FIRST PAST POST? Samantha Steinhardt leads Base Jump at Ferguson Park.
FIRST PAST POST? Samantha Steinhardt leads Base Jump at Ferguson Park. Brenda Strong GLADVRACE

Forty horses to hit the sand in quality Gladstone program

COX Plate day is a special day for people all over the country, a great race at Mooney Valley and a host of magnificent horses locally as well.

On the Gladstone side of things, it is great to have another meet on the home sand of Ferguson Park, which of course will be followed closely by our Melbourne Cup races, on November 5.

Looking at our line-up for today, the usual five-race program will entertain our local masses, and a very special record is being broken straight away in race 1.

Six female jockeys will take part in the race; never before has Ferguson Park paid witness to such a high number of female riders.

Across the five races 40 horses will be on show, including many local chances, and keep in mind Lee Kiernan has found some form recently, and Base Jump might just figure at the winning post in the second race.

Our third fixture is a QTIS race, which means any horse nominated in the Queensland racing program could potentially earn $7500 for a win, a huge boost on the normal $4000, hopefully for one of our local connections.

In great news for the local racing industry, jockey Adrian Coome has recently found his way back to Central Queensland on a permanent basis - he was Gladstone's Premiership jockey last season.

While the local races are set to be a thrill, the main attention for many of our racing lovers will be the last at Mooney Valley, and with Atlantic Jewel sidelined the race opens up even more.

Personally I can't see any reason It's A Dundeel won't topple this field after being well rested since winning the Underwood Stakes.

I also think that Happy Trails, the outsider Seville and Kerrin McEvoy's Long John will figure in the top four, but good luck to everyone who has a different idea and enjoy Cox Plate day at Ferguson Park.