Jockeys Set to Shine on Pink Ribbon Stradbroke Charity Race Day

Published 14 June 2024

McKenzie Apel & Brooke Johnson with Rosie

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The Pink Ribbon Stradbroke Charity Race Day at Callaghan Park on Saturday will feature a star studded lineup of jockeys. These include SEQ multiple GROUP 1 winning jockeys Sean Cormack and Samantha Collett.

It is indeed a rarity for riders of their status to have engagements at a Saturday meeting here. Cormack a South African has won a dozen GR 1 races there as well as multiple success in GR 2 and 3 features. In fact he has enjoyed a stellar international career and according to Racing and Sports has enjoyed 1250 successes. Sean has been based in SEQ for many years now and has won 49 races in Brisbane. While it could be argued he does not get the rides his skills deserve, he has gone on record at saying he is “content with his lot” in the ultra competitive SEQ jockeys pecking order. At possibly his only Rockhampton visit many moons back, Cormack landed a winner.

Samantha “Sam” Collett a Kiwi three times GR 1 winning hoop is no stranger to Rockhampton racing’s mid-week TAB circuit. At The Archer meeting here earlier this year Samantha landed her 1000th winner. In all, in her Callaghan Park visits Sam has ridden six winners. She has four Callaghan Park rides tomorrow (Saturday June 15) including the one favourite Honkytonk Diva (R5 -TAB 3) for trainer Clinton Taylor. Sean Cormak has six engagements with the majority at double figure odds. Top apprentice Tahlia Fenlon, now making a name for herself in Brisbane will also fly to Rockhampton to ride at the Pink Ribbon meeting. Another former Rockhampton based apprentice jockey Kirk Matheson will also make a reappearance.

Matherson was indentured to retired trainer Lyle Rowe here 12 years ago. Together they won a Country Cup in Brisbane with Kilwinning Option. Matherson has go on to ride scores of winners in Brisbane as part of his CV of 265 successes. His riding skills have taken the Casino young man throughout NSW. As an apprentice during his somewhat short time in Rockhampton, Kirk rode nine winners. Matherson has a full book of seven mounts tomorrow. The first race on the excellent seven race TAB program commences at 12.27pm.

Three star Rockhampton gallopers Master Jamie, Chinny Boom and Astapor will be on racings big stage at Eagle Farm tomorrow. Featuring the $3M GR 1 Stradbroke Handicap (1400m), the nine race EF card offers a massive $6,580,000 prizemoney. Master Jamie goes off first as a $41 chance in Race 1 as TAB 6 in the $160K Wayne Wilson (1600m) under regular hoop Les Tilley. Trainer Graeme Green had this to say: “At last he has finally drawn well (6) with a good alley. We are playing with the big boys but he has been doing everything right. I want to see where we are at with him leading up to his third Rocky Cup (July 13 – won the last two). This race will tell us but he is unlikely to start again before then but may trial.”

Clinton Taylor starts his big day off with Astapor (R3 -TAB 2): “I really think he is over the odds ($26). His first-up run down here a few weeks back was enormous. Sure he has a tricky gate (10) but if he gets some kind of luck he will be around them.”

Of the brilliant last start Brisbane LR race winner Chinny Boom (R 7 – TAB 9) here are Clinton’s thoughts: “She has come on well since the win and come through the run really well. Also, Chinny is in a good frame of mind. If she came run up to her last start win she should be right him there.”
Admirable that Green and Taylor have shown loyalty in sticking to regular Jockeys Tilley and Justin Stanley. Green and Tilley will also combine with Astra Star a rival to Astapor in the Oxlade Stakes (1300m) as TAB 7 in R 3.

A dual winner up here Astra Star is a $51 chance. Jockey Ashley Butler had a big day in Townsville on Thursday with three winners. He has some good rides at Rocky tomorrow. At the Townsville meeting trainer Darryl Johnston’s winning run came to an end when Aspen Lad and Miss Daurian failed to flatter.

The Rocky Cup is shaping as a beauty even this far as a month out. Connections of The Archer winner Namazu which was well beaten in Brisbane last Saturday have announced the big race as his mission. Currently, Namazu or “Zu” as he is affectionately tagged around the Vale stable is having a freshen-up. His appearance in the Rocky Cup on July 13 will add colossal interest. Happy Horses all – don’t forget to buy a pink ribbon at Callaghan Park on Saturday. Read the RJC Facebook Page for all the relevant information – Tony McMahon.

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