Mafia Princess wins well at Rocky
A WIN at Roma in the $50,000 QTIS 600 by outstanding youngster, Craiglea Tequila last Saturday completed a highly successful week for Gympie trained two year olds.
Mafia Princess, trained on the Gympie Racecourse by Leigh Wanless, triumphed in the $100 000 Rockhampton Magic Millions for two-year-old the previous Thursday earning the two Gympie horses $89,000 in prize money for the week..
Craiglea Tequila (Frisco View - Craiglea Miss), who had won in Brisbane two weeks prior to Roma, completed a hat-trick of successes when she bolted in at Roma by 5 ¼ lengths ridden by David Rewald.
The two victories earned Craiglea Tequila over $100 000 for the Johnston family of Craiglea Stud.
Trainer Peter Fleming saddled up three of the first four home in the Roma race, with Crystal Mates and Craiglea Model (both by Frisco View) finishing third and fourth.
In addition, Craiglea Stellar (Peter Fleming) and Craiglea Fighter (Darryl Gardiner) both finished second in other races at Roma.
In beating Robert's Command into second at Roma, Craiglea Tequila turned the tables on that Court Command youngster, who had beaten Craiglea Model in a similar race at Dalby a couple of weeks back.
Craiglea Teqiuila has won three of her last four starts - Roma, Eagle Farm and Townsville - pushing his prize money to $176,500 for four wins and two placings from eight starts to date.
The Craiglea team were again on the road this week with three Craiglea two year olds engaged in a QTIS race at Rockhampton yesterday
Rockhampton winner, Mafia Princess, a $10 000 Hidden Dragon MM QTIS 600 yearling, defeated $1.10 favourite Snipzu, leading all the way to win a $57 000 cheque last Thursday.
Top Brisbane two year old, Snipzu, had easily beaten Mafia Princess into second at Caloundra previously, before Mafia Princess transferred to Gympie and the Leigh Wanless stable.
Mafia Princess is out of the Raise a Stanza mare, Eureka Blues, a winner of three races.
She is from a very good family with her grand-dam being Memphis Blues (by Semipalatinsk) who produced the good galloper, Picablu.
The Wanless stable now has about 10 horses in work on the Gympie track.
Victorian prize money increases
COUNTRY racing participants would have noted with envy the recently announced prize money increases in Victoria.
Racing Victoria, TABCORP and the state government announced an $18.7 million prize money boost for Victorian racing with about $11.2 million going to country clubs.
Funding for non-TAB country races will be increased from the present $7000 to $8000 a race.
The structure of racing in Victoria is very different to that in Queensland with country clubs including venues such as Warrnambool, Mornington and Cranbourne.
There are only 48 race clubs in Victoria and 14 Picnic Clubs compared to 107 clubs in Queensland racing on 98 tracks.
In the 2011-12 racing season, 296 non-TAB race meetings were scheduled in Queensland which represents 50% of all non-TAB race meetings in Australia.
Total funds of $9 million have been allocated to country racing in this state.
Gill back in saddle
THE South Burnett Race Club at Wondai races this Saturday.
A total of 42 horses have accepted for the five race card with 12 of these being Gympie trained horses.
Final Crunch has been allotted 61.5kg top-weight for the 1000m open.
Desiree Gill, who this week returned from a trip to Canada, will be back in the saddle at Wondai.
Betting meetings continue
BETTING meetings will continue for the next two Saturdays at the Gympie Racecourse, with the March 10 meeting being the last one. The Gympie turf Club then stages its first race meeting for 2012 with the St Patricks meeting on March 17.