Debutante’s dream result in Townsville.
Published 31 October 2023
The line from the 1969 hit song the Age Of Aquarius “let the sunshine, let the sunshine in” would have set the scene for Rockhampton dual licencee, the trainer-jockey Tash Chambers at Townsville racecourse last Saturday.
A debutant juvenile racehorse bearing that very name Age Of Aquarius provided his jockey-trainer with a dream result by winning time-honoured Townsville’s Pallarenda $35K 2YO Maiden Plate (1050m).
As a consequence of the Pallarenda win, Tash Chambers became the first dual licenced person to win Townsville’s first race of the season for two-year-olds which is quite a feat.
Mind you, northern jockey-trainer Bonnie Thompson went close last year when second on Salika Diva while Thomson had won a Pallarenda as a jockey on the Bill Kenning trained Flinders’ Highway in 2017
That’s history now while Tash Chambers has gone one better and created it in 2023.
It’s a big enough thrill for any trainer, jockey or owner just to win a race but to do so in a dual capacity as the trainer-jockey of the horse involved must be euphoric, feelings Tash Chambers confirmed.
“I can honestly say it was my most satisfying win in racing,” said Chambers, a jockey of 17 years and a trainer-jockey for two years.
She went on – “It is definitely more satisfying than just riding a winner as in this role you do everything yourself such as implementing the work regime for the horse and then planning the race to run in. The Townsville win by Age Of Aquarius (aka Jack) meant so much to me as so many decisions went into it coming about. Fortunately, as it worked out, I made the right decisions and was not just ecstatic after the win but also relieved,” she said typifying the feelings of a trainer.
One of those decisions was electing to travel the unraced youngster over 700km north to Townsville to make his debut, which could have raised eyebrows being deemed unorthodox.
On face value especially so when there was a replica race the $35K Breeders 2YO Plate (November 10) virtually a stone’s throw away at Callaghan Park from Tash and Jack’s North Rockhampton place of abode.
However, Chambers had sound reasoning for going north believing there were “four or five smart youngsters” being set for the Rocky race while the Townsville entries for the Pallarenda in her opinion lacked that likely quality.
In her corner and sharing Tash Chamber’s delight was Age Of Aquarius’s owner, Emu Park’s Di Cooper, very much so a committed supporter.
“I was just so happy for Tash as she has put so much work into the process of getting Age Of Aquarius to the races. She educated him as well as trains him and rides him. I have seen all the hard work she does as well as her commitment to the horses in her care. I would not give my horses to anyone else,” Di Cooper enthused.
A self-confessed “lover of breeding thoroughbreds” Di also played a dual role with Age Of Aquarius’ win.
She acquired his mother Miss Pocket Rocket, an original $140K Magic Millions yearling purchase from the Gai Waterhouse stable after the mare had a limited racing career and bred from her.
“This (Jack) is her fourth foal. Tash trained Smart Rubick (second foal) to win two races while another Felix The Scat has won in Brisbane and is trained down there. So, the mare Miss Pocket Rocket has been good to us,” Di said.
Depending on how Age Of Aquarius progresses after a few days R&R in a paddock at Depot Hill, an assessment will be made to determine his next likely start.
“He has come through the race really well so far. I’ll just give him a few days out and then make a decision on which way we will go. There are a couple of options for races at the Sunshine Coast or Brisbane in November,” Tash Chambers as trainer said.
Decisions, decisions it’s all about decisions for Tash Chambers but so far it has been a case of so good.