Apprentices race for maiden cup
Apprentice jockeys will compete against each other in the Lockyer Valley Turf Club's maiden apprentice cup tomorrow.
After former Laidley race club starter and farmer James O'Dwyer passed away, he made a donation to the club with the condition it went towards apprentice jockeys.
Club president Terry Kirkwood said the club would host an apprentice cup each year for the next five years.
"He was a passionate race goer and was the first one here on race day without fail," Kirkwood said.
"He would always come up and ask me what needed doing or talk to the trainers, he was always up for a chat."
The young jockeys will take to the fifth race of the card for a 1400m, class two plate.
Toowoomba-based apprentice jockey Baylee Nothdurft regularly rides at Gatton and said the cup was a great initiative by the club
"It will be fun, but also really competitive," he said.
"We are all at the same stage in our careers, it will be a battle of the best."
Nothdurft will team up with Sunshine Coast trainer Natalie McCall for the first time aboard Miss Beneteau.
The five-year-old mare will run off the back off a 1200m second place finish at the Sunshine Coast on November 6.
Nothdurft has ridden against Miss Beneteau before, which previously won in Gatton in May.
"It's a very consistent horse .. and just off its recent form it looks to have a very good chance in the race," he said.
He said the top weight Foalan, for trainer Ben Currie, would be hard to beat.
"It has drawn a bit (of a) tricky barrier, (but) I think if I can get out in front of it I don't think it will beat me," Nothdurft said.
The 20-year-old apprentice will also ride Angel of War for McCall in the first race of the day.
Be believed the 1400m race would suit the three-year-old filly.
"If we aren't leading, we'll be sitting around third or fourth," he said.
"It looks to be a real good chance as well."
Tomorrow's races will be the club's final meet for 2018 before the track undergoes renovations.
In addition, each of the six races will be in memory of former committee members who have assisted at the club throughout the years.
Races will honour former president Jack Brennan, racing supporter Wally Cross, life members Hec Freeman and Bill McGovern, and committee member Mick Bugler.
Also included is the long-standing Greg Elliot memorial trophy race.
Kirkwood said the club aimed to make the last meet of the year a special one, combining Christmas parties with the memorial races.
After 33mm of rain at the weekend, Kirkwood said the track was rated a soft 5, but hoped it would be upgraded to a good 3 by Thursday.
DETAILS: Lockyer Valley Turf Club race day, Thursday, November 22. First race at 2.12PM.