26 November 2016

TWO years ago, jockey Luke Tarrant started a giant-killing run in the saddle when he won the Listed Recognition Stakes on Rudy.

On Saturday he won the same race on Cylinder Beach.

There have been so many highs and lows in between, it is hard to know where to start.

Tarrant enjoyed some incredible moments on the racetrack, including winning the 2015 Magic Millions on Le Chef, and at one stage was the poster boy for Racing Queensland which used him in several of their promotions.

But it all fell apart as he served a riding suspension for drug-related offences.

The youngster copped a barrage of criticism following a post on social media which displayed a photo of him wearing a cap with the words 'Enjoy Coke' printed on it.

Since returning from suspension, he has been working hard to rebuild his career and showed he had lost none of his riding nous when he plotted an inside path on Cylinder Beach at Eagle Farm.

Many jockeys have refused to go near the inside at Eagle Farm, fearing it is a slow no-go zone.

"The trouble is if you are riding a favourite and you go in there near the fence, and you get beaten, you can look dumb" Tarrant said.

"You can be sort of obliged to go to the outside. But I think just backing yourself in, and having a bit of confidence that you know what you are doing, can go a long way. My timing and momentum seems to be coming back to me." "I was lucky enough to win this race two years ago on Rudy and that is pretty much where I started to hit form. Hopefully the same thing can happen again for me."

Trainer Desleigh Forster has now enjoyed two big Brisbane race wins in two weeks after Too Good To Refuse won the recent Keith Noud Quality at Eagle Farm.

It wasn't all plain sailing on Saturday with the resuming Cylinder Beach, with Tarrant revealing he was concerned at one stage in the run.

"He ended up winning very impressively but he did hit a little bit of a flat spot going into the turn. I was a bit worried" Tarrant said.

"But when he did see daylight in the straight he just ?accelerated away like a good horse."

Forster, who was confident going into the race, is now likely to head towards the Group 2 $250,000 Villiers Stakes (1600m) at Randwick on December 17 with Cylinder Beach.

"It makes it easier to get out of bed when you have a nice horse or two" Forster said.

"I told Luke to be patient and don?t be in a hurry in the race. "People don?t realise these horses appreciate getting down in the weights. Only carrying 54kg today made a big difference to this horse. At one stage this horse was being sold to Hong Kong but things fell through. I am just so glad he stayed here."


JOCKEYS started showing more initiative at Eagle Farm on Saturday and the proof was in the pudding.

Several horses won near the inside which most hoops have previously avoided like the plague, believing it was like quicksand.

Rock On Ivy, Cylinder Beach and Denarius all used the section near the inside to advantage yesterday.

Track officials have insisted there is nothing wrong with the inside section and jockeys are starting to take heed.


THE Eagle Farm track played well on Saturday considering the morning deluge, but it wasn't all plain sailing.

There were plenty of sweaty palms early Saturday with a snap electrical blackout striking the racecourse.

Everyone praying it was not a repeat of the shambolic scenes of the Melbourne Cup day debacle.

Thankfully, power was restored long before the first race, with the Brisbane Racing Club generators kicking in.

It was initially believed to be an Energex fault but it later appeared the problem may have been with a fuse tripping at the track.

An Energex team remained at the track for the rest of the day to ensure everything went smoothly.


NEW UBET chief operating officer Brendan Parnell reckons it is business as usual for the wagering company despite the looming merger with TabCorp.

There were plenty of Twitter cynics after Friday?s announcement that UBET would take over as naming rights sponsor of the Stradbroke Handicap for the next three years.

The social media wags were quick to note there was zero chance the UBET brand would be around in three years.

One said it was a smart move from UBET as it locked the naming rights deal into the group and it would give TabCorp a strong profile race to use when under the merger.

But Parnell says the Stradbroke sponsorship move had nothing to do with the upcoming merger and insists that UBET will continue to push its own brand.


BRISBANE Racing Club chairman Neville Bell has been given the all-clear after a health scare on Friday.

Racing officials were worried when Bell stumbled through a speech to announce the new Stradbroke Handicap partnership between the BRC and UBET.

He was taken to the doctor where he was diagnosed with dehydration.

Bell was at the Eagle Farm races on Saturday and was quick to assure everyone his health was A-OK.


KELLY Schweida was doubting himself about which race to run Stella Ombra in, but ended up looking like a genius.

The four-year-old gelding scored a last-stride win in the Benchmark 90 Handicap (1000m) at Eagle Farm to secure his first win since April.

Schweida had been seriously considering entering Stella Ombra in the last race at Eagle Farm yesterday.

"I had a look at the other race and it had no speed in it, and he likes the speed on because he likes to get back and come with a run" Schweida said.

"I was a bit worried I had gone the wrong way but it worked out well."

Source: Ben Dorries, Courier Mail