Beefed up race day at Blackall

Maximum crowd enjoys 2020 spring racing at Blackall

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The Beef Producers race meeting on Caulfield Cup day has long been Blackall's showcase race day and what a show it put on, on Saturday.

The Beef Producers race meeting on Caulfield Cup day has long been Blackall's showcase race day and what a show it put on, on Saturday.

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Operating under a COVID-safe plan, the afternoon was sold out, with patrons, trainers and owners coming from as far afield as Toowoomba, Jundah, Bouldercombe, Longreach and all points between to make a day of it.

Ten jockeys were on hand for the 57 starters in the six-race event that included the Strathmore Blackall Cup.

It was one of two races that served as a qualifying event for regional racing that will culminate at George Moore Stakes Day in Brisbane on December 5.

Along with central west trainers, the visiting stables of Billy Johnson at Bouldercombe and Matt Kropp of Toowoomba were in attendance and ended up winning the Country Stampede and Country Cups Challenge heats with their horses Muiron and Splitz.

The day began with a win for Ilfracombe trainer Rodney Little and second emergency Purple Trumpet in the QTIS class one handicap.

It was then the turn of the visiting Tambo contingent of Bill Rogers, Andrew and Heather Turnbull, and Neil and Sharon McDonnell to get excited when when their filly Portabelle trained by Mark Oates at Longreach won the Forest Park Santa Gertrudis maiden plate.

Bill Rogers revealed that he'd purchased her online in a bloodstock auction at Christmas time.

"I had a bit of time and was looking through the catalogue and I thought she stood out," he said. "She was just a lovely looking filly."

Originating from Scone, NSW, the syndicate paid $2500 for her. So far in her racing career she's had one third, one second, and now one first placing.

The day also gave the Barcoo Amateur Race Club and central west racing patrons in general a chance to pay their respects to Blackall trainer Denis O'Brien who passed away recently.

In honour of Mr O'Brien, many racegoers added a touch of blue and black, the stable's colours, to their attire, and a minute's silence was held before the Denis O'Brien class four plate.

That was won by Bouldercombe's Billy Johnson to give him a double for the day.

Roma trainer Craig Smith was also in the money, taking out the Swan Hill Cattle Co class three plate with Pirelli, owned by a syndicate of himself, Peter Moloney, Gordon Moloney, L and K Sheahan, D Scott, W and H Creswick, J Lunney and M Schneider.

The story Beefed up race day at Blackall first appeared on Queensland Country Life.

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