Gladstone trainer darts away with the cup
HORSE RACING: How ironic it was for long term Gladstone based horse trainer Phillip Pengelly to win Saturday's $12,000 Iron Jack Gladstone Cup (1608m) with a horse sired by Onemorenomore.
Pengelly, 66, who has been training in the main at Gladstone since 1971, readily admits he was beginning to wonder if he would ever win his hometown Cup again.
Saturday's win with aptly named gelding Dart's Away (Chris McIver, $4,00) ended a drought of almost a half-century since Pengelly's other Gladstone Cup winner in Duff's Remorse (b g 1988 Agile Jet - Game Tess x Sostenuto).
"Duff's Remorse won a Cup (Gladstone) in 1996 for memory and I know in 1998 he finished second in the Cup. He also won two Gladstone Newmarket Sprints," Pengelly reminisced.
Before a packed house at Ferguson Park racecourse, Dart's Away raced by Pengelly and loyal client Neil Warburton, was poised just behind leader and subsequent third placed Craiglea Centina on arrival at the home turn.
When "Centina" and subsequent second placed Potemkin rolled off on negotiating the turn into the home stretch, McIver dashed Dart's Away through along the rails and after a stirring duel for 150 metres with the runner up, the winner did just as his name implied.
Earlier, McIver combined with Rockhampton's Kevin Miller to win the opener, the $7450 Class B (850m) with track specialist the bon Hoffa gelding Absolute Bonza ($3.00).
Then some 45 minutes later fellow Callaghan Park trainer Stephen Rundle's Magnus mare Stormina (Elyce Smith, $3.00) claimed the $9250 first prize in the QTIS Maiden Plate (1000m).
Making it three from three Rocky winners in the first half of the program, absent trainer Jared Wehlow's father Greg deputised by producing Rosinca (Thomas Doyle, $2.20) in pristine condition to win the $8000 Wayne Wilson Memorial BM 60 (1000m).
As it turned out, Jared in hindsight would have much preferred to have been at Gladstone than a world away up north with the stable's $150,000 Cairns Cup (2100m) aspirant Unbiased which was scratched at the barriers.
Stewards reported jockey Noel Callow requested a veterinary examination which subsequently ruled Unbiased to be lame in a front leg.
That episode ended a Northern winter of some frustration for connections of Unbiased who had been runner-up in both the Mackay and Townsville Cups at his previous two starts.
Incidentally, Rosinca's winning rider Thomas Doyle copped a 16 day's high range careless riding penalty at Rockhampton races last Friday which will see him sidelined from midnight August 15 until midnight August 31.
Later at Gladstone on Saturday, young Doyle had the suffer the indignation of walking with his Cup mount, the Mick Attard trained equal favourite Kalangadoo Crome back down the home straight in front of racegoers.
Kalangadoo Chrome was not only reluctant to move on to the track pre-race but he refused to leave the barriers with the Cup field and took no part and now has to correct an embargo placed on him by unimpressed stewards.
However, the news was all good for connections of bush mare Alert By Sea (b m 7 Alert (ARG)-Seasay) when the Bevan Johnson "old girl" won the fourth Gladstone race the, $10,000 Newmarket (1194m) on Saturday.
Raced by a big group of owners including true-blue Middlemount racing tragic, the highly respected Richard "Nugget" Turnbull, Alert By Sea is now Birdsville bound with a double figure team of stablemates from trainer Bevan Johnson's Miles base.
The two days of iconic desert racing at Birdsville on Friday, September 6 and Saturday, September 7 consists of 13 races and an astonishing $270,000 in prize money.
It lures racing stakeholders and spectators not only from throughout Australia but such is it's drawing power that international tourists flock out to the Simpson Desert venue as well.
In Brisbane at Doomben on Saturday, premier Rockhampton trainer Tom Button got "the monkey off his back" after winning his first metropolitan race as a mentor with Rockhampton owned The Tax Accountant.
Button's Mad Irish Tycoon also got prize money for his good fifth placing there while Rocky trainer Adrian Coome's trio of Cavellton (6th); Fomo (5th) and Steelz Time (4th) earned connections $5600 in prize money.
At the Bowen Cup meeting on Saturday, former Rockhampton based jockey Scott Sheargold rode a winning treble.
Out at Muttaburra, Heroism (64.5kg), once with Jared Wehlow, won the $14,000 Cup (1400m) there for trainer Hendy Forster narrow beating stablemate Bush Caviar who also lumped 64.5kg.
Racing in Capricornia heads to Keppel Park, Yeppoon on Saturday and out in the Central West the racing venue is at Longreach.