Better Than Ready keeps on firing

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By Darryn Nufer

BOOM Queensland stallion Better Than Ready just continues to deliver with his progeny winning races everywhere and the hot streak extended to Callaghan Park this week much to the delight of Warwick owner/breeder John Thornton.

His two-year-old colt Arnwood, trained by Nanango’s Glenn Richardson and ridden by apprentice jockey Hannah English, destroyed rivals at Rockhampton on Thursday winning his maiden by six lengths.

Thornton, who is also a bookmaker, has a bit to look forward to not only with Arnwood but also with his other Better Than Ready two-year-old Bam’s Rose, a filly who is set to debut in the near future.

“I’ve been very fortunate that I invested heavily in the progeny of Better Than Ready and I have another two Better Than Ready foals on the ground,” a delighted Thornton said.

One of the hottest sires in the country, Better Than Ready is represented by four runners in today’s $2 million Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on the Gold Coast including Rockhampton filly, John Wigginton’s Better Reflection.

At least one yearling by Better Than Ready will feature at April’s Capricornia Yearling Sale in Rockhampton – a bay filly out of the Court Command mare Palais Court, offered by Sarna Racing and Breeding at Childers.

O’Shea duo go from strength to strength

Rockhampton trainer Jim O’Shea is considering a trip to the Sunshine Coast in a couple of weeks with his in-form duo Barachiel and Spring Creek.

Barachiel (pictured), who has been dubbed “Mr Consistency” for only finishing out of a place once in his last 13 starts, won at Callaghan Park on Thursday before Spring Creek made it a stable double.

It was a memorable day for 68-year-old O’Shea as it was his first TAB double in 47 years of training.

His previous best was a double at the Dingo races.

Apprentice Doyle starts on right note

Rockhampton apprentice jockey Tom Doyle had cause for celebration on Thursday when his first ride at provincial level was a winner.

Doyle, with his three-kilogram claiming allowance, guided Peter Fleming’s Peretti home in the Class 2 Plate (1050m).

It was a day that also saw former gun apprentice Lachlan Dodds return to race riding after a three-month hiatus as he attempts to juggle outside work commitments with a jockey career.

A new face in the ranks locally is Richie Oakford who had his first Rockhampton ride on Thursday since relocating here from the Northern Territory.

Speaking of new faces, Clinton Taylor, former jockey and son of Sunshine Coast training maestro Garnett Taylor, has set up a training base in Rockhampton.

His arrival follows former Mackay-based trainer Lyle Wright’s relocation to Rockhampton and is a further show of confidence in the local industry on the back of recent boosts to race prize money.

Button buys Spirit of Boom yearling

Premier Rockhampton trainer Tom Button was active at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale on the Gold Coast this week.

Button only placed one bid but that landed him Lot 245, a bay filly (Spirit of Boom – Truly Brave) from the Eureka Stud draft for $50,000.

Button purchased the filly for an ownership group which includes prominent Rockhampton owner John Kele who has been an active buyer at yearling sales in recent years.

Considering Spirit Of Boom’s 2018 service fee was $55,000, they may have picked themselves up a bargain.

Rocky owned horses on big stage today

Good luck to the Rockhampton connections of Better Reflection and Outback Barbie who run in the big Magic Millions races at the Gold Coast today.

Not since the days of Our Boy Malachi has there been such a buzz around a Rockhampton horse contesting an elite race.

Racing back at headquarters

Racing returns to Callaghan Park on Friday, January 25.


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