By Casey O'Connor
President of the Stanthorpe Jockey Club Chips Brunckhorst and his Committee couldn’t wipe the smiles off their faces on Sunday morning after Armstrong Park received 34 mls of rain from Friday night to Sunday morning.
The rain means the track will be in top order for the club’s signature event the Stanthorpe Cup this weekend.
Brunckhorst said the committee was very excited about the prospects of the meeting held on Caulfield Cup / Everest H’cap day.
“This is the biggest turn out we have ever had to a pre race working bee.” Chips said as the team worked on the final touches to the new extension, a covered betting ring area for punters and bookmakers.
Booking numbers have been building steadily over the past few weeks for reserved seating in the Marquee and also for lunches.
Ballandean Estate will again be on hand providing their award winning wines. Fashions on the Fields is sure to be popular as ever and retail outlets in Stanthorpe report plenty of interest from those looking for an outfit with that winning edge.
Secretary Jill Brunckhorst said when nominations closed at noon on Tuesday that there had been excellent support from owners and trainers for the five race programme.
12 runners have nominated for the Cup and heading the contenders looks to be locally owned galloper Mail Escort from The Tony Sears stable in Toowoomba.
Mail Edge is owned by Gaye and John Harvey of Cottonvale. The couple are great supporters of the Stanthorpe Jockey Club meeting and despite having success in other races over the years a win in the Stanthorpe Cup has proven elusive.
This year they hope to change that with Mail Edge who on paper looks likely to start a short priced favourite. He comes into the race with good form at Eagle Farm, Doomben and the Gold Coast. At his last start he finished second behind Unlikely Story at Doomben and prior to that was placed second at the Gold Coast.
While Mail Edge comes into the race with good form he will be stepping up to the Cup distance this preparation but is a previous winner over 1400metres. The tricky Stanthorpe track may be the only thing standing in the way of a win.
Sears has also nominated Jazzy’s Angel in the Benchmark 55 H’cap. The three year old filly will be returning from a spell but will be one to watch if she makes the trip to Stanthorpe.
Free buses will be running from the Country Club Hotel to the course from 10.00amfor those dedicated punters wishing to have a bet in the early southern events. Buses will be on hand to return punters to town after the last or later in the evening for those stayers who wish to kick on and enjoy the post race entertainment.
It is anticipated that there will be plenty of interest throughout the day in the Caulfield Cup and also the Everest Handicap at Randwick. A full complement of bookmakers will be operating at the meeting.
$5m Stella Artois Caulfield Cup (2400m) –
** Wednesday’s Coongy Cup winner gains automatic entry
1. Mirage Dancer (Trent Busuttin/Natalie Young), Ben Melham, 56kg
2. Mustajeer (Kris Lees), Damien Oliver, 55.5kg
3. Mer De Glace (Hisashi Shimiu), Damian Lane, 55.5kg
4. Rostropovich (David Hayes, Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig), Dwayne Dunn, 55.5kg
5. Finche (Chris Waller), Michael Walker, 54.5kg
6. Gold Mount (Ian Williams), Mark Du Plessis, 54.5kg
7. Red Verdon (Ed Dunlop), 54.5kg
8. Angel of Truth (Gwenda Markwell), Dean Yendall, 54kg
9. Constantinople (David Hayes, Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig), Luke Nolen, 53kg
10. Mr Quickie (Phillip Stokes), John Allen, 53kg
11. Crown Prosecutor (Stephen Marsh), Craig Grylls, 52.5kg
12. Vow And Declare (Danny O’Brien), Craig Williams, 52.5kg
13. The Chosen One (Murray Baker & Andrew Forsman), Stephen Baster, 52kg
14. Brimham Rocks (Chris Waller), Michael Dee, 52kg
15. Qafila (David Hayes, Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig), Cory Parish, 51.5kg
16. Youngstar (Chris Waller), 52.5kg
17. Sound (Michael Moroney), James Winks 54kg
18. Nerfbosc (David Hayes, Ben Hayes & Tom Dabernig), 54kg
– – – EMERGENCIES – – –
19. True Self (Willie Mullins), 52kg
20. Red Galileo (Saeed bin Suroor), Pat Cosgrave 52.5kg.
Casey’s top three fancies
Finche; Mustajeer; The Chosen One.
THE EVEREST 2019 FIELD
1. Redzel (Peter and Paul Snowden), Kerrin McEvoy 58.5kg
2. Pierata (Greg Hickman), Tommy Berry 58.5kg
3. Santa Ana Lane (Anthony Freedman), Mark Zahra 58.5kg
4. Trekking (James Cummings), Joshua Parr 58.5kg
5. Nature Strip (Chris Waller), Tim Clark 58.5kg
6. Classique Legend (Les Bridge) Nash Rawiller 58.5kg
7. Ten Sovereigns (A P O’Brien), TBC 58 kg
8. Alizee (James Cummings) Hugh Bowman 56.5 kg
9. In Her Time (Kris Lees) Brenton Avdulla 56.5 kgs
10. Sunlight (Tony and Calvin McEvoy), Luke Currie 56.5 kg
11. Arcadia Queen (Chris Waller) James McDonald 56.5 kg
12. Yes Yes Yes (Chris Waller) Glen Boss 53kg
Casey’s top three fancies
Yes Yes Yes; Alizee; Redzel