Day At The Track

Whitaker family will be in thoughts at sale

07:59 AM 28 Mar 2019 NZDT
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Gary Whitaker and family,Harness racing
Joedy Whitaker photo

Seventy-six lots will be up for grabs at Sunday’s Garrard’s sponsored Redcliffe Yearling Sale, but the annual sale will be much more subdued than the previous 11 sales at Redcliffe Paceway.

The mid-day auction will be staged just seven days after an incident which saw horseman Gary Whitaker and his two children injured at the track.

Redcliffe Harness Racing Club president Bernie Ring said there would be an opportunity for attendees to keep the Whitaker family in their thoughts.

“We did think about postponing it but after a lot of consultation we have decided to go ahead,” Mr Ring said.

"Gary and his family are part of our harness racing family. Gary has bought at the sales previously and is a quality horseman.

"They will be on our minds not only on Sunday, but everyday, and we wish Gary and his two children a speedy recovered.”

He said his thoughts were also with Gary's wife Joedy, who had been brave throughout the ordeal. He wanted others to display that same braveness by seeking help.

"It's been tough for a lot of people, especially those who witnessed the accident. Some members are struggling with this and have sought counselling,” Mr Ring said.

"I strongly recommend that everyone takes up the counseling on offer. It needs to be addressed so the thought of it all doesn't come back to haunt people in years to come.”

As a result he said there would be no racing at Redcliffe this week – but possibly next week.

Ring termed Sunday’s auction as one which was lower on numbers than last year, but higher in quality.

"It’s one of the best catalogues we have had. We are expecting buyers from other States. We have a half-brother to Queensland's best juvenile filly of last season, Smart As Camm Be. He is by Hurrikane Kingcole and is Lot 35,” he said.

"He's just one stand-out. There are many more - and unlike the APG Sales, all out bidding starts at $1.”

He also liked the look of Lot 50 – a colt out of a Down The Catwalk mare named Catwalk Beauty (2004 brown P B Bullville mare). He is by Mr Feelgood.

Ring was proud that a strong selection of stallions would be represented, such as represented in the catalogue such as Bettor’s Delight, Somebeachsomewhere, Rock N Roll Heaven, Sportswriter, Roll With Joe, Well Said, Mr Feelgood, Grinfromeartoear, Changeover and Cammibest and the emerging sires Sweet Lou, Hurrikane Kingcole, Heston Blue Chip, Pet Rock, A Rocknroll Dance, Warrawee Needy, Sunshine Beach, He’s Watching and Follow The Stars.

The sale also features half-brothers or half-sisters to a host of classic winners including Pub Blitz, Cha Ching Chaching, Smart As Camm Be, Bonnie Jujon, Wicked Style, Jack Malone, Celtic Cruza and Mathilda Diventa and progeny of the top race mares Too Smart For You, Catwalk Beauty, Cullen’s Jewel, Montana Tess, Bangkok Dancer and Riverboat Royce.

"The big incentive about this Sale is that yearlings are eligible for the Garrard’s Redcliffe Yearling Sale Series with a minimum $100,000 prize money for two-year-olds in 2020 and the 3YO Sale Classic in 2021,” Mr Ring said.

“They are also eligible for Q-Bred, Vicbred, Breeders Crown, Bathurst Gold Crown and NSW Breeders Challenge.”

The Sale will be run in conjunction with Darren Ebert and Co. Auctioneers and Agents.


Duane Ranger

for Racing Queensland

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