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Central West Queensland since 1923
Central West Queensland

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2 October, 2020

Sprout Agribusiness 2020 Longreach Cup Races

CONNECTIONS of Bollente and Media Vita have secured a spot in the finals of the Country Cups Challenge (CCC) and Country Stampede (CS) to be held at Doomben on December 5 after their dominant wins in the opening heats at Longreach on Saturday.

By Rob Luck

Based on their wins, arguably they could be crowned Queensland’s Country Heroes come finals day in Brisbane.

Three other venues held heats on Saturday, with winners coming from Mount Isa — Deadly Choices (CCC), Wicked Wiki (CS) and Ewan-Break My Stride (CCC) — District (CS) and Taroom- Galapagos (CCC),Absolute Bonza (CS). What a mouth- watering clash it would be if Deadly Choices winner of last year’s Country Cups Final representing the North West was to fight out the finish with Bollente representing the Central West.

Bollente continued its rise to fame in the Central West with a dominant win in the Sprout Ag Longreach Cup Open Quality Handicap 1600 metres racing away to win by nearly two lengths in what was arguably the strongest Longreach Cup field in the last decade. The Sizzling gelding was giving weight to Townsville Cup winner Shiranda but the 63.5kg proved no obstacle to Bollente. In a slightly out of character run Bollente dropped back to third last until the 800 metres where jockey Matthew Gray raced wider on the track to avoid kick back and started to track Van Winkel into the straight.

At the top of the straight Shiranda had surrendered the lead to Le Dude with Eschiele, Van Winkel and Rhyola coming with runs. Gray bided his time on Bollente producing a final burst 200 metres from home which saw him surge past the leaders and sprint clear leaving Van Winkel and Rhyola to fight out the minor placings. The win further demonstrated the versatility of Bollente as its wins have come from both on pace and off pace positions and the dominance of the wins have increased as the race distance increases with Saturday’s victory now being the third win from four starts over 1600 metres.

Should trainer Ray Hermann push on to the final in Brisbane he now has the luxury of having a place in the final and being able to map out a race program to suit.

Leading Central West trainer Todd Austin also has the luxury of having qualified Media Vita after an outstanding win over Hazar and Zukas in the Top X Country Stampede Qualifier Open Handicap 1000 metres. Jockey Brooke Richardson rode the perfect race on media Vita using barrier three to position her mount just behind the four leaders coming into the straight. Switching around the leaders heels 300 metres out Richardson drove Media Vita through the centre and the Denman gelding responded with a sharp sprint to win by one and a half lengths. It was a top training performance by Austin as Media Vita had not started since 8Th August  coming off recent wins and placings in open sprint races and came into Saturday’s race with fresh legs which proved to be a deciding factor.

The win bought up a double for the Austin stable earlier combining with Matthew Palmer to win the Garry and Desley Ballard Transport Benchmark 60 handicap 1000 metres with the consistent Wicked Grimshaw which has now recorded two wins and two placings from its last five runs. Palmer produced the copybook ride by not contesting the lead on this noted speedster and was able to settle Wicked Grimshaw behind the three leaders coming to the turn. He waited patiently in the straight before snaring the run in the centre and punched Wicked Grimshaw right out to score an almost two length win over Aquagem and Harvest Pride.

Trainer Ray Hermann and Jockey Matthew Gray earlier in the day recorded the first leg of their double prior to the feature win by Bollente.  The Hermann trained Do I Have To ridden by Dakota Graham produced a powerful finishing burst to snare victory over Balius and Centaur in the final 100 metres of the Creevey Russell Lawyers Benchmark 50 Handicap1600 metres. The win was also a double for owner Clarrie Hermann. Gray’s other winner came on the Patrick O’Toole trained Golden Feathers in the Figure 8 Fencing Maiden Plate 1100 metres when the relative newcomer to the stable upset favourite Tzar Bomba and Mon Tout to win convincingly. The win continued the great run of success the jockey is having presently.

Trainer David Rewald continued his recent run of success when You’re Not Wanted led all the way to win the Geoff Grealy/Ryan Savage /Jenny Reed Memorial QTIS Class 4 Plate 1400 metres by four lengths over Coroglen and Hacksaw Ridge.

A noted front runner You’re Not Wanted was taken straight to the front by Steven Galvin and gave nothing else a chance in the run to the line to maintain its good record on the Longreach track.  

A good betting move succeeded when Burden backed into a $3.80 favourite raced away to beat Sassy Style and Se Rendre by almost three lengths in the Outback Insurance Brokers Benchmark 50 Handicap 1200 metres. Jockey Tessa Townsend kicked the Clinton Austin trained gelding clear in the straight to bring up win number two from four starts at the track as well as two minor placings.

Racing continues this Saturday at Alpha with the return of their annual meeting.

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