23 March, 2021
Barcaldine Races the mane event.
RACING returned to the “grass track in the Outback” on Saturday when the Barcaldine Race Club attracted 40 horses over the five races on the program.
On the only grass track west of the Drummond range, which again was perfectly prepared by the curator, horses were able to win from on and off pace positions and hometown trainer Todd Austin returned a winning double on the day.
Live racing vision featuring pre and post-race commentary was provided by the Greater Western Mounting yard, pre-race commentary of Max Tanks and race caller Andrew Watts ensured owners and racing enthusiasts were treated to a professional standard of coverage that could be viewed on the Greater Western racing news Facebook page.
The Class 6 Plate over 1000 meters saw leading Longreach trainer Mark Oates striking a blow with his first runner of 2021 and continued the stables winning association with jockey Zoe White.
Alfiarto took out the Class Plate over 1000 metres after a nine-month layoff for owner and breeder Julie Eggerling with Alfiarto now having seven wins and eight placings from only 20 starts.
White rode the Bradbury’s Luck gelding as though the best horse in the race settling back in fourth along the rails before gaining an inside run in the straight to dive through to score narrowly over the fast-finishing Bevan Johnson duo seven-year reward ($51.00) and American genius ($3.00).
It proved a satisfying win for the stable as Alfiarto had not raced for over nine months. The strength of the win showed that Alfiarto will rightfully take its place in open company races in the near future.
The maiden race winner sparked plenty of talk after the smart win by Zobonet ($3.50) in the 1100 metre Maiden handicap on the program.
The four-year-old Zebedee gelding was having its first start for trainer Todd Austin.
The former Jarrod Whelow trained galloper had ran some nice races on the Central Queensland provincial tab circuit last preparation prior to a spell. Ridden by Clermont hoop Emma Bell, Zebonet jumped fairly to lead where Bell continued to increase the tempo so that by the home turn, she had established a clear lead with all other runners chasing hard.
With Charleville galloper Sky touch ($8.00) in second placing and local galloper disco touch ($3.20) in third.
David Rewald’s knack for having his gallopers extremely fit early in the racing season continued when his runner, with Steven Galvin onboard, Surprise Selection ($26.00) saluted in the benchmark 50 Handicap 1100 metres taking a nose decision over the Patrick O’Toole trained Rock n Roll Bobby ($5.00) and stable mate Granola State who was a head away in third.
A very fit Surprise Selection was able to finish doggedly to lead all the way.
Surprise Selection now has two wins and has two placings at Barcaldine from only six starts on the grass track.
Trainer Boy Forster and apprentice Emma Bell have a great association and may have unearthed another smart country sprinter in I Wanna Be A Jeep ($2.50) which produced a very game run to record win number one for its new stable in the 1200 metres Open Handicap.
Bell jumped the Forster galloper smartly from the gates straight into the box seat and the gelding travelled sweetly in third place to the home turn where Van winkel ($3.20) and High cost ($5.00) joined in to make it a three-way charge to the line.
Bell urged I Wanna Be a Jeep to a slender lead but was being challenged strongly by second placegetter Van Winkel and third placegetter High Cost on the line with I Wanna Be a Jeep showing great courage to prevail by a head from Van Winkel and High cost a short margin away in third.
The win made it a winning double for the day for the smart Clermont apprentice.
The Austin stable produced the boom horse in the Central West Sizzalating for its fourth start in the area in the 1200 metres benchmark 60 Handicap after the gelding had performed three prior demolition jobs including winning its maiden by eleven lengths in Blackall last year.
Owners Pam and Bob Carolan were again on hand to witness their promising gelding do the same thing again on Saturday for the fourth time on this occasion by three lengths.
Sizzalating ($1.70) with Alisha Ross on board found another gear in the straight, racing clear for a very convincing win breaking the track record in a time of 1.15.09.
The time and again run and the ease of the win has Sizzalating a real open company contender in upcoming starts and long term a Battle of the Bush Contender.
The racing action heads to Longreach this weekend for the first meeting of 2021.