CQ ‘clean up’ at TAB Thoroughbred Awards in Brisbane: By Tony McMahon
Published 10 October 2022
Central Queensland’s racing industry and stakeholders figured in multiple wins at the 2022 TAB Thoroughbred Awards Ceremony staged at Brisbane’s City Hall on Sunday night.
Rockhampton teenage apprentice jockey Tahlia Fenlon 19 capped her stellar albeit brief career by being awarded Country Apprentice Jockeys Premiership winner for the 2021/22 season.
The CW Amateur Race Club (Rocky Amateurs) won the Pam O’Neill Outstanding Achievement Award for the creation, initiative and deliverance of the The Archer, the first slot race staged in Rockhampton.
Mackay mature age apprentice Jade Doolan, 33 was named Racing Queensland Student of the Year Award winner. In a memorable achievement from his first season of training, Mackay’s Albert Mules’ Cabalo Escuro was named Provincial Horse of the Year with seven wins.
Held before a packed house of racing industry administrators, stakeholders, owners and dignitaries, the ceremony celebrated the high achievers of Queensland’s Thoroughbred Industry past and present. Tahlia hobbled on stage with the aid of crutches to receive her trophy from the doyen of female jockeys Pam O’Neil, the trailblazer who paved the way for women to ride as jockeys against men in May 1979. Fenlon has not ridden since a horse bucked and crashed her on to the track pre-race at Twin Hills on September 24 resulting a fractured right ankle and badly sprained left. She claimed her RQ title with 23 winners on the Queensland country racing circuit last season while all up having ridden a remarkable 90 winners since commencing in May 2021.
“It was definitely an honour to win this award and receive it from Pam O’Neill. It had been one of my goals to achieve last season and it is good to have been able to do that”, Tahlia said.
The 2021-22 season was especially significant as she also won The Mackay Turf Club’s premiership jockeys award as well as being named champion Rockhampton Jockey Club apprentice.
Despite her success and progression through the ranks of Queensland apprentice jockeys in such a short time, Fenlon said she has no immediate plans to vacate Rockhampton racing.
“Certainly, my ultimate aim would be to get the chance to ride in Brisbane and be based down there somewhere. However, there is no rush as I want to consolidate further here (Rockhampton)’, Tahlia said. Tahlia is indentured to Callaghan Park trainer Fred Smith but she is likely to be out of the saddle for some months through her injuries.
Jade Doolan was a late entry into the jockeying ranks but has made up for lost time riding 25 winners since her initiation as an apprentice race rider at Innisfail on January 29 this year.
Jade through determination and dedication shed many kilograms to get down to her riding weight of around 56Kg and with the backing of Mackay trainer John Manzelmann and many others is enjoying well-earned success.
Rockhampton’s Tahlia Fenlon and rookie Callaghan Park apprentice Brooke Johnson were also finalists in the RQ Student of the Year Awards title.
The Rockhampton Jockey Club’s premiership awards evening will be held at Callaghan Park, on Friday evening November 18.
Pictured: Tahlia Fenlon and Pam O’Neill at the 2022 TAB Thoroughbred Awards Ceremony staged at Brisbane’s City Hall on Sunday night.