Red Roller, Fuhrmidable and Suntanned race to the finish. Photo: Max Fleet
Red Roller, Fuhrmidable and Suntanned race to the finish. Photo: Max Fleet

Suntanned takes 20th race victory

WRITING these stories is starting to become monotonous.

Another big Bundaberg race, another Suntanned win.

But it was far from a sealed deal, with the seven-year-old bay gelding feeling every bit of its 65.5kg handicap as it went neck and neck down the straight with Red Roller and Fuhrmidable.

Brisbane owner Les McKee was all smiles minutes after Suntanned’s historic 20th home track victory, but it was heart-in-the-mouth stuff watching his only horse battle for the lead.

"My heart was pumping pretty hard, that’s for sure, but it’s a fantastic feeling," McKee said.

He heaped praise on the magnificent animal, and even more on local trainer Mary Hassam.

"She’s very, very good at what she does. I leave it in her hands and she knows best. She does all her own track work and can take all the credit," he said.

Hassam was relieved her number one boy got up, but was already eyeing further success.

"It’s a great feat (the 20th win), but he isn’t done yet," she said.

"He may be seven, but he hasn’t done a lot of racing, so there’s no reason for him to slow up now."

Fuhrmidable proved an unlikely opponent, matching Suntanned’s early form to only succumb by a neck across the line.

"We’re happy with that run. It was a little short and that really isn’t his distance, so we couldn’t ask for much more than that from him," trainer Janet Melvin said.

The five-race program went basically according to script, making many punters happy.

"It’s at the whim of the trainers and owners whether they run, but it remained a good program despite the three scratching in the final race," Bundaberg Racing Club vice president Robert Modrow said.

Canadian Chief kicked up where it left off at the last race meet, starting the day with a win by more than a length ahead of Ashland and Collateral Blues.

Perhaps the tightest contest of the day was in race three, when Monte Primo pipped Red Tarn by a nose to claim the Class Five handicap.

Bundaberg’s Darryl Gardiner could watch on with glee as Flaming Note ran well clear of the field in race four. 

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