All roads lead to Pioneer Park in Emerald this Saturday for the bumper annual Emerald 100 Day.
President Leon Roberts is expecting a massive crowd after near record bookings in marquee's and pre sold admissions.
If you’re trying to back the winner of this years Emerald 100 the $15000 show piece event over 1850 metres the field assembled is the most open and classy in several years with several runners of the 12 having solid claims to take out the event.
Horses, trainers and jockeys are coming from all parts of Queensland – Mackay, Gladstone, Rockhampton, the central-west, south-west and of course there are the mighty locally trained Central Highlands gallopers.
Emerald's location is one of its strengths – it is central to several racing jurisdictions in country Queensland.
Leon Roberts said the gallopers coming from far and wide through out Queensland will make the form that bit harder to line up and as it usually happens one will get under the bookmakers’ guards.
If the punters can find it, he or she will be rewarded.
The first race on the program the $12 000 QTIS maiden handicap over 1000 metres has attracted a solid field with Todd Austin's new stable addition looking the goods.
Austin’s runner Andrum who has performed solidly in provincial south east Queensland and on that form looks hard to beat here in the rich QTIS maiden.
The main danger looks to be the Sandy Watkins trained runner Secret Dragon the filly is coming off a solid 5th placing last start in a Towoomba Maiden over 870 metres finishing only 2.9 lengths away from the winner on that effort Secret Dragon is well placed to break her maiden status for her Roma stable.
In the $8000 Benchmark 65 handicap over 1200m, a very strong field of sprinters has been assembled.
Longreach raider Mark Oates who regularly treks over the Drummond range and does not often go home empty handed lines up with the former Chris Waller trained Our Beatnik who is having its second run for the leading Longreach stable and is coming off an unlucky 2nd placing in the $30000 C150 sprint at Cloncurry last start.
The Longreach trainer will have his new stable addition primed for the event and looks extremely hard to beat.
The main dangers to Our Beatnik's will be the two Rockhampton gallopers firstly Mick Attard's runner Supreme Jet and Zoe Hohn's Shigeru Mahogany who both have solid Rockhampton Tab form and both look good eachway chances.
In the feature event the $15000 1850 metre Emerald 100 Open Handicap local Pioneer Park trainer Glenda Bell lines up with her stable star Fastnet Flyer a winner of over $200000 in prizemoney and this years Mackay Cup winner and a narrow runner up in this years Emerald Cup behind Bevan Johnson's country Queensland horse of the year Fabs Cowboy.
Fastnet flyer has been well found by the handicapper with a hefty impost of 60 kilograms to carry but with Ashley Butler in the saddle Fastnet flyer looks hard to beat on his home track. the other big danger in the event looks to be western raider and last months Longreach Cup winner Dutch Courage who is also a winner at Pioneer Park and will be well supported in the betting.
Dutch Courage is very well weighted in the event with 55kilograms and gets in nicely with in form hoop Pietro Romeo retaining the ride from his longreach cup success Dutch courage looks set to give his owners more silverware to add to the mantlepiece alongside the recent Longreach Cup win.
Gates open at 10am for 100 day and don't forget tonight's Emerald 100 Calcutta at the Emerald Jockey Club members bar at 6pm which will include special guest's including Melbourne cup winning jockey John Letts.