Race three of the 2019 Gladstone Cup race day meet at Gladstone Turf Club. PICTURE: Matt Taylor
Race three of the 2019 Gladstone Cup race day meet at Gladstone Turf Club. PICTURE: Matt Taylor

Sizzling action on the track on Saturday

HORSE RACING: After a summer hiatus of 10 weeks, the Gladstone Turf Club springs into action again at Ferguson Park race course on Saturday.

The meeting, the first of eight for 2020, has been promoted along the lines of a “Summer Sizzler”.

Club president David Weinert said the theme was a natural given the sultry weather conditions of late.

Gladstone Turf Club president David Weinert.
Gladstone Turf Club president David Weinert.

Fittingly Saturday is predicted as another warm day for Gladstone with a maximum temperature likely around 31C.

“The idea is for patrons to come along to the races at Ferguson Park casually dressed in summer gear. That’s the best way to be comfortable at the races or anywhere else really at this time of the year,” Weinert said.

Amenities at Ferguson Park lend themselves to provide ample cover and shade for racegoers with seating aplenty under the covered betting ring and facilities auditorium.

With metropolitan racing hotting up in the southern capitals, the strong Gladstone ring of bookmakers and TAB betting facilities will also have punters covered for their choices of betting.

On the local front over 40 horses have been entered to race on the five-race program which offers almost $40K in prize-money.

Trainers are bringing horses to race at Ferguson Park from far away centres such as Nanango, Eidsvold, Emerald, Gympie, Wondai and Mackay.

An interesting inclusion in the riding ranks on Saturday will be that of South African jockey Girish Goomany.

Goomany 27, hails from Mauritius but commenced his riding career in South Africa where on one occasion during his five years tenure there he was the premier apprentice jockey in Cape Town.

While enjoying Group race success in his home country, Girish harboured a desire to ride in Australia where four years ago he came to Adelaide.

For some time, he could not obtain a visa for a jockey so he commenced with Tony McEvoy in Adelaide as a track work rider.

Eventually he got Australian residency which meant he could recommence his career as a jockey but opportunities were limited in Adelaide.

“Saiyrn Fawke in Adelaide recommended I try my luck in the Mackay and Central Queensland region where he had ridden with success. I took the advice late last year and am now based in Mackay and opportunities are starting to come my way,” Goomany said.

That was certainly the case there last Saturday where Goomany won the feature race on Rockhampton flyer Lepreezy as well as another race on War Bugle.

On Saturday he will be riding on the sand track at Ferguson Park for the first occasion but is looking forward to doing so.

The Gladstone Turf Club’s other race dates are April 11, May 30, June 27, August 8 (Cup Day), October 24, November 3 and December 19.

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