On the Road AGAIN with Tony McMahon.

Published 13 September 2023

On the Road AGAIN with Tony McMahon.

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We are ON THE ROAD AGAIN with a group of Rockhampton trainers and jockeys heading to the Bowen Turf Club’s race meeting on Thursday. Bowen’s Ben Bolt Park boasts a turf track and excellent facilities and the club race approximately five times a year. Racing has a long history in Bowen dating back to 1846. The first official race meeting at Bowen was staged in 1863. Bowen predates the official establishment of racing in Rockhampton which occurred under the auspices of the Rockhampton Jockey Club on July 22, 1869. Enough of the history lesson so let’s get back ON THE ROAD AGAIN to Bowen some 523kms north. Trainer Kevin Miller runs MOUNT MARGARET (Brooke Johnson) in the opening race the 3YO Maiden (1200m) in which Tim Cook starts OUR BERLINETTA (Erin Molloy). Cook and his apprentice Molloy also teamed with JUST LIKE ROSIE, ROCK’N’SOL and FLYING ASTEROID later during the Bowen Program. FIFO Brisbane jockey Justin Stanley has stayed over in Rockhampton after riding at Keppel Park races on Tuesday and trials there this morning (Wednesday). Justin has a busy and strong book of rides at Ben Bolt Park where he has ridden eight winners in the past. One of those rides is the Clinton Taylor Rocky trained PEGGY BOOM (R 6 -TAB 7). “Peggie” has her hoof on the till and if she can overcome her wide draw (11) she should go close. Stanley and Taylor are a formidable combination sharing 73 winners together. Lone behold Stanley’s mount, the Tom Bourke Callaghan Park trained SWISS ELEMENT has also drawn the same disadvantageous barrier in its contest in the eight race. In this he will be opposed to the Taylor trained SO ODELIA (Brooke Johnson) which looked favoured from the rails gate. Astute Emerald trainer Trevor Williams will be up early and ON THE ROAD AGAIN for the 539Km trip with his two well performed winning prospects SILENT ANGEL (R 6 -TAB 9) and STARHATTAN (R 4 -TAB 6). Non claiming apprentice Tahlia Fenlon rides both and will be keen to build on her 118 winners to date. SEQ’s Tom Button of Ryan Tyrell and Tom Button Racing, starts five horses at Bowen. Button has been wintering with a string of horses based at Bowen throughout the last few months and has been ON THE ROAD AGAIN all over the place. Last Saturday, the Button trained, and Rockhampton owned COCO BREW EXPRESS won at the Cairns Amateurs. Button has been highly praiseworthy about the Bowen Turf Club committee’s assistance to him. Remember the old adage – horses for courses? That being the case, his team of starters at Ben Bolt Park on Thursday deserve consideration.

 Undeterred after disappointing failures by ISIS CARMELLA and BOLLENTE at Doomben races last Saturday, two more Callaghan Park trained horses are on a road trip of 623km to Eagle Farm races on Saturday. Jared Wehlow has CUSACK engaged as TAB 6 in R 4 under jockey Justin Huxtable. Jamie McConachy starts UNO ARTIE (R 6 -TAB 12) with gun hoop Ben Thompson as coachman. Good luck to all concerned with the ON THE ROAD AGAIN pair.

Former Adrian Coome trained ENUFF HE SAID has over time had his share of float trips ON THE ROAD AGAIN of late. Under retiring Callaghan Park trainer Adrian’s tutorship, ENUFF HE SAID scored a thrilling win for new trainer Stuart Kendrick over 1800 metres at the Sunshine Coast last Sunday. Sharon Coome, Adrian’s mother is the managing owner of ENUFF HE SAID. Coome and Kendrick go way back as a successful team from the time the trainer was the premier mentor at Mackay so it was a given that Stuart would get the horse to train. Now that ENUFF HE SAID is based on the Sunshine Coast and doesn’t have to be ON THE ROAD AGAIN as much, mark him down as a serious horse to follow. Incidentally, Coome and Kendrick teamed together for 82 winners, the most the former topliner jockey has ridden for any trainer. Adrian’s career wins according to RACING AND SPORTS stand at 977. Shame he didn’t hit the 1000 mark but looking at his girth I doubt Adrian will ever contemplate another comeback to jockeying. Speaking of girths, I can’t talk.

The 155km float trip from Rocky to Thangool proved fruitful for Callaghan Park trainers Tom Smith and Dale Whyte last Saturday. Smith’s BAYERISCHE, much to the cheering of owner Bear Rawlinson won the Noel Howard Memorial Newmarket at Thangool carrying 63kg. It was a crucial training run for both horse and their owner for their main assignment next month, the $15K Emerald 100 (1850m) on October 14. Both won in different categories last year with the horse winning the trophy race. How good was the effort of Whyte’s “’ Cups collector’” Starsonic in winning the Eric and Val Nobbs Memorial Thangool Cup (1600m) for Brooke Johnson with 60kg? STARSONIC has his name written all over the 2023 Emerald 100 but please don’t tell Bear Rawlinson that. 

Full marks to Nanango trainer Glenn Richardson for his ON THE ROAD AGAIN dual winning exploits at the Thangool meeting. Glenn made the 8.5 hours round float trip with two winners KAPPY (Brooke Johnson) and I AM FEARLESS (Chris McIver). Both horses contested 800 metres races run in winning times of 45.48 seconds and 43.60 secs. The combined time added to 89.08 seconds or 1min. 29.08 seconds. How about that eight and a half hours ON THE ROAD AGAIN trip for almost a minute and a half’s work. I know that is a bizarre analogy but interesting all the same. I AM FEARLESS, was originally a $280K 2019 Inglis Yearling but was sold to its present connections for $7000 in an online sale in 2021. Rocky’s Leanne Applewaite trained it for some time as a family member is listed among the ownership group. A short course flyer, I AM FEARLESS has been ON THE ROAD AGAIN winning short races previously at Warwick, Bundaberg, Gympie, and Dalby. Writing of Glenn’s big trip for two short races, took my mind way back to around 1996 when I took the fastest mare, I ever had VAN MAANEN (X Proud Knight) ON THE ROAD AGAIN south from her Rodboro Street, North Rockhampton stables some 670Km or approx. eight hours float trip to Bundamba racecourse, Ipswich for a Flying Handicap (800m). Jockey Bill Kenning, myself and one of the part-owners from Rocky who fancied a “decent bet” shared a motel room. VAN MAANEN didn’t win and let’s just say it wasn’t the most pleasant ON THE ROAD AGAIN trip home but gee whizz it was a long one! 

Only the one Rockhampton trained horse in Clinton Taylor’s ATTACKABEEL will be ON THE ROAD AGAIN headed out the 334km to Springsure for the big Cup Day races there on Saturday. Fear not as a stack of Callaghan Park trainers are planning the 335km ON THE ROAD AGAIN haul to pillage at Mackay races on Tuesday. No fewer than 35 of the 83 entries for the meeting are Rocky stabled which represents about 42% of the nominations. No, that savior of many race meetings John Manzelmann hasn’t run out of horses as he penned in eight entries. Actually, between Jonh, his sister Tracey Simmons and close relative trainers Joshua and Lachie Manzelmann have 18 horses nommed for the Mackay meeting.  Rest assured Rockhampton trained horses will figure prominently among the winners at Mackay. Always do!  

See you ON THE ROAD AGAIN sometime soon. HAPPY HORSES -Tony McMahon.

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