The magic of the annual two day Twin Hills race meeting held on September 22 and 23 enchanted the massive crowd that was at hand once again, with country racing, rodeo and campdrafting and equal parts of excitement, and partying that is served up every year.
Twin Hills Race Club secretary, Jasmin Scharf, said the meeting held a special place in the hearts of many in Central Queensland and beyond.
“It’s one of the longest running race days in the Central Highlands having begun in 1925 and this year was the 92nd anniversary of the meeting,” Ms Scharf said.
“It’s an annual event for a lot of families and it’s been great to see the children of past Twin Hills stalwarts bring their kid’s along to continue the tradition for what will hopefully be for generations to come.”
The crowd numbers were up again on last year and the event continues to grow from strength to strength.
Ms Scharf said it had been a tough time of late for a lot of people due to the near drought like conditions in the area.
“We expected numbers might drop a little but they turned out in their droves in near record numbers,” she said.
The weekend proved to be a big one for Clermont based apprentice jockey Emma Bell who is building a reputation of the country cups queen and now has six Country Queensland Cups to her credit, after taking out the Twin Hills Cup and riding four winners from 10 rides and took out the leading jockey award for the two day carnival.
John Manzelmann took out the leading trainer award saddling up four winners across the two days.
Rockhampton trainer and jockey Kevin Miller and Chris McIver also snared a winning double together on Saturday with Excelcat in the rich QTIS maiden over 1200 metres and with Isis De Vega in the 1300 metre benchmark 45 handicap.
The feature event on Friday the class 1, 1100 metre event, was taken out by Bundaberg trainer Bill Melvin with Tabriz $3.20 who was ridden by Sunshine Coast hoop Peitro Romeo, who made a cameo appearance for the first day of the carnival en route to the big Longreach Cup meeting. Peitro Romeo scored a four length demolition of the field on the Mark Oates trained Dutch Courage $2.50 in the 1600 metre $15,000 Longreach Cup. Dutch Courage is now being aimed at the $15,000 Emerald 100 over 1850 metres on October 14 at Pioneer Park. Tabriz win was the first leg of a winning double for the weekend for Melvin who saddled up Justflickinit in the benchmark 50 handicap over 1100 metres on Saturday in an impressive effort after backing up from an unplaced effort on Friday.
Earlier in the day Manzelmann opened his account of four winners for the two day outback carnival in the first event on the program the benchmark 45 handicap over 800 metres with Tibyaan $4.00 who was ridden by young Rockhampton apprentice Elyce Smith, who gave the Manzelmann trained runner a beautiful run in transit and saluted in stylish fashion for the leading Mackay trainer.
In the opening event on Saturday Glenda Bell's speedy mare Howzat for Luck took out the benchmark 60 handicap over 800 metres. Howzat for Luck ridden by Ace Rockhampton jockey Adrian Coome. The Bell trained mare was sent out a well tried $1.80 favourite and in a determined effort after being tardy away defied her normal racing pattern and ran down the race leader the Bill Trimble trained Fraha $6.00 and charged the line strongly to score for Adrian Coome in a dominant win for the Bell trained bonny mare.
The main event the 1300 metre Twin Hills Cup was taken out by the Tim Cook trained Sheer Persistence and ridden by country cups queen Emma Bell.
Sheer Persistence was heavily backed in the betting ring opening at $4.60 in betting and was crunched in to as short as $1.80 with the bookmakers who felt plenty of pain. The big group of owners led by Alpha Race Club President big Kev Wiltshire and his son's Wade and Kurt Wiltshire made the earth rumble when Sheer Persistence ridden by Emma Bell hit the front at the 150 metre mark as a roar went through the crowd and charged to the line strongly holding off the Gary Teal trained second place getter $9.50 Reddamour ridden by Elyce Smith in a stylish 1st up effort for the former Natalie McCall trained galloper. Tim Cook looks set for more wins with the handy galloper.
The next meeting in the highlands is the big one,the Emerald 100 meeting at Pioneer Park on October 14 with the spring carnival hitting top gear down in Melbourne to coincide with the meeting be sure to get your backside trackside.