One of Rocky’s Biggest Weeks of Racing is Here!

Published 27 March 2023

One of Rocky’s Biggest Weeks of Racing is Here!

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Well, it is finally here, one of Rockhampton racings biggest weeks on the calendar and I wish everyone involved with the two colossal days of racing on Friday and Saturday and the CYS on Sunday all you aspire for. It is a massive week not only for the local racing industry but for Rockhampton in general with the economy getting a significant injection of good old moolah. For example, in the vicinity of $700,000 in prize money will be distributed over Friday and Saturday’s TAB meetings. As I’m sure you are all well aware, the $150K CYS 2YO Classic (1200m) and the $100K CYS 3&4 Classic (1300m) are the star events on Saturday’s program.

Entries for Friday’s eight race card closed at 11am today (Monday) and they are fabulous with 136 horses nominated of which over half are trained outside of Rockhampton. Toowoomba, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Roma and Brisbane are among the regions represented and many of those connections will be arriving in Rocky before Friday and staying on for Saturday’s races and Sunday’s sales. Get the gist? They will be spending money with the hospitality industry probably the biggest winner. It gets even bigger. Sunday’s Capricornia Yearling Sales at the Rockhampton Showgrounds comprise 39 vendors (sellers) of approximately 135 yearlings. Of those, 29 vendors are from outside Central Queensland which represents a tick under 75%. They bring with them staff. As well, other breeders themselves come along not forgetting the visiting buyers, Gold Coast Magic Millions selling agents and staff, livestock transport people and on and on it goes – they will be here in numbers. Vendors are travelling with their yearlings from Taree (NSW) right up to Mareeba in North Queensland with the majority from around the Darling Downs and other parts of south-east Queensland. I cannot emphasise enough just what a huge stimulus this week of racing and sales (Capricornia Yearling Sale Racing Carnival) provides for the Rockhampton economy as well as the Capricorn Coast. It is massive, just ponder on that for a moment. The racing industry is a major player in the Rockhampton economy. What about the Rocky Amateurs $1 million The Archer race day coming up on Sunday, April 30. That day and the associated social functions beforehand will be mega big. I called the races at Moranbah last Saturday and fielded many an inquiry there about The Archer. Those who sought me out were “full on” about the day and the fact that the following day was a public holiday. Rockhampton racing and those who administer it deserve a pat on the back for their efforts. Racing is a huge promotional tool for the city. What other sport or industry in Rockhampton is beamed throughout Australia and overseas on television about 45 times a year? Not hard to answer, is it?  NONE!!  The racing industry in Rockhampton is, if you will excuse the pun “first past the post in that field.  

Race caller Russell Leonard will have a bit of fun on his hands if Mackay trainer John Manzelmann decides to accept with his 10 of 16 entries for the Country Cup (1600m) at Callaghan Park on Saturday. Manzelmann and caller Leonard will have a warm-up in the second race at Mackay on Tuesday where the trainer has seven of the 10 acceptors. Speaking of fun, don’t forget to book your seats and get your Calcutta tickets for the 2YO Classic Calcutta at 6.30pm in the Amateurs Lounge at Callaghan Park after the races on Friday. All the relevant information is available on the RJC website/Facebook page. 

The RJC has released the designer’s impression of the new mounting yard and placegetters stalls at Callaghan Park. Looks good and work is progressing well on it and the associated projects there.

Spare a though for Rocky trainer Clinton Taylor for his extraordinary efforts leading up to his presence at the successful Moranbah race meeting last Saturday. Clinton attended the Magic Millions March Yearling Sales last Monday and Tuesday at the Gold Coast and flew home that night. He floated three horses north to Townsville later in the week for Friday’s races – about 760km. Two of his starters El Of A Senorita and Show and Go were each beaten a nose in their races finishing second while the other Magnetic Drive ran third. “It was a tough day I can tell you to go that far and go so close. However, you can’t win all the time’’, Clinton told me at Moranbah races. He arrived back in Rockhampton at midnight Friday and was at the Callaghan Park track at 5am. “I didn’t ride any work though”, he told me almost apologetically. “I hadn’t planned on floating the two starters out here today as Erin (wife) was to do that. However, she got kicked by a horse and I couldn’t let her do that”, Clinton said.  That represented another 425km one way which Clinton shared with another driver. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a case of “all’s well that ends well”. Attackabeel, which I believed was the best placed horse anywhere in Australia on Saturday was fractious in the barriers prior to the start of its race with the jockey dismounting while the mare remained in the barriers. It raced well below expectations and came in 5.95 lengths last. I suggest you completely overlook the run of Attackabeel when assessing her prospects when next she starts. Taylor’s other starter in Lonely Street was also unplaced. Herculean effort by Clinto Taylor who as I have said before virtually never stops working and he and Erin deserve all the success they achieve.

Imagine Clinton Taylor will be Mackay bound on Tuesday where he has four runners at the TAB meeting. Next Saturday in Rocky, he steps out the brilliant Divine Purpose in the CYS 3&4YO Plate (1300m). Stable star Chinny Boom runs first up on Saturday week, April 8 in the a $137,500 QTIS 3YO (1050m) at Doomben. “That allows for a two-week run in for her in the LR Mick Dittman 3YO Plate (1100m) at Doomben on April 22. I thought she trialed well in Rocky last week”, Clinton said. Sure did winning by 8.75 lengths and running the fastest heat time for 900 metres in 55.04 seconds. Taylor was the under bidder on Chinny Boom’s half-sister by Encryption at the MM sale last week which sold for $90K to Tony Gollan but he did manage to acquire some yearlings. 

 

Tony McMahon.

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