struck pay dirt with recent purchase Gallus, who scraped in by the proverbial split match in the 1470m Class 3.
The Kembla Grange maiden winner, a six-year-old by Belotto, won at his fourth start for Gympie trainer Steven Thomas since coming north. Gallus ($5) and recent Gympie winner Hewilldo ($5) fought out a close finish, with jockey Ian Coombes pushing Gallus’s head down on the line to gain the nose decision.
One Fuhr the Money ($3.80 favourite, M. Crawford) was 4¼ lengths back in third.
Size does not matter
Caloundra trainer Nick Flouskos was left grinning when Stalwart Reign won the 1170m maiden.
Size proved not to matter as the diminutive Stalwart Reign ($5.50) ran down the well-backed Danzaction ($7.5 to $5.5) for a last-stride short-half-head win.
Kuda Rock ($5.50, S. Bayliss) was third, ahead of the $3.20 favourite Rockin’ Me (D. Gill).
Biggest win of the day
Another compact mare, Rorysdancingstar, recorded the biggest winning margin of the day when the Michael Lakey-trained Star of Rory four-year-old won the 850m Maiden by six-and-a-quarter lengths.
Sent out the $1.90 favourite, Rorysdancingstar gave 2kg claimer Alex Kitson an armchair ride at her third race start to easily defeat Falfario (I. Coombes, $3), with Indy Lane (M. Heagney, $5) third.
Despite early rain, an excellent crowd turned out and enjoyed a bumper program and after-races entertainment.
There is a month to the Gympie Turf Club’s next meeting, the Gympie Cup, on October 23.