Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 10 January 2024

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

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Even at this early stage with slightly less that half of the current racing season competed, it seems the stage is set for an enthralling battle in the Rockhampton Jockeys premiership. At the conclusion of Tuesday’s Callaghan Park meeting, 2018 season premier Justin Stanley heads the table with 17 wins. This is a three win buffer over reigning premier Ryan Wiggins. Ryan has won the last three Rocky premierships consecutively. Both he and Stanley rode winners on Tuesdays card.

Stanley scored on the Leigh Wanless trained That’s Interesting ($1.60) in the Capricornia Yearling Sale 2YO Maiden, 1050m. Wanless was very well known in Rockhampton Harness Racing and sporting  circles in this city at the height of the former horse sport being in vogue. A member of a famous harness racing and thoroughbred racing family, Leigh for many years was the publican of the Lakes Creek Hotel. Not long after harness racing ceased in Rockhampton he switched “horse codes” and moved south. Over the last decade and beyond he has been a staunch supporter of Callaghan Park race meetings firstl from Maryborough and now his Gympie base.
In the Cosmic Force juvenile filly That’s Interesting he may have found himself an above average acquisition. Wanless purchased her for $30,000 at the 2023 Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale. From just two starts for a third and a win, the filly is almost two thirds of the way in repaying her purchase price.

Just Super provided human “race winning machine” the jockey Ryan Wiggins with his sole winner on Tuesday. On Monday, the day before the Callaghan Park races, jet-about Wiggins piloted three winners at Ladbroke Park, Cairns. In the process of winning the $21K BM 70 (1050m), Just Super became the latest poster horse for Rockhampton’s Capricornia Yearling Sale in April. He was acquired from the 2021 edition for $24,000 from the draft of grand vendor Basil Nolan of Raheen Stud. Warwick.

Astute Callaghan Park trainer Nick Walsh has placed Just Super well annexing six wins and a number of placings from his 16 starts. A temporary campaign in Brisbane at the end of his last preparation with training partnership Hoysted and O’Dea although not productive, nevertheless was warranted. Back home now with Walsh and benefiting from a spell, Just Super has made it two wins from as many starts.
Another former Rocky harness racing identity and in his younger years an RJC administrative staff member in trainer Jason Morgan is also making a name for himself in thoroughbred training. Jason produced newcomer Doubting Eye (Jason Taylor, $7.00) to win the QTIS Maiden (1050m).  The win was indicative that Jason and his hard working partner’s of Lazy Lodge stables in North Rockhampton, have found another above average “tried horse”.  Locals – the trainer Kevin Miller and apprentice jockey Brooke Johnson both produced winning doubles.
Miller and Brooke combined to win the $23,000 Maiden (1050m) with Divine Hunter ($4.30). Less than an hour later, Brooke gave members of her social media Fan Club something to post and boast about when she won the BM 60(1400m) on the Liam Birchley trained  Bungarribee Lad ($8.00).It was an important milestone for the female teenage apprentice being her first Callaghan Park winning double.
For Bajool based trainer Kevin Miller, the Spill The Beans 6YO mare Nouverre Fille (Adam Sewell, $14.00) dug deep to win the $21K 0-55 Handicap (1200m).  She and the Ricky Vale trained Seisme (Wiggins, $3.70) virtually had a two horse war down the long Callaghan Park straight. Nouverre Fille sat second behind leader Seisme throughout the race until Miller’s mare turned trailing into overtaking the later and winning from about 75 metres from the finish. Miller trained stablemate, the last start winner Playful Kiss (Justin Huxtable, $18.00) came in third.
Although based in a rural setting at Bajool, Miller makes the 38km float trip north to Callaghan Park most mornings of the week for training purposes. Racing returns to Callaghan Park for midweek TAB meetings on Tuesday, January 16 and then Thursday, January 25.
Rockhampton’s Jennifer Acton in conjunction with Brisbane trainer Tony Gollan had an I Am Invincible filly knocked-down to them for $1.2M at the Magic Millions Yearling Sale at the Gold Coast on Monday. The mother of the superb yearling was the top race winning mare Outback Barbie. Jennifer and her late husband Alan Acton raced Outback Barbie and it was always his belief she would make a top broodmare. Alan Acton was tragically killed in a helicopter crash last year when mustering cattle at one the couple’s grazing properties in Central Queensland. Jennifer will race the filly as a means of continuing the Acton family racing name in Queensland and as testimony for the continuance of Alan Acton’s passion for the racing industry.  The I Am Invincible filly was offered on account of Yarraman Park Stud, Scone acting as agents. Chinchilla based racehorse owner and trainer Rodney Hay another active supporter of Rockhampton racing spent $230K by purchasing a filly and colt by Spirit Of Boom. He owns top Rocky colt Astapor.
Happy 😃 Horses 🐎 🐎 all – Tony Mc Mahon.

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