Jeff Rideout-trained Direct Debit, at Ferguson Park earlier this year, will battle it out with Liberty Tycoon today in the feature race on the sand.
Jeff Rideout-trained Direct Debit, at Ferguson Park earlier this year, will battle it out with Liberty Tycoon today in the feature race on the sand. Brenda Strong GLARACE

Huge day of racing at Gladstone's Ferguson Park

GLADSTONE'S Ferguson Park is the venue for first class racing on Saturday afternoon, coinciding with the mammoth Queen Elizabeth Stakes meeting in Sydney.

Traditionally Easter Saturday racing is one of the most popular meetings that the Gladstone Turf Club schedule each year.

"We always have a big turnout at Ferguson Park on Easter Saturday and that's again the case this Easter," club president David Weinert said.

"It really should be a big day as The Championships race meeting at Randwick is one of the best Sydney race days in a long time.

"Our locals know they are well catered for with a large ring of bookmakers fielding, as well as first-class tote facilities on course at Ferguson Park.

"If you want to have a bet and be part of a big race day, Ferguson Park is your venue for Saturday."

The feature race is the $10,000 Greg McCann Memorial Open (1194m) which fittingly has lured Gladstone's best pair of sand-track specialist gallopers.

Top weight, Jeff Rideout's Direct Debit will carry 60.5kg - a mere pittance for the ultra-consistent sprinter.

After all, four starts back at Ferguson Park he won with 64.5kg, beating trainer Raymond West's equally-as-honest Liberty Tycoon.

Direct Debit carried 2.5kg more than Liberty Tycoon in that narrow win and will concede the latter 3.5kg in today's clash.

From six appearances at Ferguson Park, the record of Direct Debit is four wins and two thirds.

Liberty Tycoon has gone racing at Ferguson Park on 10 occasions and only once missed a place.

Not forgetting of course local trainer Denis Schultz's Blaze To Fortune, last season's Gladstone Turf Club Horse of the Year.

Blaze To Fortune has taken extra time to find form this preparation, but now that he has a win is within his capabilities.

Add to the mix Dinero Rapido and Otango and the race makes for an enthralling contest.

Darryl Gardiner's Minto's Destiny (Kelly Gates) can win the first race, while local trainer Lee Kiernan's Northern Shift (Adrian Coome) looks best for the second event.

Thangool trainer Jason Devine's Me Fast Too chases a hat-trick of wins in the third race and under Luke Dillon can achieve that feat.

Premier trainer Gardiner and international jockey David Hayse can combine to take out the fourth event with Rio Vista.

With a 3kg claiming allowance for Mackay's Sabbir Alam, the Lindsay Challacombe-trained Rytarga can win his fifth Ferguson Park race, the last of six events on Saturday.

Gates open early at Ferguson Park for punters to bet on the Brisbane and interstate races which kick-off well before the first local race.



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