On the Road AGAIN with Tony McMahon.

Published 12 October 2023

On the Road AGAIN with Tony McMahon.

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Rockhampton apprentice jockey Erin Molloy is the undisputed winner of “Taking the Gong” for her ON THE ROAD AGAIN marathons over the last week. Last Saturday, Erin and her apprentice master Callaghan Park trainer Tim Cook completed a 1110km and 12 hours’ drive so that she could ride at Richmond races in North-West Queensland. It certainly paid dividends as Erin rode a memorable four winners on the five-race program while her other mount Torque Sensation ran third. All were trained by Mackay maestro John Manzelmann who started seven horses on the day at Richmond which attracted 36 starters. Numbers wise you may be surprised to hear that Manzelmann finished second behind Julia Creek’s Tanya Parry who provided 15 starters for the one winner and four placegetters. However, the day belonged to Erin Molloy who completed a rare feat (four wins) that all jockeys would love to achieve but only a select band accomplished it. Erin 23 only commenced race riding on February 18 at Home Hill on the Manzelmann trained Bold Zip. After her “Richmond four”, Erin had ticked-up 24 winners but that could all change quickly. After Molloy and Cook completed their marathon 2200km trip to Richmond and back taking all up 24 hours of driving, they were busy preparing for more ON THE ROAD AGAIN excursions this week with their own team of horses. They loaded up and headed north to race at Home Hill today (Thursday), just 621km up the road for about a seven-hour trip pulling a float with horses on board. They return to Mackay late Thursday (289Km – three hours) and base themselves there to race at Bowen on Saturday (192km – 2 hours). Then on Sunday it will be a case of Home James to “Feed The Horses” (figurately speaking of course) in Rockhampton 523km and about six hours ON THE ROAD AGAIN. So, Erin Molloy aided by Tim Cook, will have completed a staggering 3825km in just 10 days clocking up 43 hours ON THE ROAD AGAIN. For once I am lost for words, a sentiment I am sure the readers Australia wide of this column will share. As a matter of fact, I feel fatigued just writing about it. Erin Molloy deserves top marks for dedication as well as winners galore. Tim Cook deserves his share of accolades as well for all his support.

Of course, the biggest percentage of Callaghan Park, Rocky racing stakes holders on Saturday will be ON THE ROAD AGAIN heading along the 275km of the Capricorn Highway to Pioneer Park racecourse Emerald. It’s the Emerald Jockey Club’s biggest meeting of the year – the Emerald 100 which could attract 3000 racegoers. Rockhampton trainers Jim Lewis, Ricky Vale, Tom Smith, Clinton Taylor, Zoe Hohn, Peter Fleming, Graeme Green, Nick Walsh and Kristie-Clark Peoples will all have their horses on show. Rockhampton jockeys Warwick Satterley, Chris McIver, Nikki Olzard, Tasha Chambers, McKenzie Apel have taken rides there. Racing participants from near and far around Queensland will be ON THE ROAD AGAIN heading to Emerald to take on the locals headed by horses from the stables of Glenda Bell, Raymond Williams and Trevor Williams. The $15,000 Emerald 100 (1850m) is from the stats the best field going round since the race was first run in 1965. Rockhampton is represented by Tom Smith’s 2023 Emerald 100 winner BAYERISCHE and Kristie-Clark Peoples’ CENTAUR. The 10 starters in the 2023 Emerald 100 have amassed a stakes haul of $1,452,183 from 64 wins between them. In 2022, the field had won $969,797 in stakes from 38 wins. Case rested this is the strongest field on the criteria of wins and prizemoney won. Longreach jockey Robert Faehr will complete 1468klm in the 24 hours leading up to Emerald where he rides on Saturday. From Longreach he heads to Cloncurry to ride on Friday and then back to Emerald for Saturday. Hats off (caps off-these days probably more appropriate) to Faehr and congratulations to his winning a RQ award this week. Nice guy and can ride. All the kilometres these guys and gals are completing ON THE ROAD AGAIN is doing my head in. I’m old school and do the calculations in my head. If there are any kind folk out there, I’d love a calculator for Christmas! 

I’m getting road weary so let’s be brief and just go for a short road trip so to speak.

That talented lass, the Callaghan Park apprentice jockey Brooke Johnson (Erin Molloy already mentioned) rides at Bowen races on Saturday as does Rocky’s Natalea Summers and Ashley Butler along with Rockhampton trainers Darryl Johnson, Tim Cook and Dayle Whyte having starters. Callaghan Park’s Damien Boulet heads south-east to Gaynday for a book of rides which represents an ON THE ROAD AGAIN round trip of abt 800km and nine hours behind the wheel. Did you know that Gayndah has a special place in Queensland racing history? The first Queensland Jockey Club was formed there in the mid 1850’s while the first Queensland Derby was run at Gayndah in 1868. Well, there you go. In recent weeks the Rocky stakeholders who have been ON THE ROAD AGAIN and back to Brisbane have come home regrettably with “their tails between their legs” so not surprisingly only one local is doing the rounds in Brisbane at Eagle Farm on Saturday. That is the Jared Wehlow trained O’MUDGEE (RACE 4 -TAB 2). O’MUDGEE contests a BM78 (1600m) but has a big weight in 61kg (less 3kg for Jake Molloy’s claim) and a wide draw, likely from 11 gate. Not an overly hard race on form but then again, they are never easy to win in Brisbane as Jared Wehlow himself attests. Good luck Jared hope O’MUDGEE bucks the recent loosing trend.

From today, Thursday October 12, up to and including Sunday, October 15 there are 12 race meetings scheduled in Queensland. The country meetings at Home Hill, Cloncurry, Atherton, Bowen, Emerald, Gayndah, Cunnamulla and Warwick have attracted 543 horses accepting to race. Gold Coast, Eagle Farm and the two Sunshine Coast meetings account for another 418 horses. In total 961 horses race over just four days. Lot of horses, the majority of which will be ON THE ROAD AGAIN. All too much for me so I’m off for a grandpa nap. 

DON’T FORGET THE ROCKHAMPTON JOCKEY CLUB’S CAULFILED CUP DAY RACES AT CALLAGHAN PARK ON SATURDAY WEEK, OCTOBER 21. 

HAPPY HORSES and SAFE TRAVELS IF YOU ARE ON THE ROAD AGAIN – Tony McMahon

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