On the Road Again with Tony McMahon.

Published 3 August 2023

On the Road Again with Tony McMahon.

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Tighten your seatbelts everyone and let’s get back ON THE ROAD AGAIN. Firstly, though, thanks for the positive feedback regarding the introduction of this column last week – much appreciated. Pleased too to hear related to me, that so many of you took Graeme Green’s tip and backed his Brisbane winner last Saturday in SHAMEDY. By the way, Graeme tells me Shamedy has now gone for a well-earned break and as the winner of five races in his 2YO season, not to mention he has won $229,500 in stakes. If I recall correctly Graeme was a tad nervous after he successfully bid $90K for the Better Than Ready colt at the 2022 MM March Yearling Sale. “Dearest I have ever paid for a yearling”, Graeme related. Well Graeme you can’t always get a Master Jamie for a meagre $10,000 from the same sale venue (2018) and go on and win $935,525 including two Rocky Cups to date. Both horses are raced by Green and Ron and Bev White with the latter couple being stalwarts of Rocky racing for decades. Maureen Olive shares the ownership of Shamedy. Outstanding judge is Graeme Green, and he has a big team I believe of over a dozen juveniles being readied for the 2YO season this year. Green is ON THE ROAD AGAIN this week trekking the 718km to Townsville with TOP SPY (Guineas) and LEIBERT LASS (Maiden). TOP SPY won the Rockhampton Guineas at its last start, beating subsequent winner Honkytonk Dancer. Both have excellent chances on Sunday.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN once again this weekend will be Callaghan Park’s Jared Wehlow, but it will be a longer drive than last Saturday when the stable won the $15K Bundaberg Cup (1380m) with KOBIE ROCKS (NZ). “He relished the sand track there”, Jared rightfully said as the horse won by an extended margin of 6.3 lengths. “I’ll run him next in the Gladstone Cup (1608m) on August 12”, Wehlow said. Jared won two Gladstone Cups with Teddy Bear in 2009 and 2011 – the latter when the horse was an 11YO. So, he knows what is required of KOBIE ROCKS so I would suggest you take the tip. Wehlow has SAVOURY (Race 9 – TAB 4) running in the last at Eagle Farm on Saturday. The last two starts from SAVOURY have produced good efforts in shorter feature Newmarket sprints at Rockhampton and Mackay. Jared is too astute to be making the 630km road hike to Brisbane without believing SAVOURY is up to his 1600 metres quest, a distance at which he has won twice. I suspect SAVOURY may just be a good old fashioned “sneaky go”. “Busy week coming up as I have starters at Townsville (this Sunday) and at Mackay on Tuesday. I’ll only be at one meeting at the weekend. Then back to Townsville the following weekend. It never stops”, said Jared. He sure got that right.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN is that highwayman Rocky trainer Clinton Taylor and I wouldn’t be surprised if his favourite song as he drives along is The Highwayman, the Waylon Jennings rendition from 1985. Just a little drive of 42km to Yeppoon on Saturday for the Taylor team of two starters. They are MISS GAGA in the Maiden and ASHIKO BAY in the BM 60 at Keppel Park. If MISS GAGA doesn’t win the Maiden I will be very surprised. Do you know why? MISS GAGA (Scissor Kick-Rekindled Applause) is a full sister to Australia’s best sprinter GIGA KICK the winner of $9,599,700 in stakes. From four starts MISS GAGA has run two fourths. “She was sent to me by the ownership group Trilogy to win a race. If she wins, she will be transported to go to stud I believe around Scone as soon as possible. Someone told me that would make her worth a million dollars if she could win. I don’t know anything about that, but she will get her chance on Saturday as the race at Yeppoon doesn’t look strong”, Clinton told me. He is spot on there and no doubt with a win alongside her name any foals from MISS GAGA given her blue blood lineage would certainly be worth a small fortune as a broodmare. Her dam Rekindled Applause has had nine to race so far for six winners. MISS GAGA, should she win, would make it read superb in a yearling catalogue with nine foals to race for seven winners. Taylor certainly cleaned up down the highway 287km away at Bundaberg last Saturday. There he won with RUSSIAN WHISPER and STOCIAL, two of the three winners for his stable apprentice Brooke Johnson.
RICKY VALE, TIM COOK, KEVIN HANSEN and DARRYL JOHNSON are all heading north about 718km for an eight +++ hours float haul to Townsville races also on Sunday. Too many horses to mention but by all means check them out and give them plenty of respect if you are having a TAB wager on the huge meeting.
TOM SMITH &NICK WALSH are journeying from Rockhampton to Eagle Farm races for Saturday with some well credentialled local racehorses. SMITH has the Mitchell Power owned triple winner ACRES AWAY (R3 – TAB 1) engaged in the QTIS 3YO (1200m). Coachman Les Tilley with a swag of Rockhampton connections is the chosen rider. Nick Walsh will be represented by KASINOVA KID (Damien Thornton – R 4 -TAB 7) and BOLLENTE (Mark Du Plessis – R 8 -TAB 6). Seriously they all look good prosects from where I am sitting doing their form in front of the computer.
BE AWARE OF THE TRAVELLING HORSE an old-time trainer once installed in my mind and you know what, he was right. However, these days there are so many so they all can’t win, can they? There is no doubt whatsoever in my train of thought that travelling racehorses (provided of course they are good travelers) does them the world of good. My old mate the late great vet Henry Hengee swore by it – travelling horses. Come to think of it in hindsight Henry was known to swear a bit as well.
Honesty, folks I am struggling to keep up with the travelling trainers and their horses from Rockhampton. Hope this column in some way helps you and thanks again also for the positive personal feedback.
Last but by no means least the local jockey travelling the furthest this week I believe is Tim Cook’s apprentice ERIN MOLLOY. She has three rides at Richmond just up the road 1100kms away from Rockhampton. Tim Cook on Friday will drive Erin up to Townsville with his horses racing for Sunday and then on Saturday will accompany Erin on the drive the extra 500km west from there heading out to Richmond. Erin rode a winner at Middlemount last Saturday and she is a delightfully talented young jockey who will soon build on her 15 winners to date. She rides for John Manzelmann at Richmond. Full marks to Tim Cook.
SAFE TRAVELS all concerned and be with you all ON THE ROAD AGAIN next week.
HOOFNOTE: If a travelling trainer/jockey/horse has been missed by me it is because I am exhausted by the very thought of their exploits.
HAPPY HORSES – Tony McMahon.

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