Big guns return for Rocky Amateurs

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By Darryn Nufer

STAR Rockhampton galloper Conca Del Sogno kicks off his Winter Carnival campaign tomorrow but trainer Tim Cook has given punters a lead that you won’t see his A-game just yet.

The five-year-old gelding (pictured) resumes from a spell in the $30,000 Rocky Amateurs Bracelet Open Handicap (1200m) which is the last of seven races on a bumper card of racing at Callaghan Park for the annual Rocky Amateurs meeting.

Conca Del Sogno, a winner of seven straight races in Capricornia in late 2016/early 2017, only had two starts in his last preparation which ended due to soreness issues after he finished down the track in the Magic Millions Country Cup (1200m) at the Gold Coast on January 13.

Cook said he would be happy if Conca Del Sogno, not having trialled and to be ridden by Zoe White, ran in the top five today.

“He’s a fair bit off being 100% fit but he’s where he needs to be going towards the Rocky Newmarket,” the trainer said.

“We obviously had a couple of setbacks last prep but going forward he’s done everything right so far on the track.

“Every time I’ve galloped him this prep with a mate he’s worked the house down.

“To see him find the line on Saturday that would be the best part.

“Hopefully he finishes top five. I think you’ll find the last 200m of the race will be his best work.”

The Bracelet tomorrow has drawn a strong field with the likes of Helarocity, Court Clown, French Hussler, Casino Thoughts, Ragazzo Del Corsa and Miss Anna engaged just to name a few.

For the first time this year, the Rockhampton Newmarket (1300m) on July 6 and Cup (1600m) on July 7 will be the first legs of a lucrative race series carrying a whopping $350,000 in bonuses.

The inaugural Ubet Queensland Northern Crowns Series will see any horse which can win three of the five nominated races across feature meetings at Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns pocket a $150,000 bonus (stayers) and $100,000 bonus (sprinters).

The bonus will rise to $200,000 for stayers and $150,000 for sprinters if any of the three wins includes Crowns races on the final day of the series – Far North Queensland Amateurs Day at Cairns on September 8.

Cook said the Series was a great incentive and one that had excited trainers because it was achievable to win.

“Hopefully we can get that far with him (Conca Del Sogno), that’s the plan,” he said.

“There’s probably not many horses in our area that are up to that series so hopefully he’s one of them who can do Rockhampton proud.”

The other feature race on the Rocky Amateurs card tomorrow is the $30,000 Bentleys Rocky Amateurs Cup Open Handicap (1600m) in which Glenda Bell’s Fastnet Flyer will carry top weight of 60kg with Ashley Butler aboard.

Gates at Callaghan Park open at 10.30am tomorrow with the first local race at 12.53pm.


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