Quality racing today for Amateurs showpiece

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By Darryn Nufer

AS far as quality race cards go, they don’t get much better than what is being served up at Callaghan Park today for the annual meeting of the Rocky Amateurs Race Club.

And that is hardly surprising considering this year’s Amateurs card carries a total of $171,000 prize money – up a significant $50,500 on this corresponding meeting last year.

The feature races themselves, the Amateurs Cup (1600m) and Bracelet (1200m), have gone up from $21,000 races to $30,000 races respectively.

The theory “put the money up and they will come to win it” certainly rings true today with big fields the order of the day – justifying Racing Queensland’s decision to boost stakes levels at this race meeting.

Trainers, the likes of David Vandyke, Darryl Hansen and Garnett Taylor (Sunshine Coast), Lindsay Hatch (Toowoomba), Krystle Johnston (Caloundra), Stewart Barr (Wondai) to name some, have travelled to be here.

What’s more, the big fields mean punters are assured value if they can find a winner today.

One of the more interesting runners is the Toowoomba-trained Helarocity who returns to his old stomping ground to contest the Amateurs Bracelet.

A graduate of our local Capricornia Yearling Sale, Helarocity was the star of his two-year-old year in Rockhampton when he was under the care of Jamie McConachy before moving south to Lindsay Hatch where he has been competitive in Brisbane grade.

Barrier 18 and 60kg is certainly no help today but connections would like to see him doing his best work late as they’re looking towards the Rocky Newmarket with him.

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

For racegoers attending today, you’ll need to be a member of the Rocky Amateurs Race Club or an owner of a horse racing today to access the Members facility which is slightly different to previous years.

Rockhampton Jockey Club members don’t have to pay gate entry.

Cyclone Topgirl just keeps winning

Speaking of winners, Rockhampton-owned and bred gun two-year-old Cyclone Topgirl won her sixth consecutive race on Thursday at Townsville.

Trained by Lyle Wright at Mackay, the daughter of Changeintheweather (USA) has now banked upwards of $167,000 from just seven career starts and is the new poster girl for QTIS racing in our neck of the woods.

The Milner family who own Cyclone Topgirl are certainly enjoying the ride at present, not just with this filly but also with another of the progeny of Changeintheweather in their four-year-old gelding Cyclone Fugitive who has also been in good form.

No comeback for jockey Taylor just yet

Former jockey Alisha Taylor piloted one at the Rockhampton jump-outs on Tuesday but don’t expect her to return to race riding anytime soon.

Taylor hasn’t ridden in races since November 2016 after swapping the saddle for motherhood duties but she still keeps her “eye in” riding trackwork for her partner, trainer Jared Wehlow, and fellow Rocky trainer Leanne Applewaite.

Given the current jockey shortage locally and Taylor’s cameo appearance on Tuesday I asked her if she had any desire to return to race riding anytime soon or down the track.

“Maybe one day when Chloe (daughter) gets older,” she replied.

Magic Millions put back into the community

I take my hat off to Gold Coast-based thoroughbred auction house Magic Millions who shared a site at the Beef Expo this week to promote racing along with the Rockhampton Jockey Club, Racing Queensland, Central Queensland Thoroughbred Breeders Association and Ubet.

The ever-popular and stylish Magic Millions caps were a huge hit with expo-goers selling for a gold coin donation with all funds raised going towards a worthy cause – the Riding for the Disabled Association of Australia.

Magic Millions operates all year round conducting major sales in four states of Australia but it has also been a great supporter of racing and associated events in regional areas including Rockhampton and this week was another example of that.


The Jamie McConachy trained Media Vita won at Callaghan Park last Saturday and could feature over the Rocky Winter Carnival.


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