A Treble Takes Vale To The Top of The Trainers Premiership

Published 21 July 2023

Jim Orman on the scales at Callaghan Park.

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Callaghan Park trainer Ricky Vale, in no uncertain fashion comprehensively won his second Rockhampton Jockey Club trainers’ premiership with a treble at the TAB races there on Thursday.

Vale went into the final days RJC racing of the 2022/23 season on 26 wins just one clear of Clinton Taylor (25) and with a margin of two over Nick Walsh (24).

That soon changed after the running of the first three races when Vale trained Give Me Chills ($5.00) and Valentina Express ($4.80) provided him and jockey Ryan Wiggins with a winning double.

Later in the program, Vale and jockey Les Tilley combined to win the Class 6 (1300m) with favourite Fighting Commando ($2.60).

However, that result would have been bitter-sweet for Ricky as the winner incurred a three month ban for bleeding while his other starter in the race, the talented Divide The Sea pulled up lame.

While Clinton Taylor was out of luck with only small representation, Nick Walsh won the QTIS 3YO Maiden (1200m) with Sizzling Samurai (Wiggins, $2.35) in a blanket finish in which less than a length covered the first four placings.

The winning treble further entrenched Ryan Wiggins’ substantial win in the RJC jockey’s premiership for successive years.

The current racing season has produced magnificent results throughout Queensland for Callaghan Park based trainers Vale, Taylor, Walsh and Jared Wehlow.

Wehlow produced Thursday’s last race winner Letmeletgo (Ashley Butler, $4.40) who firmed appreciably in the betting and won the BM 55 (1300m) in another very tight finish.

In results posted by Racing Australia detailing the Queensland trainers’ provincial premiership table Taylor and Vale have each produced 48 winners so far this season.

With more minor placings Taylor sits in fourth placing and Vale fifth.

Nick Walsh on 42 winners is 8th placed and Jared Wehlow is the closest of ninths with 41 winners.

Their individual standings are highly commendable considering their stables have far fewer horses than the likes of Brisbane’s Tony Gollan third placed with (51 wins).

Furthermore, the four young trainers have certainly highlighted their astuteness throughout Queensland and focused positive attention on Callaghan Park racecourse as a successful training centre.

Brisbane’s top jockey James Orman was also the cynosure of attention in racing Australia wide on Thursday after his rare appearance at Callaghan Park races earned him a winning double.

Orman won on Brisbane trainer Michael Lakey’s Cressbrook ($2.80 – QTIS 2YO Maiden) and Sunshine Coast trainer Stuart Kendrick’s Under The Gap ($2.25 – BM 65).

He is locked in a thrilling three-way tussle in an attempt to win the Australian Jockey’s premiership.

Orman came racing at Callaghan Park with a 0.5 winning lead on 186 winners over Newcastle rival Aaron Bullock on 185.5 wins.

The topsy turvey battle changed at the conclusion of Thursday’s racing as Bullock rode four winners at Scone (NSW).

The Wizard of the West, jockey Jim Pike remains a winning contender after Thursday’s results with 186 wins.

Orman has a good book of rides at Doomben races Saturday (July 22) as does Bullock at Gosford and Pike at Belmont.

Meanwhile, Ricky Vale is chasing winners with four starters at Mackay on Saturday including favourite for the $150K Cup (2000m) with Wiggins ridden Namazu.

Tony McMahon.

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