Nanango race track proves tough for its own jockeys
IT WAS another meet of close finishes but no cigars for Nanango jockey Hannah English on her home track.
English finished with a second and third on Saturday after her highest hope Squeemi lost by 1.5 lengths to Turbo Teddy in the second race.
"I thought Squeemi would have won but she was carrying a lot of weight," English said.
English said Squeemi wore 61kg of added weight which slowed the bay mare down.
She experienced similar bad luck in Launceston on Wednesday after Boart drew a wide start in the barriers.
English said Boart was able to make up ground and finish third.
"He only lost by a neck," she said.
This was a highlight for English in Tasmania after she finished eighth on Savvy Princess in the National Apprentice Series.
Budding Nanango jockey Hannah Phillips also had to battle for results on Saturday.
She was diagnosed with pneumonia last September and brought down by acute symptoms at Esk on March 12.
"I had no idea I had it," Phillips said.
"I've got 50% scarring on one lung and 40% on the other."
Phillips said doctors expected it would take her between four-to-six months to fully recover.
Phillips said she noticed a fall in the level of her performance but was happy to run away with a first on Favourite Shadow in the fourth race.
"I can still ride winners but I can't ride at 100%," she said.
Phillips said she was impressed with the way Favourite Shadow won.
"He jumped really well, he just carried up the hill and rolled down the hill," she said.
"He's a top horse."
At the last Nanango races on February 13 Phillips earned a suspension after she cut off Favourite Shadow on Lisa Fashionista.
Phillips said she was grateful to be able to turn that fate around.
The long road
KUMBIA trainer James Curtain has opted to take the marathon effort over the sprint to get his stable up to speed.
Curtain decided to break away from tried and tested horses and breed his own.
While there is a lot of possible potential to uncover Curtain said it was a gamble as it took a lot of time.
Curtain entered four-year-old bay mare Duchess Staghurst into the 1200m McDonalds Kingaroy QTIS Maiden Plate where she finished 11th out of 12.
He was more encouraged by this performance than disappointed.
"This one was her second start but it's taken two years," Curtain said.
"She raced third all the way and just sort of lost ground at the end.
"I was real happy just to see her early speed."
Curtain believed there was a greater chance of breeding a winner than buying a tested horse which would more than likely have problems if it is up for sale.
"With these horses you have a better chance to get a city grade horse," he said.
Curtain currently houses 16 horses in his stable which are all slowly being conditioned into race horses.
"We do a lot of education and conditioning," he said.
"We do jump outs at Toowoomba and Caloundra."
Once Curtain believes a horse is ready he will look to enter it into a race to suit the horse to lower its handicap.
He said he would continue to look for starts for Duchess Staghurst in country meets.
Not all lost
MARE Tiverton rejuvenated the hopes of Eidsvold owners Matthew and Gary Murray after a very tight second place finish.
Tiverton lost by 0.3 lengths to Rathgibbon in the Curtain Racing 1600m Class B.
Happy to return home with a bit of money, Matthew said Tiverton's race was a stark difference from four-year-old gelding Bitten's race.
Matthew said Bitten was "outclassed" in the Thorps Jewellers 1000m Benchmark 60 handicap.
Gary said after Bitten's four starts, she was at long odds against experienced competitors.
"It's like me running against Usain Bolt," Gary said.
1st Marrew Mia ridden by Jason Hoopert; 2nd Abstain ridden by Bruce Powell; 3rd Man Overboard ridden by Wayne O'Connell
1st Turbo Teddy ridden by Montanna Savva; 2nd Squeemi ridden by Hannah English; 3rd Rocking Connection ridden by Jason Hoopert
1st Pick of the Pubs ridden by Leeanne McCoy; 2nd Diamondine ridden by Matthew Powell; 3rd New Moon ridden by Jason Hoopert
1st Favourite Shadow ridden by Hannah Phillips; 2nd Wylie ridden by Fiona Jervis; 3rd Canid ridden by Hannah English
1st Rathgibbon ridden by Fiona Jervis; 2nd Tiverton ridden by Shaun Bayliss; 3rd Excellent Star ridden by Jason Hoopert