Jockeys share spoils on race day at Ferguson Park
THREE jockeys shared the Easter spoils on Saturday at Gladstone's Ferguson Park racecourse when they each recorded doubles on the six-race card.
Kelly Gates, the only jockey residing in Gladstone rode two winners (Murramarang and Blaze To Fortune) for local trainer Denis Schultz while Rockhampton apprentice Carly-Mae Pye won for Daryl Gardiner (Morongla) and John Pointon (Conto).
Senior hoop, Gracemere's Nathan Patchett continued his winning roll through Tropic Gem (Lindsay Challacombe) and Suite Annie (Clint Garland).
Because Racing Queensland granted the Emerald Jockey Club permission to clash with Gladstone's Easter date, jockeys were at a premium at Ferguson Park.
Only five could be mustered to ride there which meant six horses were scratched from the program because there were no riders.
The Gladstone bookmakers' ring was also reduced but not so the crowd who turned out in droves for some competitive racing.
Gladstone Turf Club president David Weinert was sympathetic for the owners and trainers involved with the scratched horses and he made it clear he was not in favour of the Emerald clash meeting.
"We couldn't do anything about it and knew it would cause hardship to some of our supporters. It won't be happening next year," he vowed.
Blaze To Fortune ($2.10) only twice out of the prizemoney in 19 starts for Denis Schultz again proved the nemesis for Clint Garland's Liberty Tycoon ($2.25) by beating him in the $10,000 Greg McCann Memorial Open (1194m).
In almost an identical repeat of their previous Gladstone clash on March 9, the pair matched strides before Blaze to Fortune got clear 75m from the finish to win by 1.3 lengths.
Earlier, Gates kicked home Murramarang ($2.60) to beat Naripsa (Luke Dillon, $2.70) by 0.8 lengths in the Maiden Plate (1000m).
Angela Stephens' the trainer of Naripsa was unsuccessful in a protest bid over an incident in the straight.
Murramarang's win landed its owner, John Tilton of the Tweed Valley Equine Centre in northern New South Wales a $1500 voucher for the Capricornia Yearling Sales on April 14.
Schultz leases both Blaze To Fortune and Murramarang from Tilton.