Qld Racing issued weights are in for Newmarket and Rocky Cup races.

Published 9 July 2024

Qld Racing issued weights are in for Newmarket and Rocky Cup races.

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 The stage is set for multiple records to be achieved when both locally trained gallopers Namazu and Master Jamie contest this Saturday’s $150,000 TAB Rockhampton Cup (1600m) at Callaghan Park racecourse.

The dual millionaire equine winning pair were the standouts among a list of 285 horses when Queensland Racing handicappers issued weights for Friday’s $100K One Syndications Rockhampton Newmarket (1300m) meeting and Saturday’s Rocky Cup races.  

Some 16 races are scheduled to be run over the two major days of the Rockhampton Winter Racing Carnival for which $834,000 prize money with extra bonuses and trophies has been allocated.

Namazu, trained by Ricky Vale who already has tasted Rockhampton Cup success with Absolut Artie (Ryan Wiggins) in 2020 has been given the maximum topweight under the Quality Handicap conditions being 62kg (9 stone 10.69 pounds).

Since the Cup was first run in 1918 when won by Rolad, the highest winning weight carried was the 60kg (9st.6lbs) by Rich d’Dor in 1963 at his second consecutive Rocky Cup success.

“’I think it is achievable for him to set the record,’’ Namazu’s owners spokesperson Pav Cheimardinov said when admitting surprise that a Cup winning weight carrying record was up for grabs. 

Namazu was the feature act when galloping at the RJC’s Breakfast With The Stars at Callaghan Park Tuesday morning.

“Namazu was among a dozen stars that galloped Tuesday morning. It was a fantastic morning on the members deck overlooking the track which looks immaculate in readiness for two big days. The breakfast was well attended and received by the public and plenty of racing stakeholders,” RJC CEO David Aldred said.

Which leads to the tale of Rockhampton’s first completely locally trained $1 million earning racehorse Master Jamie which has won the last two Rockhampton Cups with 59.5kg on each occasion under jockey Les Tilley.

Both the Graeme Green trained Master Jamie and Brisbane’s Les Tilley are also vying for an amazing chapter of Rockhampton Cup history should it be completed on Saturday. 

No horse has even won three Rockhampton Cups, let alone consecutively on the turf track at Callaghan Park since it was inaugurated in September 1984.

 Jim Noon’s Nanango farm trained Hectique achieved the feat on the old sand track in 1968, ’69 and 70, 

So should he be able to exploit that remarkable achievement under 59kg this weekend, 0.5kg less than his handicap in 2022 and ’23, Master Jamie bought for just $10K as a yearling and currently the winner of $1.079M, will rightly become a Rockhampton Racing Legend. 

Cup wins by Namazu, and jockey Tilley would also be worthy of that status as in the later category no hoop has ever ridden four Rockhampton Cup winners with his first being Mamselle Corday in 2018.

The handicaps allotted to Namazu and Master Jamie are testimonials to their racetrack achievements and Cup domination, as the only other horses among the 23 Cup entries weighted above the 54kg minimum are the Sunshine Coast pair Sneak Preview (56.5kg) and Wapiti (56kg).

This means it will be meagre pickings at the table for the other rival jockeys (12) who in the main will be wasting to ride at the 54kg minimum or as close as permissible to that standard.

 Sourcing suitable lightweight jockeys who are a rarity, was proving a difficult task for some trainers.

Apparently not so Gold Coast trainer Ryan Tyrell who according to owners’ spokesperson Robin Adams had engaged super lightweight Samantha Collett for Rockhampton owned Cocobrew Express which has easily escaped the ballot for the prestigious race.

It is a similar scenario in Friday’s Newmarket where 10 of the 16 entries were given the minimum handicap of 54kg.

Stewart Kendrick’s veteran Bonaparte is topweight on 60kg ahead of Tony Gollan’s former star sprinter Ef Troop (59kg) and John Manzelmann’s Tiger Legend (58.5kg). 

Highest rated Callaghan Park dasher is Clinton Taylors Honky Tonk Diva, seventh on the weight chart escaping any ballot at 54kg.

Friday’s race day fields will be declared today (Wednesday) while the Cup Day race program will be finalised on Thursday.  

Happy Horses – Tony McMahon. 

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