TURF TOPICS: Owners and trainers apparently found the marathon 2160m of the Battler's Cup a trip too far for their horses this year with an initial nomination of only three horses for the race. Fortunately Racing Queensland extended nominations for this $10,000 race despite the fact that country races drawing four or fewer nominations are usually abandoned. Another three nominations were received allowing the race to go ahead. There were five acceptors for the Battler's Cup which will be the final race on the card. Although new to the sand surface, the top weight in the Battler's Cup, Empress Zhao has won up to 1800m and was successful over 1600m on a soft track at Ballina three runs ago after being placed on a heavy track over 1900m at Kempsey. Hence she may handle the Gympie track and distance.
Topsy Bath Memorial Bracelet
The Topsy Bath Memorial is Race 1 this afternoon and has draw a very strong capacity field of 12 for the 1030m BM 50. The top weight is the speedy Liverpool Jane from the very successful Lindsay Anderson stable.
However she has to cope with 64.5 kg and barrier 11 in the 12 horse field. The field includes recent Bundaberg Lightning winner, I Am McLovin and the well- performed Monte Lago.
Last year's Battler's Cup resulted in 11 acceptors with 10 starters. The race was won by the Tom Moloney- trained Famechon Baroness (M. O”Brien) who defeated the Cyril Small ridden favourite, Dubai Gee Eye and the Trevor Miller trained Stainer (J. Hoopert).
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The Topsy Bath Memorial went to Nanango galloper Hopetoun Street ridden by Ian Coombes beating Environmental and By Concent.
Topsy Bath was an outstanding Gympie horsewoman who was particularly passionate about showjumping. This led to her competing as far afield as the Sydney Royal Show and overseas. She passed away in 2013 with tomorrow's Topsy Bath Memorial being the second such event staged on the Gympie Racecourse.
Nanango proved a happy hunting ground for two Gympie stables last Saturday. Both Nice Time, trained here by Bill Wormer and Laudable Lemon from the Barry Gill stable were successful on the Firm 1 rated Nanango surface.
Pembroke seven-year-old Nice Time broke through for well deserved win in maiden company. He was very narrowly beaten there first up a few starts back when first up from 15 month spell.
In two runs after that first up effort, Nice Time ran third here and at Bundaberg before saluting at Nanango.
Laudable Lemon, a Strada five-year-old, won the 1600m BM 55 at Nanango ridden by Gemma Steele beating home Tiverton and favourite, Our Clarky.
Mackay trainer, John Manzelmann, may have set an Australian record for the number of acceptors in a race at the annual twin Hills two-day meeting in north Qld. The Manzelmann stable has 13 of the 15 acceptors in the QTIS Maiden at Twin Hills tomorrow.
As usual last season's leading Qld country trainer took a few truckloads of horses to the annual two-day meeting at the remote Twin Hills, supplying 15 of the total 29 acceptors for today's five race card on the dirt track.
Native fauna inflicts damage
Could it only happen in Australia? A mob of about 400 wallabies plus assorted bandicoots and rabbits rendered the Mareeba racecourse unfit for racing last weekend with the Mareeba Cup being transferred to the wallaby- free zone at the Cannon Park Racecourse in Cairns.
The Mareeba Turf Club had been granted money by Racing Qld to erect a fence to keep out the wildlife but this could not be finished in time to prevent severe damage to the racing surface. The Mareeba T C staged a phantom meeting last Saturday in lieu of the Cup and this drew a crowd of about 700, which was reportedly greater than the number attending the Mareeba Cup at Cairns.
For the record, the Mareeba Cup, a $10,000 BM 65 over 1500m was won by the Fastnet Rock gelding, Vaunting, which had been bought by Gai Waterhouse and James Harron Bloodstock for $260,000 at the 2014 Magic Millions Yearling Sale.
Meanwhile the Longreach Cup meeting, set down for tomorrow, has been menaced by flocks of emus currently touring western Qld. Herding emus is reportedly more difficult than herding cats but hopefully the emus will give the Cup meeting a miss.
Every day this week The Gympie Times has run a cut-out entry form, be sure to grab a copy and drop it into the barrel at the Gympie Turf Club on Saturday for your chance to win prizes, including four $100 Mia Bella Jewellery vouchers, as well as the grand prize of two nights at the Kingfisher Bay Resort for two people, coupled with a $100 voucher from Mia Bella Jewellery.