Record 72 horses will front up to Gladstone meet
THE popular Gladstone Turf Club committee has every reason to be smiling after a record turnout of 72 horses will contest the seven race card at Ferguson Park racecourse on Saturday.
To put the figures into perspective Gladstone will have more starters that the high profile Gold Coast Turf Club at its Surfers Paradise racetrack this afternoon.
It is a huge compliment to the popularity of Gladstone racing where industry stakeholders are treated in the highest regard by club officials.
Consider this. Gladstone will race for $51,000 in prizemoney today with seven races scheduled yet the Gold Coast offers $116,000 with eight races attracting just 68 starters.
That gives a true picture of the popularity of racing in Gladstone.
Furthermore Gladstone president David Weinert is predicting a huge crowd of racegoers.
"The early indications are it is going to be a massive meeting as bookings have been coming in for weeks and we have 19 marquees allocated," Weinert said.
It is a given at Ferguson Park which is a sand specialist circuit that locally trained horses on the track have a huge advantage.
Once again today the Ferguson Park trainers Lee Kiernan, Denis Schultz and Michael Person have excellent prospects of leading in winners.
Kiernan teams with premier Queensland jockey Adrian Coome with Northern Shift (Race 1), Run' Em Ragged (Race 3) and Base Jump (Race 5) and the trio have excellent winning prospects.
Schultz has booked Luke Dillon for his strong winning hope Superb Effort (Race 2).
Pearson's Dane Fire with Kelly Gates riding has the form and weight advantage to win the final race at 4.40pm.
Former Gladstone based trainer Kim McGovern's Duan Theo (Shane McGovern) looks placed to figure in the finish of the fourth event at 2.45pm.
The weight carrying Hercules of Ferguson Park in Jeff Rideout's Direct Debit (John Stephens) is ready to win again on the track at 4pm in the sixth contest.
All aboard for a huge day of racing, socialising and partying at Ferguson Park this afternoon where the gates will open well before midday.