Allan Jenkinson trained ‘Last Saga’ in the winners circle on Tuesday at Callaghan Park.

Published 27 March 2024

Allan Jenkinson trained ‘Last Saga’ in the winners circle on Tuesday at Callaghan Park.

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You don’t need me to tell you, but “doesn’t time fly?” Sure, it is “an old chestnut” but it is ever so true. This came to mind as I started to do some research just after the Allan Jenkinson trained The Last Saga, owned by him and his wife Christine won the appropriately named Sunday, April 7 Capricornia Yearling Sale 0-55 Handicap (1400m) at Callaghan Park on Tuesday. There she was as I found Jenkinson’s “Cinderella filly” I had written about after Johnnycake Girl, by In The Slot from the Bonfield mare Jan’s Chance won the1990 $100,000 Power’s 2YO Classic (1200m) at Callaghan Park on April 25 that year. “100 grand” was massive money back then over three decades ago. Extraordinary to be precise!  My memory bank started flashing and spitting out flash backs as Mark Smith-Lester guided Johnnycake Girl to a three lengths win. As I have subsequently written, Johnnycake Girl was a three times winner leading into the big one yet had only accrued $10K. The race was the forerunner for the current $168K (plus bonuses if eligible) Capricornia Yearling Sale 2YO Classic(1200m) which is run at Callaghan Park on Saturday week, on the eve of the Capricornia Yearling Sales. Johnnycake Girl raced, by John Quilty and his family was a bonny bay filly foaled in 1987 and she was from the Steward Park, Alton Downs breeding cross made in heaven “by In The Slot from a Bonfield mare.” Bonfield was the “golden egg” not only as a sire of winners but as a broodmare sire for Stewart Park Stud. The late passionate stud master John Wedmaier was always gloating and deservedly so about that successful “cross.” The more I have researched, the more I cannot comprehend it all happened 34 years ago but as I said, “time flies.”

Johnnycake Girl was arguably the first starlet to graduate from the Rockhampton Yearling Sale, equivalent at the time of the current Capricornia Yearling Sale at which 112 yearlings are listed at the Rockhampton Showgrounds’ Robert Schwarten Pavilion on Sunday week. Boy she could fly winning 14 races and recording 16 placings from 39 starts for $124,014 and remember that was over 30 years ago! Allan Jenkinson went on to become a household name in the CQ training ranks mostly based at Keppel Park, Yeppoon where his sizeable team was trained from the still existing on-course stable barn. He dominated Yeppoon race meetings which were a regular feature back in those days. These days Allan only has the odd horse in training, with the aptly named The Last Saga, a son of Real Saga and his former flying Waterford Road mare Charcoal Melody being his current colours carrier. The Last Saga was listed in the 2021 CYS on account of the Jenkinson’s and was knocked down to Nick Walsh Racing for $20,000 but has been retained and raced and trained by the Jenkinson’s throughout his racing career. According to Racing and Sports, The Last Saga provided Allan Jenkinson with his 449th race winner. It had been six months between wins for Allan, but I doubt he will have to wait that long to register winner 450. By the way Allan and Christine – congratulations I was chuffed for you both. HOOFNOTE: Allan is no spring chicken, nor for that matter I can crow, but he still rides his own trackwork. 

Moving on to 2024 and current Rockhampton racing Cinderella, the outstanding mare Chinny Boom has her final fling for the $775K WFA The Archer (1300m) at Callaghan Park on Sunday, April 28 when she contests an Open Handicap (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday. All reports from trainer Clinton Taylor are very positive about his girl, who will be ridden by top Brisbane apprentice Cejay Graham. Listed as Race 7 at 3.09pm, Chinny Boom is TAB 4 and will come out of barrier six. Stablemate Princess Tenko when under by just 0.15 lengths last Saturday in Brisbane and will remain in the State capital to race again next Saturday. Wouldn’t you love to have both of them in your stable? Clinton Taylor has but his amazing work ethics are testimony to the adage “the harder I work the luckier I get. 

Heading to Brisbane at this early stage (written Wednesday) are also likely be Tasha Chambers trained youngster Age Of Aquarius (Jake Bayliss) (Race 1 – TAB 3) and Peter Fleming trained Captain Fox (R 8 -TAB 5) although it would not surprise if he doesn’t make the trip after drawing extremely wide. In an earlier race, the fifth to be exact, the CYS graduate Ringer’s Reward looks an excellent chance from my way of thinking in R 5 as TAB 3. The fact the horse is starting in that race is a tip in itself from trainer Kevin Kemp. To be ridden by Melea Castle, I thought Ringer’s Reward would have won next Saturday weeks $118K (plus bonuses if eligible) Capricornia Yearling Sales 3 & 4YO Classic (1300m) with the proverbial “leg in the air”. Connections have opted for Saturday’s Brisbane race over the 1600 metres trip.

Photo Credit: Caught in the Act Photography.

By Tony McMahon.

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