Husband-and-wife duo claims racing awards
HARNEY earned the title of Gympie Cups King with his amazing 11 1/2 -length victory in Gympie's richest race, the Nolan Meats Muster Cup 1600m on Saturday.
Raced and trained by Barry Gill and ridden by Desiree Gill, Harney had won the Muster Cup in 2011, run second in the race in 2012 before taking the Gympie Cup that year.
So far this year the Footstepsinthesand seven-year-old has won the Bundaberg Gold Cup and been second in the Nanango Cup both over 1600m.
On Saturday, August 17, he was back to his favourite sand circuit and distance, being sent out a warm favourite at $2.30.
Harney pulled his way to the front passing the 600m and then careered away in the run home to leave a strong field, including Gladstone, Nanango and Gayndah Cup winners, in his wake to claim the $11,700 winner's cheque.
The Kerry Munce-trained High Chaparral gelding Tallahatchie (L. Appo) was second from Gayndah Cup winner, Cobbanvilla (J. Orman) with last week's Gladstone Cup victor, Teddy Bare (L. Dillon) fourth.
Harney has had just seven starts on the Gympie sand for the remarkable record of five wins and two seconds.
Time for the race, 1 min 40s was about a second outside the Cup record set five years ago.
President of the SEQ Country Clubs Association, Lyall Murray, presented the SEQ premiership trophies on Saturday with Gympie racing participants making a clean sweep of the awards.
Barry Gill, with 21 wins at a 25% strike rate, won the trainers' premiership with wife Desiree taking out the jockeys' award with 27 victories also at a 25% strike rate.
Billie-Rose Derbyshire (18 wins, 16%) won the apprentices' premiership while the Gills' Unique Fuse was the SEQ horse of the year with nine wins at a 75% strike rate.
GTC president Spencer Slatter also presented the Gympie trainer, jockey and horse of the year awards to Barry and Desiree and for Unique Fuse.
Morris bruised after fall
A BRAVE effort by jockey Matt Morris narrowly averted a disastrous end to the Muster Cup after falling off Captain Fastbuck passing the post the first time.
Captain Fastbuck was racing near the tail when he fell with Matt gamely struggling off the track, allowing the ambulance to continue on its way before the field thundered back into the straight.
Matt reportedly suffered bruising in the fall.
Stewards found that no one jockey was responsible for the incident, but that there was a general tightening in the back half of the field.
Frenardi still in action
THE CROWD, estimated to be about 2000 was treated to a vintage performance by sand track supremo, Frenardi, who won the Benchmark 75 Handicap over 1030m by an impressive 3 1/4 lengths.
The nine-year-old apparently was out to show trainer Kerry Munce that plans to retire him were premature.
Starting at $15, the longest odds of his previous 25 Gympie starts, Frenardi flew out of the inside barrier and maintained a high cruising speed, running his opponents ragged to win easily.
Ghost Train ($5.50, B. Stower) ran on strongly for second from Heart of Melbourne ($7, T. Brooker) and Unique Fuse ($4.40, F. Elliott).
Favourite and last-start Gympie winner, Latin American ($2.70, T. Tincknell) got back in the field from his wide draw, to finish a well-beaten eighth.
Apprentice Billie-Rose Derbyshire said Frenardi kept powering for the entire trip.
Winning trainer Kerry Munce recalled that Frenardi had won his maiden five years previously on Muster Cup day at his first Gympie start.
His 11-length win in that race indicated his sand track ability and he has gone on to win 11 of his 26 Gympie starts and been placed in 13 of his other Gympie outings.
GYMPIE races next on September 21 with the Gympie Times Free Family Race Day.