ACTION APLENTY: Horse racing fans has some treats ahead in the next month.
ACTION APLENTY: Horse racing fans has some treats ahead in the next month. The Northern Star Archives

Bluff Cup's bound to thrill

Bluff winter carnival

ON JUNE 9, the Bluff and Blackwater Amateur Turf Club welcomes back racing after a 16-month hiatus.

In a revamped June winter carnival, the club run its two feature races on the same program.

The $9000 benchmark 60 handicap Bluff Cup will be ran over 1800m, meaning the field will pass the winning post on two occasions, just like in the Melbourne Cup.

Patrons will get that big-race feeling as the thundering hooves make the earth rumble when they pass the winning post on the first occasion.

The $9000 Bluff Newmarket benchmark 65 handicap over 1200m will be the second feature on the five-race program. In all, a whopping $44,000 in prizemoney will be on offer to ensure a top day of racing.

Club stalwart Ally McLaughlin said her hard-working committee had jam-packed the meeting with plenty of other entertainment to complement the racing action, including plenty of family friendly activities such as jumping castles and slides.

The renowned and highly competitive Bluff Fashions on the Field will be back, bigger than ever with great prizes on offer for competitors in several categories.

A fully licensed bar and canteen will operate throughout the day and bookmakers will be taking bets on local and southern races.

A bus service will operate throughout the day between Blackwater Hotel and the Bluff racetrack, with gates open from 11am.

A step forward

EMILY Howkins, a regular face in the early mornings at Pioneer Park track work, hastaken her first steps towards undertaking a jockey's apprenticeship.

Licensed last week to ride on the Queensland Country Picnic Circuit, she will get her first taste of action at the May 11 and 12 Oakley meetings.

Howkins does the bulk of her track work riding for Emerald trainer Glenda Bell.

Bell thinks Emily will go well in race riding, saying she sits very nicely on a horse and has great balance.

Howkins hopes to be able to get her riding weight down from 55kg to 50kg, through some long hours at the gym and dieting, before she applies for her professional licence.

Victory snatched

THE honour of having the first winner on the new Barcaldine turf track went to the Glenda Bell and Jason Missen combination.

Her well-fancied runner The Baker rushed home from last on the turn to snatch victory by a neck from stablemates Stellar Knight and Anzus in the Michael Horman Transport benchmark 70 handicap over 1000m.

In a 10 out of 10 ride by Missen, he allowed The Baker to drift back to last from its horror barrier before zig-zagging through the field to arrive just in time to snatch victory from gallant top weight Stellar Knight, which carried 64kg.

The race changed complexion in the final 75m as Payback held a slender lead but ended up being swamped in the run to the line, yet finished only 1.3 lengths from the winner in sixth spot.

In fact only 3.35 lengths covered the entire 10-horse field on the line.