Bundaberg champion King Klaus was given a regal reception as he held on to beat 11-year-old Moranbah ironhorse Fab’s Cowboy at just his second start on his home track in the Hahn Super Dry Open Plate at the XXXX Christmas Party Day at Thabeban Park.
King Klaus’s only previous run in the Rum City had been back in July 2020 and he had since established himself as one of the best Country sprinters in the State with nine more wins from 20 appearances in Brisbane, Caloundra, Gold Coast and Toowoomba.
Fab’s Cowboy was chasing his 50th victory at his 134th start, and he threw down the gauntlet, but “The King” reigned, aided by a perfect ride by jockey Dale Smith, taking his career earnings to $248,075 for trainer Gary Clem.
Fab’s Cowboy’s jockey apprentice Tyler Leslight and trainer Bevan Johnson did not, however, go home empty-handed as they combined for victory with Only Emma in the opening event, the White Claw Hard Seltzer Benchmark 55 Handicap, staving off champion Bundaberg trainer Darryl Gardiner’s trio Rutto, Balut and Oh So Rewarding.
That was the first leg of a race-to-race winning double for Tyler, who also got the money aboard rank outsider Cash Artist, a great-grandson of 1992 Caulfield Cup winner and multiple Group 1-winning mare Mannerism, for Gympie mentor Leigh Wanless in the James Squire Maiden Plate.
Fellow apprentice Shania Willis also grabbed a double on Wondai horses, on second-favourite Vizone ($2.80) for trainer Kristen Roon in the Byron Bay Brewing Ratings Band 0-50 Handicap, and $11 long shot Daunting Warrior, from the stables of Kym Afford, in the XXXX Gold QTIS Benchmark 60 Handicap.
Hard working wicket-keeper/batsman Luke Solano fell an agonizing 12 runs short of a maiden century, but he was a match winner as Brothers reeled in East Bundy Magpies’ total of 192 for a seven-wicket victory with 8.4 overs to spare in their Rum City Foods Division 1 Premiership at Salter Oval on Saturday.
Waves however powered on at the top of the table with a four-wicket triumph over Norths with honours shared around.
Brothers and Waves also won their Divisions 2 and 3 matches, with spinner Jack Munro claiming a career-best 5-13 in a 191-run demolition of Norths in Division 2.
Here are all the scores from weekend from the weekend:
RUM CITY FOODS DIVISION 1 PREMIERSHIP
Waves 6/133 (L Owen 44, H Pope 34, C Napper 2/19, B Worthington 2/38) def Norths 130 (J Bond 43, C Napper 26, B Handley 25, C Duff 3/14, B Grey 2/6, M Pozzebon 2/10, C Neubecker 2/14) Brothers 3/196 (L Solano 88, A Lankowski 52, M Parsons 38) def East Bundy Magpies 192 (T Seeds 54, R Felstead 34, L Donovan 28, M Parsons 3/23, D Krebs 2/20).
RUM CITY FOODS DIVISION 2 PREMIERSHIP
Waves 4/269(cc) (K Stallan 92, C Stitt 89, D Unwin 53, J Hyde 2/39, M Clifford 2/82) def Norths 78 (J Munro 5/13, B Coates 2/20)
Brothers 3/135 (A Weeks 60, A Johnson 27, G Werner 2/19) def East Bundy Magpies 133 (L McCloskey 36, D Collin 3/18, R Collin 2/28).
RUM CITY FOODS DIVISION 3 PREMIERSHIP Brothers 6/216(cc) (N Trebbin 97, C Mathiesen 29, A Smith 2/7) def Isis 9/188(cc) (R Challacombe 50, C White 43, R Collins 4/24, L Trebbin 2/28). Waves 7/196(cc) (S Stuchbery 56, J DePapi 47, L Heads 36, L Webster 3/36, J Faint 2/56) def YMCA 10/101 (L Webster 47, S Stuchbery 3/15, N Catasti 2/14, D McAullay 2/17).