Racing: Clouds high above the rest of the field
TURF TOPICS: Gympie's richest race, the $22,000 Nolan Meat Muster Cup will form the centre piece of the August 19 Muster Cup meeting scheduled for August 19.
This annual event, over 1600m, will form the second leg of the XXXX Gold Three Cups Challenge.
A $5000 bonus will go to the trainer of the most successful horse over the three Cups.
Clouds, who won the first leg of the Challenge, the RSL Cup, currently leads the points tally for the $5000 prize but his trainer indicated that Clouds would probably not contest the other legs of the Challenge.
This was because Clouds is still eligible for restricted classes with the remaining Cups, the Muster and Gympie Cups being Open company races.
Clouds won over 1600m in Class 3 company at his next start after his win here in the RSL Cup (a BM 65) and was then beaten a nose at his next and most recent start there in a 1400m Class 4.
The absence of Clouds leaves the Pat Duff trained Unbowed, who was runner-up to Clouds in the RSL Cup the points leader in the Challenge.
However, this Refuse to Bend galloper has not won over further than 1465m and has to cope with the 1600m of the remaining Cups if he continues his quest here.
Unbowed was a game third at Caloundra in a 1400m BM 75 at his most recent start on July 30.
Further ahead, the marathon Gympie Times Battlers Cup will be run on September 23, over 2160m with total prize money of $10,000.
The Battlers Cup was run for the first time last year being won by the Tom Maloney trained, Famechon Baroness who beat the favourite, Dubai Gee Eye (C. Small) and Stainer in an event which created a great deal of interest as the longest race of the season on the Gympie track.
Veteran Augathella trained galloper, Crawfish, won the $30,000 final of the Roads to Roma Series last Saturday.
The Elvestroem 10-year-old led most of the way on the Roma sand over the 1600m to hold off favourite Fast Fella by ¾ length.
Trained by Raymond Frazer at Augathella, Crawfish was sold for $140,000 at the NZ Premier Yearling sales.
He began racing in Australia and won a Benalla maiden at his second start.
He was later sold for $18,000 at an Inglis sale in 2009 and has gone on to win well over $200,000 in prize money in western Queensland notching up 19 wins from his 112 starts.
Crawfish was the leading points earner in the Heats leading up to the final at Roma coming off a fourth at Barcaldine and a win at Blackall in two of the Heats.
Fast Fella was the next highest points scorer over the heats.