Quality racing for a massive Tatt’s weekend.
Published 20 June 2023
Quality racing is guaranteed for the first official two days of the Rockhampton Jockey Club’s Winter Racing Carnival after 189 horses were entered to race this Friday and Sunday.
Friday’s TAB meeting at Callaghan Park has lured a net 100 entries with 18 horses being nominated for the main attraction the $105,000 Northern Jewel 3YO Handicap (1400m).
The co-feature event, the $35K Tattersalls Sprint (1200m) has a dozen nominations including Sunshine Coasters (Brocky -Liam Birchley) and La Amigo (Stuart Kendrick).
Gold Coast Hinterland based trainer Tom Button, a former premiership winner in Rockhampton has with his partnership trainer Ryan Tyrell nominated Jemeldi for the Sprint.
A Doomben winner and Randwick GR 2 placegetter, Button said on Tuesday that Rockhampton owned Jemeldi was likely to miss the race in favour of a Brisbane start.
“Jemeldi is more than likely to start at Eagle Farm on Saturday. I will be coming up to Rocky with a group of horses on Friday including Cocobrew Express and Under The Limit”, Button said.
Both of those three-year-olds will contest the Northern Jewel and as of yet Button hasn’t firmed-up riders for the pair.
As his name suggests, Cocobrew Express, a quirky named son of Spill The Beans is a Rockhampton owned three times winner of races at Eagle Farm, Rockhampton and Ipswich.
Cocobrew Express is joint second topweight on 57.5kg alongside Clinton Taylor’s Honkytonk Diva both having two kilograms less than Tom Smith’s topweight Better Rain.
“I’m hoping Cocobrew can regain his best form as he is an Eagle Farm winner and has been racing in lots of stronger company races including GROUP class.
He has lost his way a little, but he goes alright. Our other runner in the race Under The Limit has won twice but this is a stronger race for him. He is however on the way up”, Button said.
Creating considerable interest in the Tatts Sprint will be the reappearance of the Nick Walsh trained Bollente, the topweight with 64kg.
Bollente (b g 7 Sizzling-Dabrowski) is the winner of 15 of his 40 starts and has not raced for 13 months since a two starts campaign last autumn for a Rockhampton win and placing.
Those outings followed a long break after Bollente’s close third to the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Regal Stage in the 2021 Rockhampton Cup (1600m).
Nick Walsh said on Tuesday that Bollente was a definite starter on Friday and jockey Warwick Satherley would take the ride.
‘’He (Bollente) has trialed-up nicely and I’m happy with him as he looks on target for a good northern Winter Carnival campaign”, he said.
Bollente injured a suspensory ligament in a previous preparation but has had intense remedial therapy such as working in a water walker during his long convalescence.
It must be remembered that Bollente is a class horse and furthermore he was won twice and been runner-up three times from six first-up starts.
It’s a similar scenario in Sunday’s $35K Tattersalls Cup (1600m) in which last years Rockhampton Cup winner Master Jamie is the standout among 14 entries.
However, the downside is that Master Jamie will cop a massive weight when handicaps are released on Wednesday.
An influx of visiting horses from as far afield as Cairns, Brisbane, Darling Downs, Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast and further west, will really assure the Winter Carnival racing hypes up later this week.
In other news, Rocky star Chinny Boom is set to resume in the $150K QTIS 3YO Fillies Plate (1200m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday.
Central Queenslanders Ahwahneechee (Raymond Williams) and Iris Caramella (Kevin Miller) have secured a place in the field for the $200K Battle of the Bush Final (1200m) on the same EF card.
By Tony McMahon.