HISTORY-MAKING DAY: Jockeys getting ready to race at Monto's 2020 Patron Free Race Day. Picture: Kerri Williams
HISTORY-MAKING DAY: Jockeys getting ready to race at Monto's 2020 Patron Free Race Day. Picture: Kerri Williams

RESULTS: History-making day of spectator-free racing

MONTO’S annual race meet made history at the weekend as the first event the race club has staged without spectators.

Held at the Monto Race Club on Saturday, March 28, the North Burnett race day was one of three country races which went ahead in Queensland, while adhering to coronavirus restrictions.

Roma and Mount Isa held their country race meets as well, also without spectators.

Monto Race Club secretary Kerri Williams said it was an excellent day of racing, even though it was a quiet one.

Jockeys following social distancing restrictions at Monto's 2020 Patron Free Race Day. Picture: Kerri Williams
Jockeys following social distancing restrictions at Monto's 2020 Patron Free Race Day. Picture: Kerri Williams

“There were excellent fields on the day, very big fields actually,” Williams said.

“Everyone followed protocol of course, with perfect hygiene practised.”

The race day also made history for another, more positive reason by fielding 16 jockeys, which is the highest number fielded in its 92-year history.

“We’re always struggling to get jockeys, but because there were no other races around, we were able to get 16 in attendance,” Williams said.

“They were all actually spread out where the patrons are usually, a couple metres apart of course.”

Even with a skeleton crew, Williams said the day was a success, and the community eagerly watched the races on social media.

“Since the horse owners couldn’t come, they were anxious to see the day’s racing, so we got them online as soon as we could,” she said.

“Everyone I’ve spoken to was appreciative of the race day, as it seems we might’ve been one of the last country race meetings for a while.”

As for the coveted North Burnett Fashions on the Field, the clubs in the region have decided to defer the event to 2021.

The main prize for the winner was to be tickets to the Ladies Oaks Day in Brisbane, which has since been cancelled.

“The winners from those heats will now go into next year’s competition, as an added bonus,” Williams said.

“There weren’t too many other options we had, so we’ve just had to do the best we can.”

Williams said the club would come back better than ever next year once the pandemic has passed.

Race 1 - Arnie & Rene Rideout Memorial Benchmark 50 Handicap (Time: 57.83)

1. Telloff (12e)

2. Walshie (1)

3. Senko Sidra (9)

4. Exocet Rocket (6)

5. True Myth (2)

Race 2 - Patrons QTIS Maiden Plate (Time: 58.29)

1. Chilli Prawn (2)

2. Kartanup (4)

3. Mr Noddy (6)

4. Fide Et Amore (3)

5. Mia Singa (5)

Race 3 - Gordon & Evelyn Hutton Memorial Class B Handicap (Time: 1.10.070)

1. Sequalo’s Spirit (3)

2. Spezia Lady (9)

3. Glam Rock (1)

4. Bettygee (6)

5. Mayfair Lady (11)

Race 4 - Ken & Gordon Russell Memorial Open Handicap (Time: 1.09.75)

1. Red Devil (6)

2. Eight Over (2)

3. Triage (5)

4. Splitz (4)

5. Money Ad (3)

Race 5 - Aeon Metals Benchmark 55 Handicap (Time: 1.23.652)

1. Rather Salubrious (6)

2. Lennon’s Paddock (9)

3. Time Out (5)

4. All Ellie (10)

5. Stormborn Angel (13e)


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