Alan Thomas called his final race on Saturday with a typically accurate and entertaining broadcast of the Goldmarket Handicap at the Gold Coast. Thomas called his first race at the Gold Coast on January 2, 1971 and he has been the voice of Queensland racing for the most part ever since. Thomas called some great horses including Black Caviar, Might And Power, Kingston Town, Takeover Target, Apache Cat and Rough Habit and he was always able to capture the excitement. Thomas was also very adept at calling other major sporting events including rugby league, boxing, golf, cricket and lawn bowls; Thomas called 15 State Of Origin matches from 1987 as well as calling Jeff Fenech's first two world title fights. There were great scenes at the Gold Coast as the crowd gave Thomas a rousing send-off. Thomas will now focus on his newly-formed boutique real estate business and Wizard of the Turf wishes him the very best in all his future endeavours.
Congratulations Alan Thomas on a great career.
Read more: Alan Thomas Calls It A Day In Style At Gold Coast
With the abandonment of Flemington due to extreme heat Wizard made a hit-and-run visit to Doomben where he was greeted by many of his Brisbane followers. Wizard will be at the Gold Coast on Boxing Day for the Goldmarket Handicap meeting so don't miss this great opportunity to catch up.
Dion, Anthony, Matt, Wizard, Mick & Shannon enjoying festivities at Doomben
Read more: Centre Pivot and Wizard Wow Doomben
The Pat Webster-trained Happy Clapper proved far too good for his rivals in the G2 Villiers Stakes over 1600m at Randwick; Webster has been training for a long time and he has had some very good horses but Happy Clapper may prove to be the best of all. Happy Clapper was always travelling well for Brenton Avdulla but Happy Clapper had nowhere to go for much of the straight. Avdulla then had to plot a course closer to the slower rails-section but he still sprinted quickly to take the lead and he easily held Tinto and It's Somewhat at-bay to win by a length in a fast 1 minute 33.98 seconds. Happy Clapper has overcome a few injuries in his career so far and the 5-Y-O can further improve on his excellent record of six wins and four placings from twelve starts. The G1 Doncaster Mile is sure to be Happy Clapper's ultimate target in the Autumn.
Read more: Happy Clapper Deserves Villiers' Applause
Perfect Reflection kept her unbeaten record intact with a superb victory in the G1 Kingston Town Classic over 1800m at Ascot and in the process she became the first 3-Y-O filly to win in its history; Perfect Reflection had been very impressive winning her first four starts against her own age and she handled the steep rise in class with distinction to take her record to five wins from five starts. Perfect Reflection swept to the lead early in the straight but she had to pull-out all stops to defeat top-class mare Delicacy by a nose. It was a tremendous result for Grant Williams and the Peters' family who combined for first, second and fourth. It was a triumph for champion Perth jockey William Pike who not only rode Perfect Reflection to her historic victory but he selected Perfect Reflection in preference to Delicacy. The sky is the limit for Perfect Reflection.
Read more: Reflection Keeps Perfect Record In Kingston Town
Didntcostalot was always a better than average sprinter but he has gone to a much higher level since being taken-over by Tony Gollan as evidenced by his scintillating win in the G3 George Moore Stakes over 1200m at Doomben; Didntcostalot began brilliantly as per usual and Tegan Harrison had Didntcostalot in front travelling easily after 100m. The George Moore was all over bar the shouting a long way from home and Didntcostalot won by 3.5 lengths in a blistering 1 minute 8.17 seconds. Gundy Spirit and Fontelina battled-on well for second and third to make it a Tony Gollan trifecta but they were outclassed by Didntcostalot. Didntcostalot has had six starts for Gollan for four wins and two placings and with Didntcostalot's racing pattern there is little doubt he will add to this impressive record in the future.
Read more: Didntcostalot But Too Classy In George Moore
Champion Queenslander Buffering made it Group 1 number six from a staggering thirty-one races at the highest level when he won his second Winterbottom Stakes over 1200m at Ascot. Buffering was gradually taken to the front by master horseman Damian Browne and from there Buffering was able to dictate terms; Buffering gave a big-kick at the top of the straight and once again he was too strong for his rivals. Waterman's Bay ran on strongly for second to make it three consecutive placings in the Winterbottom. Fast 'n' Rocking was held-up for a good part of the straight and he did well to finish third. Buffering is an 8-Y-O now and it has been a tremendous training performance by Robert Heathcote to have the son of Mossman as good as ever. Buffering has won almost six million dollars in prizemoney and with lucrative targets at the Gold Coast and Dubai Buffering is sure to be adding to this total.
Read more: Another Winterbottom For Brilliant Buffering
Who Shot Thebarman raced without luck all Spring but given a superb James McDonald ride Who Shot Thebarman demolished his rivals to win the G2 Zipping Classic over 2400m at Sandown by seven lengths.
Read more: Barman Crushes Rivals In Zipping Classic
There were many highlights over the Melbourne Cup Carnival but Michelle Payne's win aboard Prince Of Penzance in the Melbourne Cup stands head and shoulders above the rest as she became the first female jockey to win The Race That Stops The Nation.
Read more: Pleasure And Payne Over Melbourne Cup Carnival
Winx recorded one of the most dominant victories in Cox Plate history winning by just under five lengths; so superior was Winx' performance that the Cox Plate was all over when she darted-through on the inside of The Cleaner and Hugh Bowman went for home on Winx and she had an unassailable lead at the top of the straight. Winx showed no sign of weakening and she coasted-home with Criterion and Highland Reel filling the minor placings. Four starts earlier Winx won the Sunshine Coast Guineas and her improvement since then is a credit to master trainer Chris Waller. The Moonee Valley track was not up to the required standard; however nothing should be taken-away from Winx which proved herself a superstar breaking Might And Power's course record which the champion had held since winning the Cox Plate in 1998.
Read more: Wonderful Winx Wins Cox Plate
The Murray Baker-trained Mongolian Khan outstayed his rivals to win the G1 Caulfield Cup over 2400m; after drawing a favourable barrier Opie Bosson positioned Mongolian Khan perfectly behind the leading pack and he had Mongolian Khan ready to strike approaching the home turn. Mongolian Khan swept to the lead early in the straight with Our Ivanhowe his immediate challenger; Mongolian Khan beat-off Our Ivanhowe and it was left to Trip To Paris to make a race of it with Mongolian Khan but Mongolian Khan proved too strong for Trip To Paris winning by a half-length with Our Ivanhowe a further 1.25 lengths away in third place. There were a few good runs in the Caulfield Cup but Mongolian Khan's was clearly the best and he is a serious Melbourne Cup contender despite receiving a 1kg penalty.
Read more: Mongolian Khan Wins Caulfield Cup