Huge crowds treated to first class racing!

Published 17 October 2022

Huge crowds treated to first class racing!

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The St Peter’s School Caulfield Cup day races at Callaghan Park on Saturday was highly successful which was no surprise. RJC CEO Ian Mill reported that a crowd of “just under 3000” attended. Some of the racing highlights included:

Astute training effort by Ricky Vale to produce gifted former WA 6YO Divide The Sea to win the Class 3 (1100m) first-up since Jan 2021. Obviously has had issues but in the right patient stable to be ultra attentive to them. Good day for the Vale stable also winning with Knight’s Sword making it four in succession.

Brisbane FIFO jockey Ryan Wiggins admitted to feeling the hot conditions but it didn’t show with his cool riding displays. He brought-up a treble through winners Deep Breath (Nick Walsh) King’s Sword and Divide The Sea. He and Ricky Vale have forged a very successful combination in recent years.

Brisbane apprentice jockey Melea Castle is maturing into a much improved young jockey. Her wins on the Zoe Hohn trained Ruffin’ It and Kerrod Smyth’s Far Reaching confirmed that appraisal. Won’t be long I suspect before Melea’s talents are on display in the metropolitan area.

It appear’s Zoe Hohn’s Ruffin’ It (NZ) (b/br g 6 Atlanta-Thunderchine x Thunder Gulth(USA) is a tough nut. Zoe’s sister Heidi Butler told me after the win “I think that is his 25th start this preparation”. From my previous records printed out (thank goodness) it was Ruffin’ Up (NZ) 26th start this prep. Mind you he had 15 for the Hohn stable in his previous campaign. It is a mighty effort to keep a horse competitive and healthy over such a long campaign involving 26 starts.

For the record Ruffin’ It resumed at Mackay on October 22, 2021 and has been in training ever since. Mind you a few of his runs have been spaced by a three weeks or so but regardless to have a horse racing virtually for 12 months and winning at campaign start number 26 is remarkable and a credit to his trainer Zoe Hohn. I would never have been able to have done that.

Kerrod Smyth was telling me all the seven horses he has in training are owned by either himself or his wife Glenda. “I backed my own judgement starting this horse (Far Reaching) first up without a trial”, he said beaming a winning smile after the Outreach gelding won the Maiden 1200m. Far Reaching hadn’t raced since a long last for a previous stable at Ipswich on August 22.

“I bought him on the basis of one of his Northern River’s placings. Also, I loved his breeding particularly on the female side going back to Luskin Star and Vain”, breeding buff Smyth said. Good judgement Kerry. Wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Kerrod doesn’t spring the same clever trick with former Joseph Pride trained Janosik (NZ) in a 1300m Mdn at Mackay on Friday.

In other news trainer Tom Bourke is a welcome re-addition to the Callaghan Park training ranks. Tom trained here for years before leaving to rebase at the Sunshine Coast around about seven years ago (my internet is on and off so I can’t be more specify). Tom said he has returned to Rocky with ten horses. Remember he trained that wonderful horse Rocky King for some local owners and campaigned it at the Spring Carnival in Melbourne in about 2014 for memory. Good to have you back Tom and hopefully to winners galore and soon. I Am That I Am isn’t far off I suspect.

What about the brilliant 2YO trial win of the Milner family’s Better Than Ready filly Sheza Ready at Callaghan Park this morning. I didn’t see it but I have always said you haven’t go to witness a murder to report on it. According to the RISA results I saw earlier before the internet crashed, the Nick Walsh trained Sheza Ready ran a flying 53.96 seconds for the 900 metres trial win. Breaking 54secs is rare at Callaghan Park and the filly ran faster time than not only the 2YO males but also older horses. Seems the Gavin Milner breeding winners’ machine is ready to rock and roll again in a few weeks.

Also at the trials Justin Stanley was in town to send a few around and Adrian Coome rode winners as well. Both will be back race riding soon I suspect.

Jockey Mark Barnham out for some time yet with a neck disc injury sustained in a pre race incident some weeks back. Silly me I questioned Mark sarcastically as to why he was not riding on Saturday at Callaghan Park when there was a jockeys shortage. “Mate I got injured when Marway went off in the barriers at Emerald some time back. I’d be riding if I could but I can’t”, Mark told me as I embarrassingly crawled away. As they say no fool like an old fool – me that is as I pride myself on knowing. Apparently the injury worsened in the weeks after the original incident judging
by the fact that Mark had a few more subsequent race rides.

Media star and plumber extraordinaire Bear Rawlinson informs me his Emerald 100 winner Bayerische has gone for a break.

Meanwhile, great to hear that my friendly butcher and former Rocky trainer Geoff Elliott has got himself another pony. “I just bough one Tony from Grafton. It was owned by Michael Beattie- do you know him”?Geoff asked as he wrapped the best lamb chops from Allenstown Square Meats. “I sure do Geoff. Micheal used to come in from school in his uniform when I was handicapping at Grafton and complain about the weights I was issuing. I knew from then he was destined for a stellar career in racing administration”, I said. (Micheal subsequently achieved that). Anyhow, Geoff bought Milo Man a last start Armidale winner in the Beattie colours and from what I saw of it, is an impressive type now with Nick Walsh. Good luck Geoff and hope to get down to the Grafton Cup next July if you happen to read this M Beattie. Michael is now the CEO of the Clarence River Jockey Club.

Strewth this has been very hard writing without in the main the assistance of Dr Google – please get well soon Dr Google and the Internet as I am lost without you.

HOOFNOTE: If there are any typos and little mistakes please take the above journalists’ disclosure into account.

Photo: Melinda Morris, Melea Castle and trainer Kerrod Smyth with Saturday’s winner Far Reaching.

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