Racing AROUND Capricornia with Tony McMahon.

Published 13 March 2023

Racing AROUND Capricornia with Tony McMahon.

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St Patrick’s Day races at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park next Saturday has all the hallmarks of a saintly day out. The RJC would be delighted with the 76 entries for the races, which I would say is  the biggest for ages for a Saturday race venue there. Weather forecast is for a fine sunny day. Golden Slipper Day in Sydney so much to look forwards towards. Contact the RJC for further details on its Facebook page or by the Al Capone on 49.374000.

Springsure St Pat’s Race Club staged its first phantom race meeting in its 70 years history last Saturday. “It was a huge turnout we had 600 people through the gates. They were all well behaved and really enjoyed themselves. The day was a big success and surprised me really being our first phantom race meeting experience”, club president Terry Hoare said. More good news for Springsure. Last Saturday’s date has been revamped by Racing Queensland to Sunday, June 18, Terry Hoare told me today. Another first for Springsure with a Sunday date but they will be well looked after by St Patrick and friends. By the way the same prizemoney and program as was scheduled for last Sunday. Well done RQ and SSTPDRC.

Country readers save the date for the $1million-plus The Archer races at Callaghan Park courtesy of the Rocky Amateurs on Sunday, April 30. Get your accommodations bookings done now. No excuses not to come as the following day, Sunday May 1 is the May Day public holiday. The second slot holder for The Archer was announced by Archer Park today as the highly talented and promising Count Da Beans. After Weona Smartone (NZ), that’s two down and 10 more to be locked in. Exciting.

Last Saturday, Queensland lost every programmed non-TAB race meeting. The meetings scheduled for Springsure, Barcaldine (transferred to this coming Saturday), Wandoan and Bundaberg were thwart by adverse weather effects. Ironically, the Innisfail Turf Club had an eight race TAB card programmed and went ahead despite 250mls of rain in the week or so preceding. Ran eight races with 65 starters. Brilliant effort for what must be an outstanding track. Well done ITC.

Don’t forget the big Moranbah Race Club meeting coming up Saturday, week March 25. Club secretary Bianca Bust reports wonderful support from sponsors including Oaka Constructions, Sure Lift Crane Hire and Transformation Earthmoving. Conscious of that scourge of a shortage of jockeys, the MRC is offering every jockey riding on the card $200 cash and trainers of all starters further back than fourth placed $50. ”Without jockeys and trainers attending our events (races) we wouldn’t be able to have them. We are grateful for the continued support we have seen from all the trainers and jockeys that attend our meetings”, Bianca said to me to which I concur.

How fantastic last week was the news for young Brisbane based race caller from Bundaberg in Jarrod Wessel, 24. Jarrod has been a guest caller and presenter at the RJC Carnivals in recent years. He is a special talent with RADIO TAB & SKY in Brisbane and answered an SOS from the Emirates Racing Authority at very short notice last Thursday. Jarrod was given just four hours’ notice to pack his bags and binoculars and head to Brisbane International Airport. There tickets were waiting for him to fly to Dubai. The next day (Friday) he called Al Ain races, then on Saturday at Jebel Ali and on Sunday made it a treble of three straight broadcasting at Sharjah. I believe on Thursday you may hear Jarrod calling at Abu Dhabi. He will be domiciled in Dubai until the season finishes on April 1 and fills in to replace the former caller who departed at short notice. What a magnificent opportunity this presents for Jarrod to hopefully get the fulltime appointment there next season. Heartiest congratulations Jarrod you are well and truly on your way.

Don’t forget to collect your Capricornia Yearling Sale catalogue for the 2023 CYS in Rockhampton on Sunday, April 2 from the RJC offices at Callaghan Park. There will be some bargain buys among the 135 yearlings entered from vendors throughout Queensland as well as some from NSW. I will be giving you all the latest on the CYS races and functions from the middle of next week onwards. 

Speaking of yearling sales, big contingent of Capricornians heading to the Gold Coast next week for the Magic Millions March Yearling Sales on Monday, March 20 and Tuesday, March 21 when 324 yearlings are catalogued for sale. Many (Capricornians not yearlings) will stop off at Doomben on Saturday where six MM and CYS graduates from CQ are entered for the two $500K QTIS Jewel 2&3YO races. Rocky has a pretty good record in those races.

JUST IN: Log on to the RJC website or Facebook Page and get your tickets early for the Prosecco Paddock at the CYS Classic Raceday on Saturday, April 1. 

As I was putting this column to bed, I noticed that Capricornia Yearling Sale graduates from last year in I’m Bluey, Divine Sienna and Streaming Sun produced the trifecta in the QTIS 2YO in Mackay this afternoon. Great advertisement for the coming CYS sale as all three were cheap purchases. Also noticed Emerald trainer Raymond Williams’ Super Bazooka won there and Milo Man’s winning trot came to an end when he was beaten by Ricky Vale’s Guntantes at Mackay. That’s no disgrace as Guntantes has a good city CV behind his name.


Tony McMahon

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