Arabian class on show at Gatton races
RACING: Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie might have walked away with the most wins of the day, but it was the Arabian feature race which stole the show at Gatton.
For the first time, a seven-horse field of Arabian horses took to Burgess Park for the AARC Maiden Arabian Sprint over 1100 metres.
Lockyer Race Club president Terry Kirkwood said the Australasian Arabian Racing Club had approached the LRC to hold a race there following AARC's maiden race on the Gold Coast earlier this year.
"There is a possibility of an Arabian race at the Gatton Cup in June,” Kirkwood said.
In an all-female jockey race, Aloha Illusional, owned, trained and ridden by senior jockey Jill Colwell, set the standards for Burgess Park, claiming honours in a time of 1:19:54.
The 64-year-old's chestnut mare is one of 20 registered Arabian race horses registered with the Arabian Racing authority in Queensland.
AARC promotions officer Jay Randle said the number might seem small, but more owners and trainers were becoming interested.
Although Arabian racing has been in in Queensland on and off for the past 30 years, it has only recently started to gain traction.
"We're going through the procedures to make sure we're on track with Racing Queensland,” Randle said.
Randle said following the maiden race last Thursday, the Arabian club had received inquiries from those who stayed to watch.
"We're just trying to promote the Arabian racing more,” she said.
In the thoroughbreds, Currie's gallopers Novative and He's A Witness claimed track honours in the first and last race respectively.
Novative, ridden by Corey Bayliss topped Bradley Smith's race favourite Answered by less than a length.
He's A Witness's apprentice jockey Sally Sweeney claimed a double, with a win for Matt Kropp in race five aboard Smashed It.
The next races at Gatton will be on June 11 for the Gatton Cup.