Galloping Around CQ, with Tony McMahon

Published 28 September 2022

Galloping Around CQ, with Tony McMahon

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Rockhampton trainer Peter Fleming, a quietly spoken unassuming man and very astute in his craft rarely makes a trip to Brisbane with a horse, so his decision to do so on Saturday at Eagle Farm commands respect. Peter goes about the business of preparing his string quietly at Callaghan Park each morning where he rides many of his own horses work with his daughter Lashell. Peter will run the last start Cairns Amateurs Cup (2100m) runner-up in Fortified (NZ) in the BM 78 (2400m) at Eagle Farm with Ryan Maloney booked for the task.

Fortified (NZ) is TAB 4 in Race 2 at 12.33pm. In Fortified (NZ), he has a proven stayer which has an impressive record over the mile and a half distance. He is a placegetter at Eagle Farm over 2412 metres while also running third at Rosehill, Sydney over 2400m. As well earlier this year when a member of the Chris Waller team Fortified (NZ) finished fourth at Randwick over 2400 metres. Fleming has only given Fortified (NZ) three starts since taking over his preparation but all have returned good prizemoney for his owners Burps Racing.

A son of Ocean Park, Fortified (NZ) was a $100K yearling purchase at Karaka in New Zealand in 2019. He has been a good provider earning $208,200 in stakes. I commenced this piece declaring Peter Fleming “rarely” heads to Brisbane and that is certainly the case. The last time I could locate his name alongside a starter there was on August 29, 2020 when Sing For Violet was unplaced. Before relocating north some years ago, Peter Fleming trained for the Craiglea Team but he was well established before even then.

According to that fabulous website Racing and Sports, he has prepared 11 winners at Eagle Farm. I for one will be hoping Fortified (NZ) rings up the dozen on Saturday. Interestingly, the Chris Waller stable will supply two of the rivals in Saturday’s race. Good luck Peter.

By the way if you think you have heard the name Fortified and it rings a few bells from a Rockhampton racing perspective, you are correct. The previous Fortified (Hennessy (USA)-Lo Zimbeth) won a race at Callaghan Park on July 26, 2005 for Mackay trainer Lawrie Manzelmann when ridden by George Michaels. Fortified (number 1) won his last race at Eagle Farm under Bobby El-lssa in 2005. Wait for it though – guess what date? On October 3 which is virtually the corresponding meeting at where Fortified (NZ) (number 2) will run on Saturday. So, if that is not a winning omen, you tell me what is?

I reckon you would be able to hear a pin drop at Coco Brew in Rocky on Saturday around 2.57pm as well as that being the case in many other lounge rooms in Central Queensland. That’s because the ultra-talented Tom Button trained 3YO Jemeldi who has owners connected with Coco Brew and a stack of others throughout the district, resumes racing at Eagle Farm in the $125K QTIS 3YO Handicap (1000m).

A GROUP 2 Randwick placegetter, Jemeldi has trialled well recently at Deagon and Beaudesert for his return to racing on Saturday. It’s a hot race and that is an understatement and I have figures to back up that declaration. The 11 runners are all winners with a total of 25 successes between them while they have claimed prizemoney of over $1.2 million. Now that is hot!! Tom Button has engaged Luke Tarrant for the ride on Jemeldi. Saturday is kick off day for Jemeldi so win lose or draw keep a watch on him this preparation.

While perusing the Eagle Farm fields on Saturday, interesting to see that in-form FIFO Gold Coast jockey Jason Taylor has opted for the one ride there in preference to a full book at Mackay. Sounds like a bit of a tip wouldn’t you say? Jason will ride the Gary Clem, Bundaberg flyer King Claus (TAB 2) in Race 3 – the Open over 1000 metres. From barrier 9 it reads like a tough assignment but as the old saying goes “where there is smoke there is fire”. You guys be the judges. Anyhow. Jason is really going places currently as he has six rides at Townsville on Thursday, two at Gatton on Friday and then up to Eagle Farm to partner his sole ride King Klaus on Saturday.

Suggest you check out the Townsville fields for tomorrow (29/9) as Rocky has quite a few representatives with trainers Clinton Taylor and Tim Cook each having a trio of starters. Jockey Ashley Butler who brought up his 50th winner on the Cluden track rides there again as does Nathan Day and former Rockhampton apprentice Cody Collis who is like a Jack in the Box of late popping up all over the place.

Brisbane apprentice Melea Castle had a day to remember on Tuesday at the RJC’S TAB meeting at Keppel Park. She won on Kevin Miller’s Diamond Honey ($1.85), Ricky Vale’s Ready For Magic ($3.60) and Stephen Rundle’s Gypsy Rozay ($10.00). Delighted to see local trainer Stephen Rundle getting back among the winners. Stephen has won twice in September with Poet’s Girl at Thangool and Mackay and today (28/9) produced Eddystone to win a barrier trial at Yeppoon. Dual licensee Tash Chambers also won a trial with Rodney Hay’s latest acquisition Petronius which ran time in winning over 900 metres. See where keen breeders and owners the Halls of Graceville Thoroughbreds won the 2YO trial at Keppel Park with their Sebring Sun youngster Sunnycoast from the Jamie McConachy stable. Let’s hope the babies come out in force soon as there were only three in that trial and the first CQ race for them are divisions of the lucrative Breeder’s Plate (1050m) at Callaghan Park on November 4.

Once at this time of year there were unraced 2YO’s galore around and about Callaghan Park in training but seemingly they are thin in numbers again this year. In times gone by before the introduction of the rewarding QTIS bonus prize money, every Joe, Josephine, Harry and Harriet (being politically correct – impressed?) had their 2YO’s in training for the Breeder’s Plate and the early season 2YO races. Not so now as there is so much big prizemoney on offer for them throughout the season. Such is life.

Speaking of which outstanding Rockhampton mare Better Reflection a Listed Race winner for the John Wigginton stable produced a bonny filly foal by Zoustar at Widden Stud, Hunter Valley, NSW in early August. The filly will command a king’s ransom at the yearling sales in 2024. Mamselle Corday (AKA Dolly) who won the 150th anniversary Rockhampton Cup in 2018 for us, foaled a cheeky colt at Burwood Stud, Pittsworth also an early August foal by Love Conquers All. Wow that offspring would prove a challenge for SWMBO (She Who Must Be Obeyed -my wife Jean) to name.  Hope she doesn’t read this as I have been told no more horses – I’ve heard that before as I defied Jean when purchasing Paradis Imperial. Only joking Jean!  Feel free to telephone to see it I am OK.

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