Doubles all around at Bundy meet
HORSE RACING: It was a day of doubles at the Bundaberg Summer Cup meeting on Saturday with owner/breeders the Stan Johnston family, apprentice Bridget Floyd and trainer Darryl Gardiner all snaring two winners.
The Johnston family claimed the Summer Cup with bonny mare Craiglea Blondie and the Class 4 with Craiglea Fighter.
Craiglea Blondie, which is trained for them in Gympie by Peter Fleming, was beautifully ridden by former New Zealander Floyd, whom Johnston said had recently started working full-time for his famous Craiglea Stud at Kenilworth.
Craiglea Fighter, which is prepared by his Bundaberg trainer Gardiner, was ridden by another female apprentice Kelly Gates.
Earlier in the afternoon, Floyd had scored an upset victory in the Class B aboard rank-outsider Inthanon ($15) for another Gympie trainer Malcolm Bailey after the gelding, which had been listed as the second emergency, gained a run courtesy of two scratchings.
Gardiner had triumphed with Morongla, which was a $3.50 favourite in the Class 2 and won by a short half-head from Force Eight with third placed Magic Turbo a half-head away in a blanket finish in which the first six horses were separated by less than a length.
Another Gympie galloper, Frenardi, was chasing a second straight Summer Cup and his fifth win from six Bundaberg starts and he was sent out a $2.80 favourite, but his big weight of 61kg proved too much and he finished sixth.
But Craiglea Blondie, which was also well supported, paying $3.60, carried a feather-weight 51kg after Floyd's 4kg allowance, and she tracked leaders Final Crunch and Magic Pearl before hitting the front rounding the home turn and powering away.
The five-year-old had failed at her only previous Bundaberg start and been unplaced at each of her previous five outings but she had won the Gympie Cup in October, has won in Brisbane and she took her career earnings to $181,800.
Proud owner Johnston said she would "probably go to broodmare duties this year".
"She's a great horse but we want some more country cups this year before she retires," Johnston said.
Fleming was not at the track, as he travelled to Brisbane to saddle up another of their team, Craiglea Falcon, and he left strapper Jenna-Rose Christodoulou in charge of Craiglea Blondie.
Christodoulou also saddled up Craiglea Fighter for Gardiner, who also had Startova engaged in that race, and he ran second, giving Gardiner the quinella.