Training centre for success-Article by Tony McMahon

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Rockhampton’s prominence as a vital racing centre is endorsed by the fact that 64 horses trained in the city are hitting the highways for outside centres to race this weekend.

Not surprisingly the bulk of that number, some 39 to be exact will be floated north to Mackay for that city’s prestigious Cup meeting.

The Mackay Turf Club’s original eight race TAB program has been expanded to cater for nine races whereby a record 121 horses will compete for a staggering $412,000 in prize money.

Just a few short years ago that prize money pool was never even dreamed of for a northern provincial meeting, so Racing Queensland deserves all the plaudits for bringing this to fruition.

Rockhampton will provide more than half the field for the $75K Newmarket (1300m).

They are Peacock (Justin Stanley); Barachiel (Elyce Smith); Hanover Square (Nathan Day); Mr Attitude (Les Tilley); Tambo’s Heart (Chris McIver); Cyclone Topgirl (Chelsea Jokic); Conca Del Sogno (Chris Whiteley); Heartbreak Harry and Miss Anna.

Tom Button trained Astoria (Stanley); Adrian Coome’s Poetic Heart (Whiteley); Tim Cook’s I Can I Will I Am (Jokic) and Julieann Lancaster’s Dane Cheval will represent Rocky in the $150K Mackay Cup (2000m).

The Mackay Turf Club is gearing for a massive crowd with racing starting as early as 11.34am which would be a first for the club.

While only standard race prize money of $7450 per event is on offer at Emerald races on Sunday, the race club there was inundated by entries.

When a record 87 horses were declared runners for the Emerald Turf Club’s original five race card two races were decided to make for a bumper seven race non-TAB program.

Trainers from Callaghan Park, Rockhampton are despatching 23 horses out to Emerald.

Jockeys are also arriving in droves with SEQ high profile hoops Justin Stanley and Les Tilley riding on the first class grassed Emerald Pioneer Park racecourse.

They will be joined by North Queenslanders Chelsea Jokic; Wanderson D’Avila; Bonnie Thompson and Pietro Romeo.

Rockhampton trainer Clinton Taylor will be travelling in a different direction when he races Miss Miles at Roma tomorrow. Saturday

Not forgetting the Tom Button trained The Tax Accountant who represents Rocky in Brisbane tomorrow. SATURDAY

Before a massive crowd at Grafton racecourse yesterday THURSDAY that jockey of the moment Matthew McGillvray went with a long neck of winning the $160,000 LR Grafton Cup (2350m).

Riding the Cairon Maher-David Eustace trained Sopressa ($6.00), Mc Gillivray had to be content with second to Tony Pike’s New Zealand visitor Sacred Day (Ben Looker).

Last Saturday at Callaghan Park, the widely travelled Port Macquarie based Looker rode the unplaced Jared Wehlow trained Unbiased in the Rockhampton Cup.

He is likely to be the rider of Unbiased in the Townsville Cup in a fortnight.


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