Cloncurry turned on the style for Derby Day, its final race meet for 2017.
A big local crowd was boosted by delegates in town for the Queensland Outback Tourism Awards and they were not disappointed with a great day at the track at Schumacher Park.
It was a good day for the Ballards with Dan taking a double and a victory also to dad Keith.
In Race 1 the Allflex Australia Ratings Band 0 – 55 Handicap over 1000 metres jockey Steven Galvin led Dawn Sanderson’s Tuning to victory, winning by four lengths from a pair of Tanya Perry horses, Hi Mackay ridden by Dan Ballard and Cobungra Boy ridden by Keith Ballard.
In race 2 the Honeycombes Sales & Service Maiden Plate over 1200m, Dan Ballard went one better with a win on Damien Finter’s The King’s Magic.
The favourite beat another Tanya Perry horse Sleeping Satellite with Tamara Tincknell aboard by four lengths with Just Pretends third.
Race 3 was the Cloncurry Constructions Ratings Band 0 – 65 Handicap over 1200m and Keith Ballard came up with the goods riding Diurnal Tiger, to finally give trainer Tanya Perry a win, edging out Noogoora Burr by one and a half lengths with favourite Craiglea Swift finishing third.
Race 4 was the feature race, the Gary Cannon Memorial Class 1 Handicap again over 1200m.
Dan Ballard rode a superb race riding Darren Burgess’s Eldrick.
The $1.85 favourite stormed clear to win by six lengths from Crystal Bear with Denlago a further five lengths back in third.
But the win took it out of Ballard who was visible distressed after the race and who did not appear for the presentations after the race.
However Ballard did return to the track for the final race the K&R Contracting Benchmark 45 Handicap over 1400m.
In a very tight finish Aaron Spradau led Shryn Gabriel-Royes’s Splash Out to victory by half a length from Rubidus with Shaun Mossman aboard.
Ballard had to be satisfied with a third place finish on Splendaba.
You can catch up with Dan Ballard as he joins the team from the Star for Elevenses live on the North West Star Facebook page at 11am Monday.
We’ll be discussing the Cloncurry races, the Mount Isa Races on Tuesday, the new Mount Isa Race Club committee and hopefully we’ll get a good tip for the Melbourne Cup.