Perfect conditions for racegoers and Gladiators

League fans and racegoers alike enjoyed perfect conditions at Bassett Park on Saturday July 8th for the second day of the Roma Turf Club’s 2023 Winter Carnival for the Cities RLFC Race Day.

The Gladiators kicked off the day on a winning note defeating the Taroom-Wandoan Battlers 40 points to 20 in their RDRL A-Grade clash, before settling in to enjoy the 5-race programme. Following the Rugby League match, the Roma Turf Club welcomed local Mandandanji representative Rodney Landers to relay the importance of NAIDOC Week celebrations and to perform a Welcome To Country prior to the day’s racing commencing.

Photo: Race 1 – Worthy Moves

Roma-trained horses won 3 of the 5 races on Saturday, with riding honours for the day going to local apprentice Sophie Wilcock with a winning double. She started the day leading all the way aboard the Scott Rogers-trained Worthy Moves, winning the Roma Home Improvement Centre Maiden Plate of 1000m on debut defeating Bindango and Marty Awha. Sophie’s second winner came from another front-running ride in the Commonwealth Hotel Open Plate of 1200m on the Wayne Baker-trained Unrestricted, defeating Dynamic Verse and race favourite Shotgun Sonny running third. Wilcock made the best use of the inside barrier draw to lead early on Unrestricted and set up a good break around the 600-metre mark before kicking on in the straight to win by 3½ lengths. Country superstar Fab’s Cowboy was looking to bring up win number 50 in his illustrious 138-start career but could only manage 6th.

Photo: Race 3 – Unrestricted

Keenzap made it back-to-back wins on the Bassett Park sand with Dylan Bennett aboard the Craig Smith-trained gelding in the GJ Gardner Roma 0-60 Handicap (900m), winning over stablemate Savvy Song and Eil ‘N’ All finished well for third. Keenzap is raced by the Saddlers Knife Syndicate managed by Birdsville Race Club president David Brook, and Smith is looking to add Keenzap to his team for the stable’s annual trek out to the Birdsville Carnival in September.

Photo: Race 2 – Keenzap

Heat was another back-to-back winner at Bassett Park for Chinchilla trainer Leonard Mawn in the Qld Country Meats/West Tech Systems BM50 Handicap (1200m) beating Real Hussey and Old Town Road. Jockey Morgan Butler made a mid-race move on Heat before showing a good turn of foot in the home straight to score by 3¾ lengths.

Photo: Race 4 – Heat

Savannah McCann kept her winning strike rate ticking over taking out the Lomur Constructions BM60 Handicap (1640m) on the Matt Kropp-trained Blue Corner defeating Impactful and Package. McCann tracked the early race leaders on Blue Corner before taking an inside run at the home turn and kicked away to win by a length on the line.

Photo: Race 5 – Blue Corner

State Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing Grace Grace MP was a guest of the Roma Turf Club for the day, and club co-president Peter Flynn said “the Roma Turf Club were very happy to have the Minister and her husband Michael as part of the presentations of the feature race on the day won by Unrestricted, and to see her enjoying the day mingling with the racegoers and the rugby league spectators. The club also had some very fruitful discussions with the Minister and Racing Advisor Kurt Hopkins, as well as Maranoa Regional Council representatives, regarding future projects for the Club and Bassett Park including racing infrastructure and spectator facilities.”

Photo: Wayne Baker and Grace Grace MP

Photo : Mayor Tyson Golder and Grace Grace MP

The Roma Turf Club is regarded as one of Racing Queensland’s strategic clubs, hosting nine of the biggest and best country race meetings in Queensland including the largest and richest meeting west of the Divide – the famous Roma Cup on November 18th. And this year the Roma Turf Club is proud to welcome their new official Roma Cup 2023 Sponsor – The Club Hotel Roma. Plans are well underway for another bumper day of exciting racing, the fabulous Fashions On The Field with fantastic prizes, and the ever-popular live entertainment to keep racegoers rocking once the sun sets in the west.

Racing returns to Bassett Park on Saturday July 22nd with the Blinco’s Yard Service Families And Fillies Race Day. The 5-race programme with $67,500 in prizemoney will wrap up 3 big race days of the Roma Turf Club’s Winter Carnival, following on from last month’s successful Roma Echidnas Rugby Race Day and the Cities RLFC meeting.

Race to for further information, or contact

Photo credits

race photos supplied by Three Way Photos – for race day images, visit; email; or phone 0497577565