‘Twas a Merry Little Christmas Race Meeting at Bassett Park

It was Jingle Bells, Jingle Bells, Jingle all the way on Saturday December 9th at Bassett Park as families enjoyed the McDonald’s Christmas race day. Many businesses and family groups got together for their festive celebrations under blue skies with an entertaining 5-race programme.

Training honours for the day went to the Toowoomba stable of Matt Kropp, combining with apprentice Tamara Noble to take out the last two races of the day after a couple of placings earlier in the afternoon. Kropp is no stranger to success at Roma’s meetings having won many races at Bassett Park including 5 Roma Cups, the most recent being Tears Of Love in 2021.

Photo: Pheeble’s Spirit wins the Ronald McDonald House Charity Class B 1200m https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6j7EobGtMY&list=PLJon1PNYm39FBtf2rH6f9gDqUA3aJYaDS&index=4

The first of the Matt Kropp-trained winners was Pheeble’s Spirit taking out the Ronald McDonald House Charity Class B handicap of 1200 metres where a hectic early pace was set by the leaders, but Noble was able to scout wide on the home turn to storm down the centre of the track and defeat Forever Invincible by 2 lengths with Boss Bandit a neck back in third in a time of 1:12.30. The blue and white silks of the Kropp stable made it a race-to-race double with Laurie winning the Macca’s Run BM65 handicap of 1640 metres. Again ridden by Tamara Noble, Laurie settled well behind the early leaders before Noble brought the gelding off the rails 600 metres from home to again come down the centre of the home straight to score by 4½ lengths from Caffrey and a further neck back to Peshwa in third in a time of 1:43.06.

Photo : Laurie wins the Macca’s Run BM65 1640m https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iC4i7-OA_o4&list=PLJon1PNYm39FBtf2rH6f9gDqUA3aJYaDS&index=5

Having his first ride on the Bassett Park sand, jockey Chris Taylor won the first race of the day aboard Catalyse for Roma trainer Wayne Baker. Taylor quickly brought Catalyse to the lead and was never headed, scoring by 3½ lengths from Rogue Artist with Nythe another 3½ lengths away in third place in a time of 58.87. Raced by Baker along with Paul and Mick Tully, the Exceed And Excel gelding is a new addition to the stable and looks to be a good addition to the Baker team. The opening race was the Barry Richardson Memorial maiden plate of 1000 metres, remembering a long-time Roma trainer and racing identity and many of the extended Richardson family were on hand to pay tribute to him. A South African expat and now Gold Coast-based, Chris Taylor has ridden extensively around the world at Dubai, Qatar, Bahrain, and Seoul before making a permanent move with his family to Australia.

Photo : Catalyse wins the Barry Richardson Memorial maiden plate 1000m https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyuPbxvUor4&list=PLJon1PNYm39FBtf2rH6f9gDqUA3aJYaDS&index=1

The Brendon Newport-trained Nutso made it back-to-back wins at Roma, taking out the McDonald’s Delivery QTIS BM55 handicap of 1000 metres with apprentice Sarah Robbins in the saddle. Nutso jumped on terms with the field before the early leaders again set a cracking pace out in front, with Robbins forced to make a move mid-race and come wide on the home corner, before dashing away to win by 2¾ lengths from Rowdash with Kazza’s Jet a short head away in third place in a time of 58.08. Nutso won on Roma Cup day for the Robbins/Newport combination after scoring at Charleville on Melbourne Cup day, and will now be set for his hometown feature, the Murilla Cup at Miles in February.

Photo : Nutso wins the McDonalds McDelivery QTIS BM55 1000m https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IRFYb3LCy28&list=PLJon1PNYm39FBtf2rH6f9gDqUA3aJYaDS&index=2

Roma trainer Craig Smith and owner Rodney Hay continued their good recent form with Deference taking out the McDonald’s Roma Open of 1000 metres, winning by 1¾ lengths from Capital Reign and Coynes Road ½ a length back in third place in 57.61. The speed was again on from the start with the first two past the post battling it out from the get-go before apprentice Zac Sprie overhauled Capital Reign in the home straight to win quite easily. Deference had run second to stablemate Craig And Hoff on Roma Cup day and has now posted 2 wins and 4 placings since joining the Smith stable in February.

Photo : Deference wins the McDonalds Roma Open 1000m https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJuKTNW7TdM&list=PLJon1PNYm39FBtf2rH6f9gDqUA3aJYaDS&index=3

For their combined winning double and 2 placings, Tamara Noble and Matt Kropp were awarded the Rider and Trainer Of The Day respectively with Noble receiving a stay-cation accommodation prize at the five-star Pullman Brisbane Airport sponsored by the Brisbane Airport Hotels Group, while Kropp received tickets to Toowoomba’s King Of The Mountain race meeting on New Years Day, highlighting the strong association between the Roma and Toowoomba clubs.  

Photo : L-R Trainer Of The Day Matt Kropp represented by Claire Crocombe; R.T.C. co-president Craig Smith; Rider Of The Day Tamara Noble 

The Roma Turf Club would like to thank all their valued sponsors for their wonderful support during 2023 and wishes everyone a safe and Happy Christmas and looks forward to welcoming everyone back to the Heart Of Western Racing at Bassett Park in 2024.

For more information, please contact info@romaturfclub.org.au

Race photos supplied by Three Way Photos – for race day images, visit www.michaelmcinallyphotography.com ; emailthreewayphotos@gmail.com ; or phone 0497577565 

Race replays courtesy of Racing Queensland and Regional Cast

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