Layt ‘Putting in the Hard Yards’

Published 1 August 2022

Layt ‘Putting in the Hard Yards’

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The merry-go-round called horse racing starts-up again at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park racecourse today (Monday) in what is going to be akin to a hurdy gurdy week for stakeholders and punters.

While gates open much earlier at Callaghan Park, the show starts at the later time of 1.34pm with the first of seven local races concluding at 5.09pm. With just the four scratchings from the meeting, some 61 horses will race chasing the $160,000 in prizemoney.

Later this week on Thursday at Townsville, an eight-race program offers $257K in stakes and bonuses while two days after, the feature Cup and Cleveland Bay Sprint meeting offers a massive $576,000. Locally, the Yeppoon Turf Club races this coming Saturday with a non-TAB five events program with $50,000 on the table for winners and placegetters.

Sunday will offer a much-needed respite before the TAB country circuit rolls on out to Emerald on Monday, August 8 for seven races with $118K up for grabs. It doesn’t stop there as the very next day Tuesday, August 8 many of the same industry stakeholders make the 378km journey north to Mackay. There $162,000 is to be distributed through a seven-race program. I’ll save you the maths as over those six meetings a sizeable $1.323 million is there to be won before the floats, horse transports, aircraft and motor vehicles head further north bringing the Carnival races to Cairns.

Back at Callaghan Park races today one man accustomed to travel is former Canberra region-based jockey Adrian Layt who is re-establishing his career in Townsville. Layt moved north to Townsville in early June with the sole purpose to establish his profile before his family joined him later this year.

“I decided it was best to put in the hard yards early and build up connections in the north and at the meetings further south so when the family get up here, I will have got the ball rolling with trainers and owners. Also, I am building a house in Townsville which I hope will be completed before the family arrive”, Adrian said.

One of the motivating reasons behind the move to Townsville for Layt 48 and his and partner Carolina was the attraction of the warmer climate. It was not so much for them but more so for one of their children, Liam 5, who suffers from the debilitation of Muscular Dystrophy.

True to his word Adrian has been “putting in the hard yards” having ridden over the last eight weeks at Townsville, Cairns, Bowen, Mackay, Rockhampton and Thangool (yes Thangool 16/7).

The next day Adrian Layt’s name popped up at the Sunshine Coast races (486km away) alongside Capiteel trained by none other than the legendary Lee Freedman (127 GR 1 race wins).

So, it is no big deal really for Layt to road trip down the 720km from Townsville to Callaghan Park where he has just the two rides. These are the Jim Lewis trained Gulf of Sidra (Race 1 – TAB 1) and Kristie Clark-Peoples trained Whoa Lola (R 6 – TAB  7).

Brisbane’s Ryan Wiggins, the premier Queensland provincial jockey for the just completed 2021-22 season with 92 winners, has five engagements this afternoon.

Tony McMahon.

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