Trainer Steven Thomas with Wendy Green’s horse Cuddle Duck ready for its first race in Gympie.
Trainer Steven Thomas with Wendy Green’s horse Cuddle Duck ready for its first race in Gympie. Craig Warhurst

Racing royalty on show

RACING royalty will be on show at today’s Gympie Christmas races when Cuddle Duck makes its first appearance on the Gympie sand track.

Cuddle Duck is owned by racing identity Wendy Green who is also the owner of 1999 Melbourne Cup winner Rogan Josh.

Cuddle Duck is out of Rogan Josh’s sister, and trainer Steven Thomas said the slightly-built horse was still an unknown quantity.

“She will run in the first race the 850m maiden,” Thomas said.

“She goes okay, but is still a bit immature – it’s great she’ll get her first race on the home track.

“It’s a bit of wait and see,” he said.

The horse, ridden by Caloundra jockey Kellie Gates, should be an interesting one for race fans to watch.

“Wendy is racing royalty, the colours are racing royalty, but we will find out if the horse is racing royalty tomorrow (today),” Thomas said.

Turf Club president Spencer Slatter said the Christmas Race Day today would be one of the biggest of the year.

“We have more than 20 marquees — that’s the most we have had all year,” Slatter said.

“We have a lot of businesses taking the opportunity to have a Christmas party at the races,” he said.

Another draw card to the races is the $3,000 on offer in the Fashions of the Field competition.

Slatter said all winners from previous Fashions on the Field and the winners of today’s event would go into a random draw to win the $3,000 cheque.

He said 2010 had been an excellent year for the Gympie Turf Club.

“We have had some patchy meetings, but overall the crowds have been up,” Slatter said.

“People are a bit more careful with their money at the moment.”

But, he said, if you offered them the right product they were happy to come along.

Real estate agents the Professionals will be at the gate to the races collecting for Movember.

Gympie Times


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