Racing AROUND Capricornia with Tony McMahon.

Published 4 October 2023

Racing AROUND Capricornia with Tony McMahon.

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Rockhampton comeback jockey Dale Evans experienced the highs and lows of racing in just under an hour at Townsville’s TAB meeting where he was riding last Friday, September 29 at just his third ride and fourth ride back. Dale only resumed riding at the RJC meeting at Yeppoon on Sept 26 with just the one ride for a placegetter. He ventured to Townsville three days later and would have been elated at winning on Prince Arkeem at his fourth ride back since being off the scene since 29/9/19. However, within an hour of his Townsville win he was punished through suspension for a minor careless riding breach and was outed until October 7. The irony is the horse Dale rode which led to his week’s suspension was named Unpunished.

David Aldred, the RJC CEO advises that the glamour extensions to The Members overlooking the Callaghan Park enclosure which will also incorporate a viewing deck looking head on up the long home straight will be opened at the Caulfield Cup Race Day on Saturday, October 21. “The building construction on all the works has been completed but we are waiting another few weeks to ensure interior fittings, refurbishing’s and furnishings are in place so it can be ready for full usage”, David said. The new building has been well received and adds another dimension to Callaghan Park. Pictures have been posted on the RJC social media sites for your appraisal. It had been speculated that the State-of-the-Art complex would be open for this Sunday’s TAB race day at Callaghan Park but racegoers in attendance then will be impressed by what they see from the outside. That will be additional to the refurbished Callaghan Park turf track which looks fabulous.

Tuesday’s successful seven race TAB card at Emerald was certainly dominated by the efforts of Capricornia and Rockhampton jockeys but not by the Rockhampton trained horses which usual dominate when floated north, south, east and west for country and regional TAB programs. Some 11 Callaghan Park horses representing nine Rockhampton trainers made the trip out there. Only Clinton Taylor (Janean) and Nick Walsh (Single Honour) produced winners. Janean was Rocky apprentice Brooke Johnson’s only winner, but her fellow Rocky apprentices McKenzie Apel won two races and Nicki Olzard also landed a winner. Roma’s premier trainer Craig Smith scored with a winning double through his talented pair Art By Concorde and Craig and Hoff. These days it would not be an Emerald race meeting unless local mentors Glenda Bell (Most Impressive (NZ) and Raymond William (Breton) led in winners which they did with the aforementioned. 

Emerald Jockey Club track curator and talented trainer Raymond Williams reports that the Pioneer Park turf track raced “beautifully” at Tuesday’s meeting. “I had nothing but good reports from visiting trainers and never got a bad report on the track. Thats a great sign. The track looked a million dollars and raced that way as well”, Williams said. Folks go to Racing Queensland Race Day TAB Video Replays and see for yourselves. Yes, the Pioneer Park racing circuit looked brilliant all the way around. It really augurs well for the huge Emerald 100 race meeting at Pioneer Park on Saturday week, October 14. All the information on that day is available on the Emerald Jockey Club Facebook site. You will be agreeably surprised at just how informative and professionally presented the site is for your viewing.

It is a similar case with the Gladstone Turf Club’s social media sites. Female apprentice jockeys rode the program of the five races there at Ferguson Park last Saturday, Rockhampton trainer Kevin Miller won with Belexia under Brooke Johnson to open the program in the Maiden Plate (1000m). Thangool trainer Kale Sinclair claimed the last race, the BM 50 (1517m) when apprentice Sophie Blunt brought it home Take The Lead a winner from fellow Thangool trainer Damien Rideout’s Awesome Spirit. Former Rockhampton apprentice Nicole Seymour who kicked off her career as an apprentice at Callaghan Park under Lyle Rowe in 2018, landed a winning double. She teamed with Mackay’s Tracy Simmons, where Nicole is also based, to win with Act Of Royalty and Chatilly. Great to see Nikki (Nicole) riding winners as she is a very “happy go lucky soul” invariably always with a smile on her face. However, in my mind the highlight of the meeting was the win of Ipswich apprentice Olivia Kendal on the Beau Gorman short course specialist Our Lil Star in the Open (850m). Olivia was riding in races for the fir st time since breaking her elbow at Mackay races on November 25 last year. Kendall 25 was just starting to make her mark on the regional provincial circuit at the time. Olivia is a very gifted young jockey and from what I have seen of her riding she has a very big future provided of course the opportunities come her way. One thing is for certain, it won’t be through lack of trying on Olivia Kendall’s part.

A reminder, the Gladstone Turf Club races again on Cox Plate Day, Saturday, October 28 and if you fancy being on a racecourse to celebrate the Melbourne Cup on Tuesday, November 7, Ferguson Park, Gladstone can accommodate you. Along with Eagle Farm, Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Townsville, Bundaberg, Central Warrego, Kumbia, Mackay, Mount Isa and Toowoomba local races will be staged. 

Well folks that’s it and back soon with On The Road Again – Happy Horses, Tony McMahon.  

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