Spectators were able to return to the Bundaberg horse races for the first time in six meetings on Saturday and while numbers at the facility including officials, trainers and jockeys, were limited to 300 due to Covid-19 Phase 3 restrictions, a good time was had by all despite the persistent showers.
On the track, locals won three of the five races, including with promising three-year-old King Klaus taking out the Benchmark 60 Handicap for happy owners Dennis Dickman and Bundaberg’s former Beemart business partners Neville and Daphne Beeston and Keith and Karen Martens and their sons Andrew and Paul Martens, and trainer Gary Clem.
King Klaus was having his first start on his home track after scoring a big win on debut at Gladstone in February and finishing second and third respectively at Caloundra at his only two subsequent appearances.
Neville Beeston, also a Northern Districts Rugby League icon, said the four-year-old gelding was bred by long-time friend and fellow watermelon farmer Dennis Dickman at Roma, with whom they have raced many horses which he has bred.
Neville said King Klaus will hopefully go on to bigger and better things at Caloundra and Brisbane in the future and that he could be even better than his full sister Winning Kiss, which won five races and was runner-up at Doomben on New Year’s Day before tragically having to be euthanized after suffering horrific injuries in a race fall at her only subsequent start in January.
Gary Clem, who rode 17 winners in six months as a jockey before in 1981 until increasing weight forced him to hang up the saddle but has continued to train a small team most of the time since then, said King Klaus is “up there with the best” that he has trained such as Malabar, Round The Fire and Claim The Throne.
Fellow local Darryl Gardiner signed off on another Bundaberg trainers’ premiership with another double with Dolci, which was listed as an emergency in the Maiden but made the most of her late promotion into the field, and Joe Albert in the Benchmark 55 Handicap, both ridden by Hannah Richardson.
Three-year-old filly Dolci, which is sensationally bred by Brazen Beau out of a Sebring mare, started her career in Sydney with champion trainer Chris Waller before being transferred to a Victorian trainer but had not been placed at her first 10 starts in either state but shone on her Sunshine State debut.
Gardiner and Richardson also teamed up with local star Ten Taubada’s in the Open Handicap at the Bundaberg horse races and he tried his heart out but had to play second fiddle to rising nine-year-old Bouldercombe champion Fab’s Cowboy, which humped a hefty 62.5kg over the tough 1380 course to maintain his perfect record from three starts at Thabeban Park and posted his 38th triumph from 88 starts overall, taking his career earnings to $292,665.
The Class B was won by Gympie galloper and favourite El Nino’s Choice for trainer Cherie Vick.
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