Racing AROUND Capricornia with Tony McMahon.
Published 5 June 2023
It has been a huge couple of weeks for Rockhampton jockeys both juniors and one very gifted senior.
On this occasion I’ll go along with “age comes before beauty” whereby rejuvenated Kiwi jockey Warwick Satherley 54, jumps first.
Warwick was highly regarded by sound judges including my friend the late Nigel Landers (RIP) in New Zealand before he (Satherley) retired there from race riding there in around 2004.
Since re-engaging as a jockey in Rockhampton less than a month ago, he has ridden no fewer than nine winners.
It’s just not that simple as timing during a race is a crucial component of jockeying.
Obviously, Warwick Satherley has a clock in his head which was always ticking during his absence.
In my book that is quite astounding.
After quitting jockeying Warwick ventured to Japan where he rode track work before settling in Sydney where he became a much sought after track rider for some very prominent trainers.
Last year he and his partner Joanna Andersen moved to a property at Alton Downs where they planned to spell horses, pre-train and so on as horsey people do.
All that changed when Warwick came into Green Steel in Rocky to buy some fencing gear many months ago.
“I met trainer Nick Walsh who works there. We got talking and he said there was a shortage of track riders and to come over and I could ride some work for him”, Warwick told me at Callaghan Park in between races last Friday.
By the way that was a big day for him as he landed a winning treble courtesy of Kasinova Kid (Nick Walsh), Honkytonk Diva (Clinton Taylor) and Media Empire (Jason Morgan).
Back to Warwick the Fencer who quickly became Warwick the Track Work Rider and before too long Warwick the Jockey.
“I really hadn’t planned to race ride again but my weight was so constant since moving up here at 52kg and I just got really keen again and saw the opportunities here with so few jockeys “, Warwick said.
Good move Warwick as the Rockhampton racing scene is now your oyster.
Satherley had his first day back riding on May 9 at Mackay.
Next up on May 18 he was back winning on Gilbert’s Gold (Rockhampton); 20/5 Our Stormy Girl (Emerald); 26/5 (Media Empire, Blue Kentucky Moon – Rockhampton) as well as a winner at Mackay the next day before his Callaghan Park treble.
Less than 24 hours later W. Satherley was home on another winner at Bowen.
There is no doubting Satherley is a polished thinking jockey who from my observations would be competitive at any metropolitan jurisdiction in Australia.
So much so if all goes to plan Satherley could quite easily win a Rockhampton jockey’s premiership which has been the domain of the FIFO jockeys for years and years.
The only tip I could offer Warwick – not that he needs any – is not to fall into the trap of becoming too casual when races look to be in your keeping over the closing stages.
Many top jockeys used to riding much more talented horses in their career can unwittingly be too “kind” to those of lesser standard in the concluding stages of a provincial
Admirable but generalising the ponies up this way are a cog or so below the standard of what W. Satherley was akin to riding “across the ditch” and in work in Sydney.
The saying “better to be safe than sorry” fits this closing stanza.
Sure put the whip away but keep the hands and heels flowing.
That’s from somebody that fell off on a merry-go-round ride as a kid but is a big fan of your jockeying skills Warwick.
Then again I recall a much smarter cove than me once advising “you don’t have to be a fish to catch one”.
Star Rockhampton apprentice jockey Tahlia Fenlon 20, is really finding her niche in SEQ. Tahlia has enjoyed a memorable week after landing a Gold Coast winning double at Aquis Park last Saturday preceded by a Corbould Park winner at the Sunshine Coast the night before. Tahlia, on loan to Chris Munce in Brisbane rode her first Ipswich winner aboard that trainer’s Savvy Legend on May 27. That was a race over the 2210 metres duration – the longest Tahlia has ridden over. In consideration that Tahlia only moved south a month ago it, she has done extremely well. Now she is coming under the notice of some of the bigger stables, I’ll be surprised if Tahlia returns to Rockhampton in the near future. Hopefully, with luck riding with her it is a given that not to far down the track she will be granted her metropolitan riding ticket. No rush though and I am sure the astute Munce and Co and Tahlia is sufficiently mature enough to recognise the benefits of “Slowly, Slowly catchee the Monkey”.
I reckon mature age apprentice Jade Doolan 34, must carry a replica of George Moore’s famous whistle when she rides. Racing folklore had it, the legendary jockeying whizz George blew his whistle to gain runs that then opened during some of his memorable wins particularly along the rails. Well, Jade Doolan’s first Rockhampton winning ride on John Wigginton’s Saw That Coming in the last over 1600m last Friday was brilliant. Saw That Coming drew 10 barrier with the false rail out eight metres- very hard to win if caught wide from there.
“I instructed Jade to try to take the horse across behind them to the rails. She rode it an absolute treat”, Wigginton remarked.
That, Jade tried to accomplish and in the straight she went right up on the inside along the rails to win on Saw That Coming.
Many observers did not see that coming from Saw That Coming.
Jade after another winner at Bowen on the following day has now ridden 43.
Her’s is a story of determination and willpower to enter the jockeying ranks in her thirties by shedding kilos after kilos and keeping the weight off.
With work ethics second to none, Jade Doolan is an inspiration to other younger women who wish to become jockeys.
Speaking of which at Gladstone races last Saturday week where Jade won the heat of the Battle of the Bush on Mister Larabee she was playing Mother Duck to rookie Rocky apprentice Nikki Olzard 18. I saw first hand her guidance to Nikki who was debuting as a jockey. Nikki was being well assisted by her master Adrian Coome and Jade. Although there was no winning joy for Nikki that day she didn’t have to wait long. At Longreach races seven days later she rode her first winner Dizzy Devine. She backed-up on Monday winning on the Coome trained Roger Express at Thangool. The SKY video race footage showed her delight with Nikki smiling as she crossed the winning line. Well done Nikki.
Not to be outdone by fellow Rockhampton apprentice jockey Brooke Johnson’s winning treble at Bowen on May 13, counterpart Erin Molloy did likewise there on Saturday. Indentured to Tim Cook, the Rocky jockey 22, won on Brazen Rebecca, Chalkey and Flaming Asteriod. That made it nine winners for Erin who has only been riding for a few months. Congrats Erin.
Briefly in other news: Big race meeting at Moranbah this coming Saturday with all jockeys receiving a $200 bonus. Go to the Moranbah Race Club website/Facebook for details on what is planned.
Also, Springsure St Patrick’s washed out race day from March goes ahead on Sunday week, June 18.
Preceded of course by the Rockhampton Jockey Club’s Girls Grammar races on Saturday, June 17.
More on that later this week.
Happy 😃 HORSES🐎🐎Tony McMahon .