SOUTHERN ENGAGEMENT: Adrian Coome will be absent from Gladstone Turf Club today, accepting rides in Doomben rather than Feguson Park where he has proven a very successful jockey.
SOUTHERN ENGAGEMENT: Adrian Coome will be absent from Gladstone Turf Club today, accepting rides in Doomben rather than Feguson Park where he has proven a very successful jockey. Mike Richards

Absent Coome opens up fields at Ferguson Park race day

THE punters' pal, premier Gladstone jockey Adrian Coome, will be an absentee from the Ferguson Park races on Saturday after answering an SOS to ride instead at Doomben in Brisbane.

Rockhampton-based Coome has dominated the riding ranks at Gladstone in recent seasons where he rarely misses riding successfully at a meeting.

"I'm being flown down to ride for North Queensland trainer Greg Wehlow at Doomben," Coome said.

"Some mates of mine own some of the horses."

That in itself could be a tip for Gladstone punters today as a strong betting ring of bookmakers is likely to bet on the Doomben races as well, no doubt, on the feature Magic Millions program at the Gold Coast.

Regardless, the Gladstone Turf Club offers excellent TAB facilities at Ferguson Park to accommodate racegoers.

Coome's three Doomben mounts are Dr Strangelove (Race 2 -1); Greedy (Race 4 -1) and Detonate (Race 7 -16).

Coome's absence has opened the field up, so to speak, for rival jockeys riding at the Ferguson Park five-race card, starting 1.15pm.

Talented Rockhampton hoop Dale Evans has some good rides at Gladstone including premier trainer Darryl Gardiner's Bella Bejing (Race 3 - 7) and El Supremo (Race 4 - 1).

Both horses are capable of providing the combination with a winning double.

It is worth remembering that rarely does Bundaberg-based Gardiner leave Ferguson Park race meetings without snaring at least one winner.

Widely travelled Cunnamulla apprentice jockey Gemma Steele will make the long trip to Ferguson Park and she, too, should not go home without landing a winner.

The Lee Kiernan-trained local Northern Shift will be the beneficiary of Steele's valuable claiming allowance when it contests the opening race the BM 60 (850m).

Northern Shift races well at Ferguson Park and from the good gate of barrier two should be off towards victory right from the start.

Another good ride for Steele is the Darryl Gardiner-trained Marty, which is engaged in the second race the Class B (1000m). Steele has fond memories of Ferguson Park as she rode her debut winner as a fledgling apprentice jockey there last February.

That win on Apache Gulf launched her on a successful career to date with winners throughout south-west and central western Queensland.

GTC expects a sizeable holiday crowd on Saturday.

Coome's Rides

  • Dr Strangelove: Ridden at Doomben, Eagle Farm and Ipswich primarily by Glen Colless, this horse is yet to record a victory in six starts. Having taken a spell since May 2013, Coome is hoping to find a way to power the gelding past the post in the Maiden from barrier 1.
  • Greedy: Not quite as cheeky as the name suggests, Greedy has compiled five places in his six starts. One of those is a win in a Maiden Handicap in August 2013. The only miss of the places was running 11th of the 12 starters on December 13, 2013, at Murwillumbah.
  • Denonate: Struggling with only one win in 15 attempts, Denonate has not had consistency: eight different jockeys in the saddle in his racing life. Can Coome change the luck?


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