Exciting times ahead! Article by Tony McMahon

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Autumn is soon approaching which for Rockhampton racing industry stakeholders and followers heralds the Capricornia Racing Carnival and Yearling Sales.

The carnival centres around two days of first class racing at Callaghan Park on Friday, April 9 and culminating with the rich Capricornia Yearling Sales feature race on Saturday, April 10.

The crowning jewel is the $125K Capricornia Yearling Sale Classic QTIS 2YO Plate (1200m) which carries prizemoney of $143K for fillies and $137K for colts and geldings.

The co-feature race is the CYS QTIS 3 & 4YO Championship (1300m) worth $93K for the females and $87K for the males.

In total, a whopping $494,050 prizemoney will be distributed over the two days of racing at Callaghan Park.

The festivities continue on Sunday, April 11 when just over 100 thoroughbred yearlings will be auctioned for sale at the Capricornia Yearling Sales conducted by Magic Millions at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.

Of those 100 yearlings some 80 odd will travel to Rockhampton from southern centres of Queensland as well as New South Wales.

For the first time in the history of the Rockhampton based yearling sale which stretches over 30 years, yearlings will be despatched from Glenthorne Park at Taree in on the Central Coast of New South Wales.

While the majority of the southern invasion of yearlings will be arriving from the Darling Downs the hub of the thoroughbred breeding industry in Queensland, others will be here from further north.

These be include a handful from Mareeba and Mackay while some 13 yearlings from Central Queensland nurseries will be put up for auction.

Dululu based breeder Susan Peddle has the biggest local draft with seven yearlings while Bruce Watts’ Riverside thoroughbreds will have three yearlings among the catalogue.

Basil Nolan’s Raheen Stud, Warwick has the largest draft of yearlings with 14 entered including eight by the highly rated first season sire Heroic Valour.

Neville Stewart’s Oaklands Stud, Toowoomba has the next highest draft in the catalogue with a dozen yearlings.

Among that draft a sizeable number are sired by the international stallion Power (IRE) which is producing Stakes winners throughout the world.

The two days of racing and the Sunday sale provide a sizeable boost for the Rockhampton economy in many ways.

The three days of Carnival also include a number of social functions affiliated with the racing and the yearling sale.

An influx of visitors to Rockhampton from a wide range of diversified roles including, trainers, jockeys, breeders and their staff as well as buyers and selling agents certainly invigorates hotels, motels and entertainment centres.

As a prelude to the CYS Carnival, the Rockhampton Jockey Club in conjunction with Rockhampton Catholic Education have a monster St Patricks Day race meeting planned for Callaghan Park on Saturday, March 13.

Full details of the entertainment, luncheons and activities on the day are available from the RJC Facebook page with bookings recommended to be placed promptly.


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