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Wrecking Ball bowls them over again

wrecking ball race
Wrecking Ball and Darryl Gardiner were presented as the Bundaberg Horse of the Year and Trainer of the Year at the Ulton Race Day at Thabeban Park on Saturday before they took out the Morgans QTIS Open Handicap

After being dethroned when he came a distant third in the Lindsay Australia Bundaberg Gold Cup at the previous meeting at Thabeban Park on July 23, Wrecking Ball proved he was not a falling star with a superb victory at the Ulton Race Day at Thabeban Park on Saturday.

Ridden by Paul Hamblin, the nine-year-old, which was the third favourite, paying $2.60, humped 59kg over the 1090m course, to win by a length from Moranbah raider American Genius ($2.20), with rank-outsider Bryneich ($11) a further 4.75 lengths away in third place, and favourite Daunting Queen ($1.90) a long last of the five runners.

For Darryl, who had been presented with the Trainer of the Year for the ninth time to begin the day, it was a good start at the first Bundaberg meeting of the new season, although he had to settle for two minor placings from his four other starters on the program.

Wrecking Ball started his career under top Melbourne trainer Leon and Troy Corstens with victory in a Werribee Maiden in January 2017, before ironically finishing last behind American Genius at Bendigo at his fifth start.

He won only three more races, at Hanging Rock, Ballarat, and Cranbourne, before he was purchased by Darryl’s wife Joanne in June 2020, and he also made a winning debut in the Rum City at the Ulton Cup Race Day just over two months later.

The striking big brown gelding has subsequently raced at the past nine Bundaberg meetings since May last year for five victories, including the 2021 Lindsay Australia Bundaberg Gold Cup, one second, and two thirds, with his only failure being an uncharacteristic and shock distant last at the 2021 Ulton Race Day.

The Ulton Cup Maiden Plate was won by the superbly bred Qwick ($3.40) for popular and highly successful Eidsvold trainer Bob Murray, with jockey Gemma Steele in the saddle.

A six-year-old son of former Queensland champion Spirit of Boom out of a Fastnet Rock mare, Qwick was having his 17th start and previously had five placings, including being third on debut at Toowoomba in April 2021.

Meanwhile, after winning at Mt Isa at his previous start three weeks earlier, the promising widely travelled four-year-old Han Dynasty, a $1.70 favourite, humped 62kg to make it two wins from as many appearances at the Park and took his record to seven wins, three seconds and two thirds from 15 outings for Moranbah trainer Bevan Johnson and apprentice Tyler Leslight in the PSC Insurance Brokers Benchmark 60 Handicap 850m scamper.

wrecking ball race
Mr Maharaj, ridden by apprentice Shannyn Stephan, defeats Toy Whitty (Adam Spinks) in the Furlong Financial Group Class B Handicap at Thabeban Park on Saturday

Another favourite Mr Maharaj ($2.60) also maintained his good record on the track, grinding out a tough win in the Furlong Financial Group Class B, edging out local hope Toy Whitty ($2.80) by 0.2 length, for his 2020 Bundaberg Cup winning combination of Wondai owner/trainer Kym Afford and senior apprentice Shannan Stephan.

True Tally, which had finished stone last, beaten 23.75 lengths, at the previous Bundaberg meeting, produced a stunning turn-around to get the money for Gympie trainer Malcolm Bailey and jockey Ian French in the Ulton Wealth Management Benchmark 55 Handicap at the odds of $5, defeating favourite Clairvue Jet ($2.10), which had beaten Toy Whitty and Mr Maharaj on Bundaberg Cup Day.

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