High hopes for NZ Jockey Samantha Collett at Callaghan Park Friday.

Published 4 July 2023

High hopes for NZ Jockey Samantha Collett at Callaghan Park Friday.

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Champion New Zealand jockey Samantha Collett who now calls Brisbane home will be hoping that the Callaghan Park track which holds special significance for her, will play in her favour again on Friday.

Collett 33, has been engaged by Deagon trainer Jack Bruce to ride Axe, the topweight with 59kg in Friday’s $100,000 TAB Rockhampton Newmarket Handicap (1300m) at Callaghan Park.

It was at the Rockhampton track that Samantha rode her 1000th winner on Archer Day back on April 30 when successful in a minor race on Deb’s Ellie.

Through that memorable achievement she joined her parents the New Zealand jockeys Jim Collett (retired) and Trudy Thornton in making the “four figures” mark of winners. 

Collett combined with GR 3 placed Axe (b g 6 Written Tycoon-Exselva) to win the $150K Toowoomba Weetwood Handicap (1200m) last September. 

In two recent starts after a spell, Axe has finished unplaced in much stronger Brisbane Saturday company that he faces on Friday in the Newmarket.

Seven times a winner of almost $400K in stakes, Axe has won four times on tracks rated “soft”.

Some 28ml of rain fell at Callaghan Park from Monday night to 4.30pm Tuesday.

“We had 14ml overnight to this morning and another 14ml this afternoon. The track was beautiful after the first falls but would be rated a Slow7 now after the later rain. The forecast is for rain to clear after Wednesday and for no rain on Friday and Saturday”, RJC track manager Trent Williams said late on Tuesday afternoon.

If the rain abates as predicted it is reasonable to assume, given the Callaghan Park track’s previous recovery in similar scenarios, that it would be classified in the “good’” range come Friday.

Acceptances and the barrier draws for the expansive TAB Newmarket eight race program will take place at 9am Wednesday.

Local phenomenon Master Jamie gets his chance to win back-to-back $150K TAB Rockhampton Cups (1600m) on Saturday after being allotted the same weight as he carried in his 2022 victory.

Master Jamie has been courageous albeit winless in 11 starts since his meritorious Rockhampton Cup win on July 9 last year under 59.5kg.

The Toby and Trent Edmonds Gold Coast trained Indian Dreamer under 58kg relegated Master Jamie (67.5kg) by 2.67 lengths into second placing in their last start Tatts Cup (1600m) clash on June 25.

Master Jamie will meet his victor Indian Dreamer four kilograms better off at the weights in Saturday’s Cup in which only three of the 19 entrants are handicapped above the 54kg minimum.

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