Mackay’s longest priced winner in 155 Years by Tony McMahon

Published 9 September 2022

Mackay’s longest priced winner in 155 Years by Tony McMahon

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History was made at Mackay’s Ooralea Gardens racecourse on Tuesday when a rank outsider named Blackshaw became the race club’s longest priced winner in its 155 years of racing.

Officially starting at the prohibited odds of $151, Blackshaw ridden by former Rocky apprentice, now Mackay based Nicky Seymour and trained locally by Joao Serra Campeao, led throughout.

In a day of upsets when only one favourite won on the 10 race TAB card, Blackshaw’s odds blew out to start officially at $201 on one corporate bookmaker’s online site.

The win was well deserved for the popular trainer breaking a run of 70 non winners since his last with Chatilly in November last year at Mackay.

Blackshaw’s surprise win, contributed to a memorable day for Nicky Seymour originally indentured to Lyle Rowe at Callaghan Park.

Later during the card, she won on Springthorpe ($5.50) thereby annexing her first winning double at her now home track. 

“It was really something special for me. I did all of Blackshaw’s education when he first came to the track about 18 months ago and have ridden him in all but one of his races. I talk to him all the time when riding him. He was nervy at first and a late maturer. When he got his confidence, he was fine and though it sounds silly I reassure him like a mother while riding him. It was just such a fabulous feeling to win on him for Joao”, Nicky said. 

Blackshaw, a 5-Y-0 was a late starter to racing commencing in April this year and had never been placed previously in seven race starts and was coming off lasts at Bowen and Bluff.

Mackay stewards, chaired by Rockhampton’s Shane Larkins were just as surprised as anyone about the upset win and made inquiries of trainer Campeao to ascertain if he could explain.

The trainer said he attributed the improvement to the gelding’s fitness level due to its most recent start at Bluff.

“Although beaten six lengths at Bluff he did not handle the kick back on the dirt track there”, Campeao said. 

Mackay Turf Club CEO Joe Hynes who has had a long association with racing in the district said he firmly believed a $151 winner at the track was unprecedented.

“I feel safe in saying that Blackshaw is the longest priced winner here for certain. Good luck to Joao as he starts a lot of horses here and it is good to see him get another winner”, Hynes said.

That record is a similar scenario for other North Queensland TAB tracks stretching from Rockhampton to Cairns.

Long priced winners in Australian racing, even at the highest level are not all that rare.

The longest was $301 shot Lunar Fox creating one of the biggest upsets when on February 27, 2021 it won the GR 1 Australian Guineas in Melbourne.

Before that in-GR racing level, there was Abarity which won the 1986 Caulfield Guineas as a $251 chance.

Then again who would ever forget the first Tuesday in November 2015 when Prince of Penance won the Melbourne Cup as a $101 chance making history for its first female winning rider Michelle Payne?

For the record though, it is doubtful if the winning NSW TAB odds dividend for a one-dollar wager paying $1255.10 on Goddess De Vie on a race in Canada on August 21, 2019 will ever be bettered.

Though what is that they say “records are made to be broken”?

As far as Joe Hynes and officials of the Mackay Turf Club are concerned Blackshaw’s $151 claim to fame as the club’s longest priced winner is there forever.

HOOFNOTE: Callaghan Park trainers Jamie McConachy, Clinton Taylor and Nick Walsh won respectively with City Mission ($6.50), Midnight Boom ($5.00) and Deep Breath ($1.50) at Mackay last Tuesday. 

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