TURF TOPICS: While the Gympie Turf Club's XXXX Gold Three Cups Trainers Challenge is on again this year, it would seem that the Gympie Turf Club could be more pro-active in encouraging more trainers to race horses in Gympie in "run of the mill” races.
The Three Cups Challenge is decided over the three major Gympie Cup races, the RSL Cup (June 24), Muster Cup (Aug 19) and the Gympie Cup (Oct 28), with horses required to start in at least two of the Cup races, one of which must be the Gympie Cup, to be eligible for the $5000 prize to the horse's trainer.
Last year's $5000 winner was Deagon trainer Pat Duff, whose charge, Fasta than Light, won both the Muster Cup and the Gympie Cup.
While Gympie race fields across the board are satisfactory, perhaps it is time that the GTC Committee adopted some measures to become more pro-active in boosting numbers of horses racing here.
Such schemes are becoming increasingly more prevalent at other country race clubs.
For example, the Bundaberg Race Club provides a $50 petrol voucher to the trainer of each horse which travels a minimum of 100km to race in Bundaberg as well as providing complimentary refreshments to trainers and strappers.
The Roma Turf Club has provided $20,000 in bonuses to the most successful trainer, horse and jockey at its June 24 meeting.
There is a $6500 bonus to the most successful trainer, $2500 for the second trainer and $1000 for third.
Jockeys will compete for $5000 in bonuses ($3500 for 1st, $1500 2nd) with the most successful horse at the meeting to receive $5000.
It is this writer's opinion that perhaps bonuses should be available on a wider basis.
After all the successful trainers receive their 10% of prizemoney won, jockeys 5%, and owners some good prizemoney at such big meetings.
Hence to encourage more trainers to bring horses to race in Gympie, my suggestion would be to offer a $1000 bonus to all trainers with a starter at the race meeting.
The names of all trainers who have a starter at a meeting to be put in "the hat” with the winner decided by a draw of these names.
JUST a couple of weeks of track work remain for horses on the Gympie Racecourse prior to the shut down of the track and stables for the Gympie Show.
The track is due to close on May 6 triggering the annual exodus of horses from the track which then functions exclusively as a showgrounds after 50 weeks as a racecourse.
Trainers and their horses scatter far and wide as a result and face difficulties in preparing their charges for some important country race meetings coming up.
THE annual Burrandowan Picnics are set down for May 13 with the main race being the $10,000 Burrandowan Cup, a BM 50 over 1740m.
Nanango races on May 27 while the Gayndah Cup meeting is scheduled for June 10.
MACKAY-based trainer, John Manzelmann, set some sort of a record at this Saturday's Yeppoon races.
He nominated 13 horses for the 950m Class 6 before this number was reduced to six acceptors in the final field with all runners trained by Manzelmann.
To add to the challenge for the race caller, four of these six have "rocket” included in their names.
KILCOY stages a seven-race TAB meeting tomorrow.
The promising Lindsay Anderson-trained Liverpool Jane is due to resume from a spell in the 800m BM 55 at Kilcoy.
YOU can now read Barry's column online at www.gympietimes.com.au.