248 Entries for an enormous $940,000 in Winter Racing prize money.

Published 3 July 2023

248 Entries for an enormous $940,000 in Winter Racing prize money.

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Rockhampton Jockey Club officials are buoyed after having received 248 entries for the two-feature race days of the Winter Racing Carnival at Callaghan Park racecourse this Friday and Saturday.

Some 54% of the horses nominated for the two days which offers $940,000 in prize money, are  visitors to Rockhampton.

The feature race, the 155th TAB Rockhampton Cup (1600m) on Saturday has drawn 18 nominations with connections lured by the $150K purse.

Five times Melbourne Cup winning trainer Lee Freedman has entered Bottega in what will be his first venture north from his now Gold Coast base.

While SE Queensland trainers are well represented with Cup entries, the interesting entry is that of the Irish horse Hype, now trained by Longford, Tasmanian trainer Aiden Nunn.

A last start winner for Nunn at Doomben over 1660 metres under 59.5kg on June 7, Hype (IRE) will add considerable intrigue to the Cup.

The last visiting winner of a Rockhampton Cup from further afield was the Bruce Marsh, New Zealand trained Fulmar (NZ) in 1993.

Local representation in the Cup comprises last year’s winner Master Jamie (Graeme Green); Deep Breath (Nick Walsh); Quality Asset (Jared Wehlow); Rover’s Pepper (Clinton Taylor) and Stubai (Ricky Vale). 

The highest rated horse in Friday’s feature race, the time-honoured Rockhampton TAB Newmarket (1300m) first run in 1918, is the Jack Bruce Sunshine Coast sprinter Axe (BM 94). 

Other high raters are Nick Walsh’s Bollente (90) with Brisbane trainer Brian Wakefield’s Roman Aerus similarly rated. 

Premier Queensland trainer Tony Gollan has penned in Palladas (85) while Brisbane’s Steven O’Dea and Matthew Hoysted have Enterprise Pomme (86) with their counterpart Lindsay Gough nominating Constant Flight (85).

Naturally, Callaghan Park trainer Clinton Taylor’s flying machine and last start 1200 metres track record shattering winner Princess Tenko will generate added hype with her appearance in the Newmarket.

RJC chairman Rob Carr said the quantity and quality of the horses entered for the Carnival was a “great result”.

“The pre-carnival launch in Brisbane some weeks ago has had the desired effect. Southern trainers are warming to the Rockhampton Carnival where such good prize money is on offer. We are delighted with their support and believe the Callaghan Park track will be in top condition”, Carr said.

He advised that there were still some limited seats available for bookings at both the Cup Calcutta Luncheon on Thursday and the Chairman’s luncheon at Callaghan Park on Saturday.

On the matter of a replacement for RJC CEO Ian Mill who gave notice some time ago, Carr said an announcement could be made tomorrow (Tuesday). 

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