Callaghan Park Track from Wet to Good!

Published 2 December 2022

Callaghan Park Track from Wet to Good!

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Despite 165.5mm of rain having fallen on Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park racecourse since 3am Tuesday, course manager Trent Williams believes racing could be staged with either a Soft 5 or Good 4 rating tomorrow (Saturday, December 3).

“It is really amazing how the track has recovered (last 24 hours) with the sun out and a nice breeze blowing. It was a rated a Soft (7) earlier today but if this fine weather and breeze persists like it is predicted to do, I feel it could go to a Soft 5 and even Good 4 on Saturday. I suppose that will depend on whether it gets cut up earlier on in the races”, Williams said around 11am before adding “I suppose it is a case of the glass being half full or half empty”. 

He said the rail for the six race TAB meeting commencing at 1.18pm would be in the “true position” brought about by a supply chain problem in relation to a machine part which is necessary to facilitate it (rail) being moved out as was planned.

With just nine jockeys declared to ride at acceptance deadline on Thursday, it is likely that there will be enforced scratchings in the 11 horse Maiden (1300m).

It was noticeable at acceptances, that the Maiden had dropped from 15 nominations to 12 acceptors and the BM 55 from 18 to nine which in part was no doubt to trainers not being able to source jockeys.

However, in all fairness, the biggest entry of the other four races was nine nominations so he would have been uneconomical for outside jockeys to travel to Rocky for just the two rides at best.

That aside, in the main despite the small fields, the races look open affairs with winners well disguised while resident trainer Peter Fleming could be in for multiple winners.

Firstly, in the 2YO Handicap (1050m) to start the card with six starters and just two placegetters following the scratching of Beerwah trained Revitup Charlie.

Here Fleming will run four of the six but on exposed form his representative Tahkian Bubbles (TAB 5) for Chris McIver looks the winner.

That Better Than Ready filly ran a splendid second beaten 2.5 lengths by above average I’m Pinker at her only start in the Breeder’s Plate at Callaghan Park on November 4.

On the presumption that Patrolling will scratch from the second event the Open (1100m) and that King’s County (TAB 5) will start, the race is quite a puzzle.

Quite frankly, anything could happen but it won’t be a surprise to anyone if Fleming trained Captain Fox (TAB 4 – Hannah Richardson) provides the hard-working trainer with a race-to-race winning double.

A real lottery looms for punters in TAB Race 3, the BM 65 (1200m) which has drawn an in-form field of five all with credentials that could carry them to victory.

For example, all have winnable “soft” track form which complicates the likely outcome even further.

On reputation alone, I’ll go with the John Wigginton trained former South Australian Sidearm (TAB 4) but this race is a real toughie. 

Without sounding like a defeatist, the QTIS 3YO Handicap (1100m) with five winners in the field of nine is also going to be a serious test for punters and indeed the horses in this the fourth event. 

I have a liking for the Glenn Richardson Nanango trained Princess Marian (TAB 4) to be ridden by his wife Hannah but respect must be given Clinton Taylor trained Ashiko Bay (TAB 5 – Jackson Murphy).

Onwards to Race 5, the Maiden Plate (1300m) and here the big players are trainers Fleming and Tom Bourke. 

 Bourke starts three – I Am That I Am (TAB 2), The King’s Prophet (TAB 6) and Tonka Wakan (TAB 7).

I Am I Am was third to Divine Purpose last start here while Peter Fleming’s Tycoon Tori (TAB 11, Adam Sewell) was second.

Tycoon Tori beat I Am I Am home by 2.75 lengths in that encounter and the Fleming trained mare meets the latter 2kg better on weights which points to her.

However, Bourke has another arrow in his bow in Tonka Wakan which although resuming has excellent form but on analysis, I lean to Tycoon Tori on the score of race fitness.

To the lucky last which doesn’t always turnout that way does it?

This race, the sixth has really fallen away and there is chance that dual acceptor, the well performed Adrian Coome trained King’s County (TAB 1) may also be scratched leaving just six to run.

If that’s the case I feel the very honest Merida’s Bow (TAB 8- Chris McIver) is capable of winning if luck goes her way. 

Actually, I am biased and would be game to tip against Merida’s Bow (AKA Goldie) as she is part owned by my wife Jean and I chose her as a baby at the Rocky Sales some years ago.

No not Jean but Goldie! 

Tony McMahon.

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