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Covering the Central Highlands
Central West Queensland

Sport & Racing

15 March, 2021

Central Queensland racing loses key member

The Central Queensland community is mourning the loss of a long-time racing figure.


The late Bill Coghill with his horse Gunnison Highlands, and strapper Paul Sith and jockey Phillip Wolfgram after winning at Taroom in September 2006. PHOTO: Supplied.

By Richard “Nugget” Turnbull 

CENTRAL Queensland lost a country racing legend when Bill Cogill passed away last week.  

The late Taroom Trainer stalwart of country racing spent over 40 active years in the racing industry. 
Cogill’s life always revolved around his horses. 

He grew up with them his family were strongly involved in the Show horse circuit. 

His mother was a very accomplished horse woman, and his father was also a horse trainer. 
Cogill rode his first winner as a jockey on Memory’s Mark. 

He started his training career winning with Leebine in 1958 in Theodore. 

He also competed in camp drafting and show jumping. 
Cogill rode track work on the family property Glenleigh in his early years as a trainer. 

He had a knack – if a horse was any good, he could get an immediate gauge by its track work.  
Another big part of his formula alongside hard work for himself was not to race his horses every week and over work them, but to space their runs to every two and three weeks. 
Over his four decades in the industry he raced everywhere from Yeppoon, Rockhampton, Thangool, Roma, Warra to Toowoomba. 
He loved country racing and some of his more successful horses over his career was the legendary Storm Breaker (54 race wins), Flap Jack (37 wins), Better Be Good (20 wins) and Devil’s Elbow (15 wins). 
Cogill always said the fastest horse he trained was Mungululla – he was lightning fast over the short course distances. 
Gunnison Island was the last of his good horse which took out the Taroom Cup in 2006. 
Cogill had many other memorable wins including the Bendermere Cup in Roma. 

Another big win included with ex-jockey and former Rockhampton trainer, who is now training in NSW, Mick Attard who won the Rockhampton Amateur Cup on Flap Jack for Cogill at big odds. 
Bill’s funeral will be held at the racetrack in Taroom on Monday with a big crowd expected there to pay their last respects and to support his wife Joan and his family. 

The crowd will feature plenty of old faces from the racing industry of the present and of yesteryear. 
Country racing in Moranbah will kick off for 2021 at Treasure Park on March 13 when the Moranbah Race Club hosts its Autumn meeting in conjunction with the Moranbah Community Workers Club, the major sponsor of the meeting.  
Ash Dowd from the Moranbah Workers Club said the club was delighted to be getting behind and supporting such a great community event in these difficult times during COVID-19. 

He said the normality of a community gathering will be a breath of fresh air for the community and he hoped as many come out for the day to support the meeting which will run under a covid safe plan. 
Moranbah Race Club President John Juhas and club secretary Olivia O’Neill along with the hard-working Moranbah Race Club committee, have promised a feast of Autumn racing and entertainment throughout the day. 

Olivia O’Neill said the fashions on the field will be back and as always will be hotly contested. 

There will also be a licensed bar, full catering, tote facilities and bookmakers' betting on local and southern races. 

Gates open at 11am and after the races there will be a live music, who are sure to rock the house until late in the evening. 

Buses will be running to and from Moranbah Workers Club before and after the races until late. 

Moranbah Race Club president John Juhas said he hoped the $45,000 in prize money on offer will ensure top quality racing and was looking forward to the battle of the big three trainers the king of Treasure park Johnny Manzelmann, resident trainer Bevan Johnson and Olivia Cairns who is always hard to beat at Treasure Park. 

The feature event will be the $10,000 Moranbah Workers Club Community Cup over 1550 metres. 

Tickets, tables and cold platters can be purchased online at Eventbrite. 

Tickets go on sale Monday March 1. 

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, ticket numbers will be capped so get in quick to secure your ticket on the day. 


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