The big once a year 2017 Middlemount Cup raceday has come and gone again with a massive crowd on hand to witness a day of top country racing.
The day had all the style, flair and glitz to rival any big country race meeting anywhere in Australia.
The Middlemount and surrounding districts rolled up in their droves to support the big once a year meeting.
In the Paul McGuire memorial sausage dog race over four thousand dollars ($4000) was raised for the RACQ rescue helicopter. Club stalwart Bill Gray said the dachshund race is becoming more and more popular.
The event had patrons splashing out in a big way to secure a dachshund in the Calcutta. Veteran sprinter dachshund Herbie a previous place getter in every running of the sprint took out the event shaking his perennial place getter tag in the event.
Herbie is trained and owned by race organiser and chief dachshund steward Danny Miller. Miller is undecided if Herbie will go around in next years race.
Club President Donald Black said the community event continues to grow from strength to strength and the club is already planning a bigger and better day for 2018.
The big $12,500 QTIS maiden over 1000 metres was taken out by Rockhampton trainer Tim Cook with Star Picket ($2.00) ridden by Dale Evans and was headed in the straight by Wayne Bakers Red Geranium ($2.25) ridden by Zoe White.
Star Picket showed the tenacity to pick itself off the canvas and claim the prize by the barest of margins with John Manzelmann's Bawaardi Rocket ($6.00) was three lengths away from the winner and fought on gamely into third position.
Star Picket will now be set for the iconic Twin Hills meeting and was sold after Saturdays win to Twin Hills Race Club President Geoff Scharf. Tim Cook a strong supporter of the meeting will continue to train the speedy filly.
Bevan Johnson who came all the way from Miles to support the meeting with eight runners on the day was well rewarded when taking out the Benchmark 65 handicap over 1200 metres with his runner Murphy Hustler ($3.20) who was ridden to perfection by Johnson's stable jockey Rob Faehr grabbing hot favourite the Fred Smith trained Call Me Louie $1.60 ridden by Elyce Smith right in the shadows of the winning post in an exciting finish.
In the next event on the program Johnson took out a race to race double in a first for the Middlemount Race Club a dead heat. Johnson runner Still the Same ridden again by stable jockey Rob Faehr $3.30 hit the line locked together with Bill Trimble's Grey Pariz ($3.50) who was ridden by Katariina Aho earlier in the day the duo bill Trimble and Katariina Aho were in the winners circle together taking out the class B handicap over 1200 metres with Dakota Rocks ($6.00) in the most dominant win of the day giving the trainer and jockey a winning double also.
The 1000 metre benchmark 55 Graham Acton memorial handicap was quinelled by Samuel James ($2.50)and Tibyan ($11.00) both from John Manzelmann stable in Mackay. Samuel James was ridden by classy Rockhampton hoop Scott Sheargold in a fine galloping display. Tibyan put the writing on the wall and a win is not far away in a similar class event in the near future.
The main event, the 2017 1475 metre Anglo American Cup, worth $9500 in prizemoney was taken out by Roma trainer Wayne Baker who is a regular supporter of racing in the Central Highlands. He claimed the event with his versatile sprinter miler Repozest ($4.40) who was ridden to perfection by boom Rockhampton apprentice Zoe White who defied a horror barrier draw and travelled like the winner a long way from home holding off the late challenge of Fred Smiths Motorised ($2.80) ridden by his daughter and apprentice Elyce Smith.
The old timer Testascana ($4.60) from Bevan Johnson's stable got home well for third. Baker trains from his Roma base and in his younger days was a very talented jockey before his weight saw his career end. Baker has real genuine passion for country racing and Saturdays win was well deserved.