With dark clouds rolling in and the weather looking ominous, the big Kempsey crowd started looking for shelter, but just as quickly as it came, it disappeared and everyone took out their form guides and started looking for all the winners.
With the feature races being the time honoured Kempsey Akubra Cup and the Frank Brady Memorial maiden final the afternoon of racing was always going to be exciting. But before the feature events there were plenty of other strong races to be contested.
Race 1 brought together a very even 5th grade field over the 508m but in a driving finish it was Speedy Delivery for Glynnis McCarthy who came with a powerful finishing burst to grab Camden Dream on the line with Super Toll coming in 3rd in a time of 30.56.
Race 2 another 508m race and Ebony Vane for Arthur Turnbull came from well back to win drawing away in a time of 30.56 with Miss Carruthers and Heart Starter filling the minor placing.
Race 3 the GBOTA final for 3rd/4th graders and after slightly missing the start, So Slow for Craig Francis hunted up along the rails to beat a gallant Pride Ability and Beau Baz in a fast 20.57.
Race 4 the maiden consolation and Sabrina Brown with Mulwee Bye gave the field a galloping lesson leading throughout to win by 3 ½ in 21.12 from Wolfman Jack who tried hard all the way and Bee My Ranger coming in 3rd.
Race 5 a GBOTA Trophy race over the grueling 635m and in a driving finish with the first 3 crossing the finishing line together it was Settle Petal who stuck her neck out on the line to just beat Hat Rack who looked the winner with 20m to go and the unlucky Petite Verona 3rd.
Race 6 a 5th grade over the 508m and Sawtell Sam for Maureen West flew the lids and held the chasers at bay winning by 2 ¾ lengths in a time of 30.57 from Big Megs who tried hard all the way and Forgotten Son coming in 3rd.
Race 7 the Frank Brady Memorial Final and with only half a second separating the field in the qualies it was always going to be a tough race, but Des and Debbie Winters with Uno My Valley took home the $1000 first prize when their little black bitch led throughout to beat Someday Charlie who just missed and Dark Uno finishing a good 3rd.
Race 8 the Cup consolation and in a race with many chances again, it was Nasi Goreng for Jeanette Roche who had been trialling well that got the cash leading throughout to beat Gembaz who tried hard and the ever consistent Bub’s Way in a good 30.40.
Race 9 the best 8 over 350m and the heavily backed Big Sky Ruler for Rikky Moncrieff flew the lids and raced away winning in a fast 20.70 from George Jetson who chased hard all the way and Stormy Subject who returned to some good form.
Race 10 The Kempsey Akubra Cup Final and with last weeks heat times this race was always going to be good, but in the end it was Antivirus for Phillip Hall and family who got the $2000 winners cheque when he came home hard to beat Tuncurry Tiger who just couldn’t finish it off and Murranji Mary who ran a very gallant race for 3rd in a time of 30.39.
Race 11 a 4th/5th grade 350m race and Aralakka Valley for that man again Des Winters, weaved and side stepped through the field like Benji Marshall after missing the start to just grab Apache Girl on the line with Foxtrot Lad coming in 3rd. The time of 20.73 was very good considering the circumstances.
Race 12 the lucky last and Jessica Albaz for Glen McLean looked very well placed on her recent city form gave her opponents no chance when she led throughout to beat Sitting Bull and Saintly Kiss who both tried their hearts out but were no match, as she sizzled round the track in a fast 30.28.
The Kempsey track would like to thank all participants, patrons and of course the sponsors for helping to bring together one of the best if not the best Akubra Cup carnivals.
The track now has a short recess until the 21st June when we have the heats of the Country Challenge to look forward too.