Action will be fast and furious at the 2021 Bundaberg Cycling Spectacular at Kevin Brogden Memorial Velodrome tonight and tomorrow.
With $20,000 prizemoney up for grabs, 113 nominations have been received from throughout the state, with Racing from 5pm tonight, before tomorrow, Gates open at 12 noon with racing from 2pm and finishing around 9pm.
In Elite A Grade Men, brothers Duncan and Austin Allen and Sam Davies will carry the local hopes, with two riders from Balmoral in Jarlath Whittaker and Liam Walsh, Byron Davies, and Haddon Kilmartin to fly the Ipswich flag, and Lachlan Hallmark to represent Rockhampton.
There are no Bundaberg club riders in the Elite A Grade Women’s field, where Keeley Henderson, Jacqui Mengler Major, Hayley Jones, former local Liliana McLennan and Brooke Carnes will fly the Balmoral flag, with two entrants from Rockhampton, Lillian Dowdle and Emylia St Jermovist, and one from University of Queensland (Claire Battle).
There is a big local contingent in the juniors and other divisions.
Runners came from near and far to contest the Livingstone Low Electrical Country Stampede Qualifier Open Handicap, the feature event on the Bundaberg Melbourne Cup Day meeting at Thabeban Park, but champion local trainer Darryl Gardiner repelled all of them, claiming the trifecta with Wrecking Ball, Crisscross and Dolci respectively in the field of eight.
Lindsay Australia Bundaberg Gold Cup winner Wrecking Ball ($4.40), which had blotted his copybook at the previous meeting on the track on 4th September, finishing a distant last behind Crisscross after winning his first three starts in the Rum City, redeemed himself, ridden perfectly by Kelly Gates, finishing strongly to edge out his stablemates, who were a $9 outsider and $3.40 favourite respectively.
Ten-year-old grand champion Fab’s Cowboy, which hails from Moranbah, and which was lining up for his 113th race appearance, had been unbeaten in his first 3 starts on the track, but he was weighed down by his impost of 66kg, conceding a hefty 11kg to the three placegetters, and he could manage only fourth.
Victory completed the second leg of a double for Kelly, who was also successful earlier in the day aboard Aratula for Toowoomba trainer Mark Patterson in the Mi Signworx Class B Handicap.
Wrecking Ball was the only locally trained winner on the program, with Gympie’s Mark Lewis getting the money with Unsugared, ridden by Robert Faehr, in the Bundaberg Toyota Maiden Plate, and Eidsvold trainer Bob Murray saluting the judge with Dukatti in the East End Hotel QTIS Benchmark 55 Handicap, with his jockey Damien Boutet, who immigrated from France two years ago, enjoying his first meeting in Bundaberg.
Wondai owner/trainer Kym Afford continued his run of success in the city over the past 18 months with $8 outsider Mr Maharaj taking out the Craft Rental and Hardware Benchmark 60 Handicap at only his second start for him, ridden a gem by Hannah Richardson.
All eyes and plenty of punters’ cash were also on Bundaberg champion King Klaus as the Gary Clem trained galloper contested the 1000m $125,000 Lexus Spring Cup Open Quality Handicap at Eagle Farm, with his syndicate of owners also watching on via the big screens, but while he led early, he tired over the concluding stages to finish fourth, beaten just 3.1 lengths.
Searle’s RV Centre Vikings will try to get their Aussie Bundy T20 Big Bash title defence back on track when they meet Betta Heat at 6.30pm tonight at Salter Oval.
The Vikings were thrashed by Headlands Pies by nine wickets in their season opener, but they boast an imposing line-up headed by Lennon Childs, fresh from a Man of the Match performance for East Bundy Magpies in the Tallon-Giles Division 1 T20 trophy final last Saturday, and three Wide Bay Schaeffer Shield representatives in Josh Winen, Chris Napper, and Nathan Van Eekeren.
Heat will also be hungry for victory after they were beaten by Takalvans Taipans by a mere four runs in their first game of the season.
The first of three two-day rounds in the Rum City Foods Division 1 Premiership will get under way at Salter Oval tomorrow with the high flying Magpies up against the winless Brothers, and Norths meeting Waves.
Teams will be without their Schaffer Shield representatives for the second day’s play next Saturday, Chris Duff and Michael Loader (Waves), Brendan Handley, Josh Winen, Chris Napper and Nathan Van Eekeren (Norths), and Arden Lankowski (Magpies).
Meanwhile, after keeping their Brisbane Premier Cricket Under-16 Lord Taverners One-Day competition finals hopes alive with a famous 55-run victory over Valleys at Ashgrove last Sunday, shoring up fourth place, Wide Bay, who have four wins and four losses, will play top of the table Sunshine Coast, one of three teams with 5 wins and 3 losses, in the penultimate round at Salter Oval this Sunday, starting at 10am.
Bundaberg’s Lachlan Heycox continued his good form against Valleys, claiming 2-13 as the hosts were bundled out for 130, chasing Wide Bay’s 185.
After a last-start loss to Turtles Brothers two weeks ago, West Barbarians will be looking to turn it on at their Sponsors and Old Boys Day when they host Waves Falcons in the seventh round of the Rugby Bundaberg Elders Insurance Spring Cup at Jubilee Park tomorrow at 6.30pm.
While they are now two wins behind leaders unbeaten Fraser Coast Mariners and they would need to win their last 4 games, plus rely on other results to go their way to be a chance of the minor premiership, they look destined to play in the 2v3 semi-final, and coach Gary Maroney will be aiming for them to build momentum to carry into the finals.
Falcons are a much improved side, and they cannot be taken lightly after outgunning East Bundy Pythons a fortnight ago, but they were no match for Turtles last Saturday, outgunned 32-10.
Earlier at 4.30pm, Turtles, whose only loss so far was a 33-3 mauling by Mariners in Hervey Bay on 25th September, will need to further improve if they are to turn the tables on them, despite going from strength-to-strength over the past month.
Shalom College is hosting the fourth annual Brother Rochford Future Carnival at the Waves Sports Complex this weekend, taking on Schoolboys powerhouses St Brendan’s College Yeppoon, Mountain Creek State High School, and Xavier Catholic College Hervey Bay.
Each team will play each other in a round-robin, before semi-finals and a grand final tomorrow.
Actions started today at 4.30pm, with the last game at 7pm, with the last two round games tomorrow with Shalom taking on Xavier at 9am, and St Brendan’s up against Mountain Creek at 9.45am.
The second and third placed teams will then meet in the first semi at 10.45am, before the 1×4 semi at 11.30am, and grand final 1pm, with presentations to follow.
After being edged out by arch-rivals Waves Tsunamis 6-5 last week, two-times defending champions Brothers United Firesticks will be keen to reverse the result when they slug it out again in the fifth round of the Coral Coast/Hervey Bay Associations A Grade Ladies League at Brothers Sports Club tomorrow at 2.20pm.
Meanwhile, Bargara Bullets will get the chance to make it back-to-back wins against Terrors after beating them 14-7 in Bundaberg last week, but the Hervey Bay side is expected to be stronger at their home ground this time.
In the A Grade Men’s division, the unbeaten Waves Schooners have a double-header at Brothers grounds tomorrow, taking on competition leaders Maryborough West at 12.30pm, and the win-less Brothers United Heat at 4.10pm.
There will also be a Fraser Coast Derby between Terrors and Misfits in the Bay.
Bundaberg trainer Paul Burgess and Travis Elson, of Yandina Creek, shared the honours at this week’s meeting at Thabeban Park, each claiming winning doubles.
Paul triumphed with half-siblings Wildash Trapper, which snapped an 8-race losing streak in the Best 8, and up and comer Why Harmony, which took her record to 3 wins and 2 placings from 8 starts in a 5th Grade.
Travis picked up the quinella in the Bargara Bakery 5th Grade with litter brothers Mumma’s Machine and Kicks On, whose all other 40 and 47 starts respectively were at Albion Park, and made it a race-to-race double with Summer’s Flyer in the Mixed 4th/5th Grade at his first start at the Park since August last year.
Two other District trainers were also among the victors on the program, Brian Terry with the honest Koolboo Supreme in the East End Hotel 5th Grade, and Ron Hawkshaw with Zuleika in the Free For All.
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