A big crowd attended the Bush to Port Raceday with a number of Christmas parties booked in for the very much-upgraded facilities at Gunsynd Park, which was all part of a major weekend thanks to the Port of Brisbane.
The country spirits were lifted with a number of events sponsored by Port of Brisbane. Friday, the Goondiwindi Golf Club had a big field for the Friday chook run, which was taken out by Goondiwindi Regional Council CEO Carl Manton who just held off a challenge from Port of Brisbane CEO Roy Cummins.
Friday night, guests were treated to a special Rural & Regional Book Launch of Rupert Mc Call’s Golden Soil. The book features thirty-two of Ruperts best poems and guests were treated to some marvellous recitals including Green and Gold Malaria.
Saturday morning, courtesy of Port of Brisbane, all six coffee shops gave away some reusable coffee mugs and the Port shouted the first twenty-five into each shop their coffee as well.
The Races were the weekend feature and after the races it was off to the Golf Club for the Port of Brisbane Community Christmas Party. A large crowd attended the event to cap off a great weekend.
At the races consistent trainer Peter Sinclair again stamped his mark on country racing at Gunsynd Park with a treble.
The opening race on the card was Interlink Seaway Benchmark 60 handicap over 1200 metres. Following the late scratching of early favourite Essaka, Peter Sinclair and Brooke Stower started the day on a winning note when Swoop did exactly that and finished too strong to beat Beau Dancer who looked all over a winner on the turn. American Summer was third. Swoop started very short odds of $2.50 with a 25-cent deduction.
The Sinclair Stower show continued in the Wagner Maiden Handicap over 1000 meters when Elavda proved too strong for Pulla Swifty who finished off strongly.
It looked like it could be three from three in the Graincorp Class B over 1000 meters for the Moree trainer when Elle Valentina was sent out a short price favourite but Cartland had different ideas. Vishan Venkaya swelled Cartland to an early lead and simply ran them off their feet. There were some good bets at big odds before Cartland was backed into $4.60. Primmiscuous finished stoutly for second with Elle Valentina a bit disappointing in third.
The forth was the Qube Class B over 1400 metres which saw Our Gracious Dane salute for Deagon trainer Ronald Heilbronn and ridden by Bruce Powell. The Moree horse Mister McRae looked all over a winner until Our Gracious Dane finished with a withering run to win by a length and Succinite was third.
The Cup looked in jeopardy when a wild storm descended on Gunsynd Park. While only 14 mm fell, the lightning and thunder was a problem and the club was lucky to be able to work around the inclement weather. After a 30-minute delay, stewards called the horses forward and the 7th annual Port of Brisbane Cup was run albeit an hour late. The third leg of a winning treble came to Peter Sinclair when track specialist Free Billy was simply too good for Cavitation and Artic Circle ran third.