Doomben races: Miss Hipstar earmarked for crack at Magic Millions after debut win

The money trail proved spot on as Miss Hipstar coasted to an encouraging debut win at Doomben on Saturday.

The daughter of Star Turn trialled at Doomben a month ago, where she caught the eye late, running on from back in the field for fourth.

But clearly she had gone ahead since then and jockey Larry Cassidy backed his confidence in the filly by riding her accordingly.

In contrast to the trial. Miss Hipstar was urged out of the machines and once she found the lead, was able to dictate in front and then zip home in a slick 33.76 seconds.

Miss Hipstar was too good for her opposition at Doomben. Picture: Trackside PhotographySource:The Courier-Mail

“A month ago I would have doubted she could win a race like that, let alone lead and win, but she has taken the next step,” Cassidy said.

Trainer Kelly Schweida will now plot a path to the Magic Millions, with a short break the most likely next move.

“She’d had a jumpout since the trial, but her work on Tuesday morning was super. Larry Cassidy gave her a big rap,” he said.

Ed O’Rourke was a familiar face at winter carnivals half a decade ago and now intends to be making more appearances under his own name.

O’Rourke trained his first Brisbane metropolitan winner when Windermere ($15) prevailed for Jake Bayliss in the Benchmark 72 Handicap (2200m).

O’Rourke now trains at Murwillumbah, where he currently has 12 horses on the books.

In his past life, he travelled with the Gai Waterhouse team and spent time in Queensland in 2015 with Doomben Cup winner Pornichet and Fred Best Classic winner Najoom.

“I won’t just come here for the sake of it, but when I’ve got the right horse I will look to Brisbane for sure,” O’Rourke said. “The facilities there at Murwillumbah are excellent, so there’s no excuses not to train winners.”

Trainer Ed O’Rourke snared his first Brisbane metro winner with Windermere at Doomben. Picture: Jono SearleSource:News Corp Australia

Punters cheer a Gold star return

Goldsborough may not have filled out much during his winter break, but he lost none of his raw talent as he showcased when landing some good bets first-up at Doomben.

Goldsborough went to the paddock as a maiden, but his two runs proved him to be among the better two-year-olds in the state, having run second to Group-class fillies Isotope and Gotta Kiss.

With a 4kg pull in the weights, punters backed Goldsborough ($3.20) to beat Isotope ($2.10).

His backers were on good terms right from the get-go, with Isotope bombing the start (see The Verdict, below) and Sean Cormack was able to settle him in the box seat to the turn before peeling out and putting the leaders away.

Trainer Jack Duncan would love to give Goldsborough his chance in the Magic Millions Guineas in January, but is mindful of the horse being only lightly framed.

Duncan turned him out for a good spell, hoping the Headwater gelding would mature, but while he grew a little taller, he still hasn’t filled out.

“He has a lot of upside and there’s a lot of improvement to come. He just hasn’t thickened out and he gets a bit light after work,” Duncan said. “I definitely don’t want to race him too much.”

Isotope blew the start at Doomben before charging home for second to Goldsborough.Source:News Regional Media


TAB breakdown causes chaos

Thousands of punters were left in the dark on Saturday as the TAB systems crashed, locking out account customers around the country.

The TAB platforms went down on Saturday morning and remained out for the entire day. Retail betting remained possible in Queensland and punters could place bets on track through the tote, but were unable to collect any returns.

Races were put back across the country in the hope the TAB would come back online, but the resurrection failed to materialise.

It is not the first time a major betting company has had a breakdown on a big day.

Ladbrokes and Betfair have both had tech malfunctions in Cup week in recent years, but the TAB meltdown had wider reaching ramifications because of other operators’ reliance on its tote products.

Tabcorp issued a statement apologising to customers, the racing industry and other partners for the “major technical issue” that also affected Keno and Gaming services.

It said the outage was caused by a major power disruption at one of the external data centres which houses Tabcorp’s servers.

We wish to apologise for a major technical issue that has resulted in outages today. It is understood to have been caused by major power failure at an external data centre which houses Tabcorp servers. We're continuing to deploy all resources on the restoration of full service.

“Tabcorp wishes to apologise to our customers, the racing industry, venues and other partners for the issues being experienced in the delivery of our products and services today,” Tabcorp’s Managing Director and CEO, David Attenborough said. “We are disappointed that we have been unable to give customers the experience the day deserves.”

The TAB outage is estimated to have left a $100 million turnover black hole, which equates to millions of dollars in lost revenue for the racing industry.

Racing Queensland has a Minimum Payment Obligation (MPO) deal it struck with Tabcorp when it merged with the former Queensland TAB, meaning it is protected against the drop off which incurred on Saturday.

However, the MPO ends on December 31 and Saturday’s blackout will not help TAB in its bid to claw back market share, which has been further eroded during COVID-19 retail shutdowns.

RQ faces a 2021 headache as it tries to fill the revenue black hole that will be created with the MPO agreement ending.

Racing Queensland CEO Brendan Parnell rued the timing of TAB’s breakdown on Saturday. Picture: AAPSource:News Corp Australia

RQ chief executive Brendan Parnell noted Saturday was a lost opportunity, as the Doomben races featured on Channel 7’s free-to-air television coverage alongside Sydney’s Golden Gift meeting.

“It’s really disappointing at one of the biggest carnival times of the year that TAB wasn’t able to sell bets other than retail,” Parnell said. “The MPO protects (Racing Queensland) from any losses and some of the turnover would have moved to corporate bookmakers (but) how much turnover and revenue shifts (going forward), time will tell.

“It was the first day of Sydney-Brisbane on Free to air and the usual uplifting impact of FTA was impaired significantly because of the outage.

“It’s just a bad experience for customers in (Australia’s) biggest week of racing.”

Ladbrokes and Sportsbet were the major beneficiaries of the TAB blackout with new customer acquisitions, but turnover was stymied by the impact on tote exotic markets.

“You never like to see a business suffer those sort of major tech outages, particularly of that scale on the last major day of the Spring Carnival,” Ladbrokes CEO Dean Shannon said.

“There were some flow on effects for us, with the postponement or loss of some meetings or races. There was also the impact on all the tote derivative products, but we saw good migration to our Same Race Multi product as a result.”

Mixed fortunes for Gollan

Tony Gollan put an otherwise dirty day behind him when Starosa, Glitter Strip, Palladas and Corvo gave him the first Saturday First Four of his training career in the fillies’ event at Doomben.

The three placegetters are headed to better races over the summer, with Glitter Strip being earmarked for longer assignments.

Gollan was left frustrated earlier in the day by the defeats of Isotope and Really Discreet.

The latter was slow out of the machines after having attendants with her in the barriers – instructions that were carried over from her days in South Australia, with Gollan unaware it would happen here after she trialled without barrier assistance.

Trainer Tony Gollan had a mixed day at Doomben.Source:News Regional Media

Earlier, stewards placed a warning on his top filly Isotope, who was out of play from the get-go after blowing the start. The Deep Field filly reared just before the start and then again just as the gates opened, meaning she missed the kick by a few lengths.

She did an enormous job to get as close as she did.

Gollan said Isotope last preparation started to develop the same quirky habit as stablemate Vega One, of lifting her back leg and placing it in the partition in the stalls.

Attendants stopped that from happening on Saturday, but the filly was her own worst enemy in wanting to play up.

It was a rough start to the day for Baylee Nothdurft, who was suspended for the ride after shifting out on the corner.

Speed battle

It didn’t get much better in the next for favourite backers when the big market mover Fields Of Yulong was carved up in front. Michael Hellyer (Holbrook) served it up to Robbie Fradd on the favourite, with Luke Dittman (I Could Do Better) adding to the pressure.

Fields Of Yulong matched strides with the pair and he was a sitting shot for those more patiently ridden, but did a good job under the circumstances to be beaten only four lengths, with the other pair 8.7 and 27 lengths adrift at the end.

Trainer Trent Edmonds gave Grand Zou’s strapper special praise at Doomben.Source:The Courier-Mail

Grand praise for strapper

Toby Edmonds provided a nice reminder of the human side of racing on Saturday when he made special mention of strapper Diane Scriven in the wake of Grand Zou’s Doomben romp.

“She’s been with this horse since the day he walked in the stable as a yearling,” Edmonds said. “At the start we all thought he was a Group 1 horse and obviously he hasn’t reached as high as we first thought.

“But she stuck solid the whole way through. When we all dropped off, she maintained the faith and you can see what it means to her for him to win his first Saturday race.”

Grand Zou may not reach Group 1 status, but he looks like he will continue charging through the grades after relishing his first test over a mile on Saturday.

The Edmonds camp was in good form at Doomben. Thine Is The Power earned herself a shot at some summer black type after lumping 59kg to win first up.

Summer vibes

Desert Lord is not likely to start again until The Buffering early in the New Year, as David Vandyke seeks a Magic Millions Wildcard. Saturday’s meeting had a real sniff of summer about it as Command’n’conquer and Ballistic Boy also showcased their carnival credentials.


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Originally published asSlick Hipstar on fast track to Magic Millions

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