15 March, 2024

Favourites fire at Esk

The first race meet at Esk Jockey Club (EJC) for the year was a success from a racing and a social perspective, as hundreds of patrons attended last Saturday.

By Liam Hauser

The 1st & 2nd placegetters are neck-and-neck as they near the finish line in race three at Esk.
The 1st & 2nd placegetters are neck-and-neck as they near the finish line in race three at Esk.

The occasion coincided with races at Ipswich, Toowoomba and the Gold Coast, meaning there was ample competition for horses while the Toogoolawah campdraft was another destination for many horse lovers.

EJC secretary Sharon Cowley said the weather was perfect for racing, while the committee was pleased with the number of new members who signed up on the day.

With the track rated a Good 3, four of the five races were won by the favourite.

The first two races were 800m, with a field of eight each time. In the opening race, the James Healy-trained and Nikki Olzard-ridden Pride of Nala won by 1.5 lengths.

In race two, the Jayden Sims-trained and Sophie Wilcock-ridden Suniki won by 3.5 lengths.

Race three was a nail-biter as it was the only one in which the favourite didn’t reign supreme.

In a field of six while the distance was 1200m, the Beau Gorman-trained and Rob Thorburn-ridden Dante Alighieri edged out the favourite by just 0.1 of a length.

The final two races were 1460m, with a field of seven followed by a field of six.

There were two equal-favourites in race four, with one of them coming first while the other came fifth.

The winning horse, Gypsy Power, was trained by Shaun Dwyer and ridden by Alisha Donald while the winning margin was 0.8 of a length.

Race five featured the most dominant victory, as the Brendan Jones-trained and Chris Meehan-ridden Sock’emsid romped home by six lengths.

The EJC’s next meeting on May 18 will feature the return of many past members to pay tribute to life members.


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