On The Road AGAIN with Tony McMahon.

Published 3 November 2023

On The Road AGAIN with Tony McMahon.

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The most interesting ON THE ROAD AGAIN trip this week is that of Callaghan Park trainer Jared Wehlow. He left Rocky earlier in the week floating READY BY DESIGN to race at Beaudesert on Saturday. It’s a road trip of just over 700km. In what is an interesting assignment READY BY DESIGN will contest a $35,000 Qualifying Heat of the Jericho Cup (3090m) at Beaudesert. Should, READY BY DESIGN succeed he goes into (qualifies for) the rich Jericho Cup (4600m), to be run at Warrnambool, Victoria on December 3. The longest race of its kind in Australia for thoroughbreds, the Jericho Cup carries a prize pool of $314,000. The Jericho Cup was instigated in 2018 on the centenary anniversary of the original race of that name. Nearing the end of World War 1, the Australian Light Horsemen planned a massive operation against the Turkish Army. To fool the Turks ,on the eve of the planned assault the Australians on their Whaler horses staged a race meeting in the desert in close proximity to Jericho. The Jericho Cup, naturally the main race was staged over a journey of three miles (app 4628m). It was won by the most famous of all the Whaler horses- Bill The Bastard. The ploy worked and the next day the Australians, with Bill The Bastard at the forefront surprised the Turks and won the battle. As they say, “the rest is history.’ As an aside I have read the book Bill The Bastard and I thoroughly recommend it to all. The Whalers were courageous horses – War Horses and it is recorded in some annals that 130,000 of them worked in World War 1. Back to “Beau-desert’’ (aptly named for a Jericho Cup heat) and READY BY DESIGN, Jared Wehlow and the race in question on Saturday where he runs as TAB 2 in Race 4 at 2.42pm. He will be ridden by Ryan Wiggins, which incidentally is his only ride at the meeting. Wiggins later fly’s north to ride at the Innisfail TAB meeting on Sunday which is abt 1700km from Beaudesert. In a clever maneouvre, Wehlow raced READY BY DESIGN at his last start at Beaudesert on October 2 in a race over 2450 metres. READY BY DESIGN won and won easily under 61.5kg. The Jericho Cup plan was not only hatched then, but it was given credence. So, it is worth watching on Saturday afternoon and who knows desert dreams may come to fruition just like it did in 1918 through Bill The Bastard. “We will be heading down to Warrnambool if he qualifies) journeyman trainer Jared Wehlow assured. Likes a trip does Jared winning the Gympie Cup last Saturday with Kobe Rocks (NZ).

 

Spare a thought for Rockhampton apprentice jockey Brooke Johnson who left last Friday to ride at Isisford races last Saturday. She overnighted at Barcaldine and completed the eight hours ON THE ROAD AGAIN trip arriving on Saturday morning. The meeting was subsequently abandoned by stewards and I’m not “going there” if you get the gist but unfortunately Brooke did and completed a fruitless 16-hour round road trip on Sunday. Trust, Brooke has a far happier ending after riding in eight races at Barcaldine on Saturday after she has completed   drive to ride out there. I caught up with Brooke through the Al Capone this afternoon (Friday) while she was en-route and wished her well. She never made any complaints about the trip to Isisford and back, rather wanted to make mention of the support she is receiving from Central Western Queensland stakeholders. “I am very grateful for all the support the trainers give me out there and hope I can repay them with winners tomorrow”. I thought to myself, how refreshing to hear such gratitude from a young apprentice jockey going places. Believe me the day will come when Brooke Johnson is ON THE ROAD AGAIN but it will be to Brisbane. She has all the hallmarks of being a very successful jockey. What’s more, she is gracious and appreciative of all the help that goes her way. I won’t “go there either” except to say not all in racing extoll that quality. Don’t change Brooke!

Well folks I have just about written myself silly this week but that comes about through passion with this old scribe. Along the line of the words I say at the end of each race meeting I broadcast (I hope you have enjoyed the racing as much as I have enjoyed calling it to you) I will say ‘’I hope you have enjoyed reading my articles on this site as much as I have enjoyed writing them’’.

See you all at Keppel Park, Yeppoon races on Saturday, good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.

Forgive me as I almost forgot – Happy Horses – Tony McMahon.

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