RACE DAY: A great day was had by local punters at the Moranbah winter races last weekend.
RACE DAY: A great day was had by local punters at the Moranbah winter races last weekend.

Moranbah gets on track

MORANBAH Race Club hosted its annual winter carnival meeting at Treasure Park last Saturday with more than 700 patrons going through the gates.

The mining community got right behind the day showing country racing still has an important part to play in the Moranbah mining community.

Long time club stalwart Brent Sparks said the bigger crowd was a great boost for the club. Unexpected revenue from the meeting would go a long way to helping with the associated costs of the devastating storm damage that caused the club to abandon the late February meeting.

Club president John Juhas was happy with the field sizes, with 44 horses and 18 individual trainers saddling up runners.

Veteran Mackay jockey Stanley Watkins kicked off proceedings when he teamed up with Pioneer Park trainer Glenda Bell in the 1000m Class 4 handicap.

Her new stable addition Clappers ($3) scored by a widening 5.5 lengths for a Bell family Quinella with Jenny Bell's stable favourite Enemy of Man - ridden by Emma Bell - running home well for second place.

Training honours went to the king of Treasure Park, John Manzelmann, who saddled up three winners combining with three separate jockeys.

He took out the class B over 1000m with his new addition Almazan ($5), ridden by in form apprentice Thomas Doyle.

Manzelmann struck again in race three of the program in the maiden handicap over 1170m with two-year-old Lollipop Rocket ($5) ridden by Natalea Summers running for a solid win from her older rivals.

Summers took the riding honours in a race to race double, where she also combined with the Peter Duncan trained Liker ($5) in the $12,000 benchmark 55 handicap over 1170m.

Manzelmann's Captains Way ($8), ridden by Matthew Hart took out the main event on the program, the $10,000 benchmark 60 Moranbah Workers Club Handicap over 1550m.

Captains Way stalked the race leader and favourite, the Bevan Johnson trained Money Ad ($3.40) ridden by apprentice Adin Thompson and won in the most exciting finish of the day.

Manzelmann heads in to next weekend's $10,000 Battle of the Bush final with plenty of wind in his sails.