On The Road AGAIN with Tony McMahon.

Published 5 October 2023

On The Road AGAIN with Tony McMahon.

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Another week and more travelling ON THE ROAD AGAIN for our intrepid stakeholders from Rockhampton and the Capricornia region. Passionate Central Queensland owners and breeders, Lorraine and Bryan Hall from Graceville Thoroughbreds, Ridgelands will be watching from afar when ZIGGY ROCKS (b/br g 7 Excelebration (IRE)-Flinders Chase) races at Moonee Valley on Friday night. The couple raced ZIGGI ROCKS when trained originally by Peter Fleming at Callaghan Park where it won twice over 1300m/1400m in the 2019/20 season. It was then transferred to Tamworth trainer Mark Mason in search of more suitable races. A Tamworth winner on August 21, 2021, as well as being placed on seven occasions in the New England Tablelands districts, it was recommended to the Halls to sell ZIGGY ROCKS after six unplaced efforts later that season. This they did so at an online bloodstock sale with ZIGGY ROCKS fetching $4600 and going to South Australian trainer Garret Lynch. A Morphetville winner for Lynch in August last year, ZIGGY ROCKS was ON THE ROAD AGAIN late in 2022 when purchased by Ballarat trainer Melody Cunningham where he has sparkled, winning on four occasions and collecting along the way more than $100,000 in prizemoney. Any wonder the Hall’s told me today” Melody Cunningham loves ZIGGY ROCKS”. On Friday night ZIGGY ROCKS will be chasing three successive wins and with 63kg will be ridden by Jarrod Lorensini in Race 5 as TAB 1 at 8.15pm. Having raced in four states of Australia, ZIGGY ROCKS surely qualifies to be crowned king of Rockhampton’s ON THE ROAD AGAIN horses. The Halls race Ziggy’s half-brother the Spill The Beans gelding GRANT’S PATCH already a five times winner which ran a promising first-up fourth for trainer Lyle Wright at Mackay last week. 

Callaghan Park trainer John Wigginton has been ON THE ROAD AGAIN with his ultra-talented IN EVIDENCE (b g 3 Nicconi-Kolstar) having travelled down to Brisbane to contest the $120K QTIS 3YO (1400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday. Listed as TAB 1 in Race 4 at 1.33pm, the only negative about the chances of IN EVIDENCE is his outside draw in the field of 8. Given luck in running with in-form apprentice Bailey Wheeler reducing the weight on IN EVIDENCE to 56kg, the horse should be very hard to beat. Very genuine, IN EVIDENCE has won four races as well as recording four placings returning $176,350 in earnings. Big dividend on the initial purchase price of $50K when bought from the draft of Lyndhurst Stud, Warwick at the 2022 Magic Millions January Sale. Two starts back he was ON THE ROAD again and back winning over 1350m at Doomben on August 19. “He then had no luck in running last start when caught out wide over 1350 metres at Doomben on September 9. The horse wasn’t entitled to do what he did in keeping on going to get fourth. It was a huge run indicating to me that he is better than I thought he was. He has done well since and the 1400 metres at Eagle Farm looks ideal”, John said from the outskirts of Brisbane at midday, today (THURSDAY). Since his last run IN EVIDENCE had a change of routine spending a week “water walking “at Ipswich before coming back up to his Callaghan Park stable. Nearly left out Rockhampton managed ENUFF HE SAID which heads down the Freeway just 86km from new trainer Stuart Kendrick Corbould Park stables to Eagle Farm races on Saturday. Sure, beats the 634km haul when ENUFF HE SAID was trained at Callaghan Park by Adrian Coome. Anyhow ENUFF HE SAID (TAB 11 -R 8) contests the Queensland Cup so as TAB 11 in R 8.

Jared Wehlow’s Callaghan Park stable runner CUSACK (TAB 2 -R 7) also represents Rockhampton at Eagle Farm on Saturday with the Irish jockey Martin Harley back in Brisbane riding again. Martin Harley will be remembered for starring at the Rockhampton Jockey Club’s Winter Carnival in June. He rode five winners there at the Tatts meeting on June 25 as well as another three more the following fortnight. Harley last rode on August 12 at Eagle Farm and is not long back from a round trip of about 33,000km UP IN THE AIR AGAIN from Brisbane to Ireland and back. “I got married over there too and am only back a few weeks and getting into the swing of things riding again. I have two rides on Saturday and CUSACK is a good ride. He has been doing well and his third over 1400 metres down here last week was a good effort”, the likeable Irishman told me today. Jared Wehlow concurs –  “I brought three horses down here last week and have stayed on. CUSACK has done well this week after the run and the 1400 metres again is in his favour. He drew well at gate three and which is good as you need all the luck you can get down here when you race”, Jared told me. Actually, Jared has had a little luck as apart from CUSACK’S third stablemates RIDEAU was beaten a nose when second at the Sunshine Coast last Friday while READY BY DESIGN won at Beaudesert over the marathon trip of 2450 metres last Monday. Incidentally, Martin Harley married a Brisbane lass in Brittany Haines while in Ireland and I’m sure you will join with me in wishing them “’all the luck of the Irish”. At least Martin will have a fellow Irishman to talk to in the Eagle Farm jockeys room on Saturday with Robbie Dolan having moved from Sydney to Brisbane to be based from last week. The Brisbane riding ranks have never been any stronger.

In all seriousness it is almost a full-time job keeping up with the travels of our racing stakeholders as they are constantly ON THE ROAD AGAIN and astound me. Anyhow, here goes with what I have also been able to track down for the days ahead. Callaghan Park trainer Darryl Johnson and his partner the colourful jockey (love the purple hair Nat) Natalea Summers will be racing 717km away at Townsville’s TAB meeting tomorrow (FRIDAY). They team with last start winner ASPEN LAD (TAB 4 – R 3) and MISS DURIAN (TAB 10 -R 4). Heading north some 1100km from Rocky to ride at Richmond races on Saturday is apprentice Erin Molloy who team’s up with that Travelling Man, the Mackay trainer John Manzelmann. Ricky Nelson released the song Travelin Man in 1961 and it certainly is applicable to John Manzelmann. Rocky trainers Jared Wehlow (KOBE ROCKS, SPRITES) and Tom Smith (BAYERISCHE) have starters at Eidsvold races on Saturday just a hop, skip and jump about 310km away. Rockhampton based jockeys Warwick Satherley, Raul Silvera Olivera and Chris McIver will also be on saddle back there. Emerald trainer Raymond Williams will be ON THE ROAD AGAIN bound the 480km to Eidsvold with ECHO POINT. Raymond will be anxious to get back to Emerald to put the finishing touches on the turf Pioneer Park track for the Emerald 100 meeting on Saturday week, October 14. Good to see Raul Silvera Olivera the South American jockey gradually getting more rides especially at the RJC races in Rockhampton on this Sunday. 

VERY BRIEF: Callaghan Park trainer John Poots was transferred from a Brisbane Hospital and subsequently a brain injuries rehabilitation unit where he has been continually based since a near fatal head injury on July 12 to the Rockhampton Base Hospital Rehabilitation unit this morning (THURSDAY). John is making a miraculous recovery from his brain injuries sustained from a horse related training accident at Port Curtis. Rockhampton Jockey Club’s chairman Rob Carr and vice-chair John Siganto were re-elected for those positions at an RJC committee meeting on Wednesday evening. John McDevitt, the finance manager for Rockhampton’s Catholic Education was elected RJC treasurer. 

Finally, don’t forget to be ON THE ROAD AGAIN to Callaghan Park for eight race TAB program on SUNDAY commencing at 12.45pm.

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