Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 27 March 2024

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Back to News

Lot to like about the win of the John Wigginton trained Bencoolen at Callaghan Park on Tuesday when barely hitting overdrive to record a soft win in the BM 60 (1000m) under Ash Butler. Much better wins are in store. Brisbane’s Justin Huxtable is making his mark on his FLY-In trips. A double on Tuesday on Jared Wehlow’s Jenni Swenesee (NZ) and Graeme Green’s Desert Koby. Brisbane based jockeys had a brilliant day over there on Tuesday. The talented apprentice jockeys Emily Lang and Yvette Lewis both rode winners. The former on Nick Walsh’s One Syndication’s horse AWOL (NZ) and the latter Kerrod Smyth’s Devil’s Kick, Hard working talented and very obliging hoop Adam Sewell was in the good books with Callaghan Park trainer Darryl Johnson after winning aboard Young Henry while Jackson Murphy who had been off the scene bounced back a Rockhampton winner on Allan Jenkinson’s The Last Saga. Any giver Rocky Raceday, prominent Brisbane jockeys are in action. That trend promises to go through the roof come The Archer Day on April 28. 

I would not read too much into the results of the barrier trials at Callaghan Park on Wednesday morning on the grass course proper, which was rated a Heavy 8. Official times for the heats over 900 metres were in the main about two seconds slower than what is usually recorded on the turf track. The winners that caught my eye were, Ricky Vale’s So You Battle (McKenzie Apel); Nick Walsh’s Queen Assassin (Justin Stanley) and Tom Smith’s Replace The Ace (Warwick Satherley). The lesson from Wednesday’s trial was if a horse trialed well, it is definitely capable of handling a heavy track. 

Hope everybody is looking forward to a big week of racing industry action at Callaghan Park after Easter. Two big days – Friday and Saturday week of top racing and of course the Capricornia Yearling Sales on Sunday week at the Rocky Showgrounds. I know it has been well documented, but a promise is a promise. Basil Nolan of Raheen Stud, Warwick communicated with me about his draft of 11 yearlings at the Capricornia Yearling Sales. Raheen has been responsible for multiple winners of the Capricornia Yearling Sales 2YO Classics going back over 20 years. Basil was singing the praises about Lot 29 – the bay Heroic Valour filly from the Redoute’s Choice mare Exquisite Art. Therein it has a double cross of Daneshill close up. Exquisite Art’s dam was none other than that champion Mr Henrysee mare Victory Vein. Since the catalogue was printed, Kelly Schweida trained Metalart has won two from two in Brisbane. I am sure that this filly as Lot 28 will be on the bidding list of astute vendors. For what it is worth, although I have not asked Basil about it as of yet, Lot 49, the Heroic Valour – Kai Anna colt has Rockhampton wins written all over the pedigree page. In fact, as far as I am concerned the colt descends from one of the most prolific winning families in Queensland. Don’t get me started but Daring Miss a mare I trained from “this page” won 15 races. Kia Chow and Kai Cibo, winners of the Rocky CYS 2YO Classic 21 and 20 years ago are from the family of Lot 49. That’s my pick of Basil Nolan’s Raheen draft but then again, I am biased as Basil knows only too well. As I have previously stated Raheen Stud and Oaklands Stud, both on the Darling Downs have been the longest continual vendors of yearlings for the Capricornia Yearling Sales. The outstanding record of both studs attests to the astuteness of their principals – one Basil Nolan and one Neville Stewart.  HOOFNOTE: Basil was awarded life membership of the Queensland Thoroughbred Breeders along with another champion friend of Rockhampton racing, Stan Johnson at a function at the recent Magic Millions March Yearling Sales.

Stay safe on the roads over Easter readers.

Happy Horses Tony McMahon.

Back to News

Back to Top