Racing AROUND CQ: with Tony McMahon

Published 25 November 2022

Racing AROUND CQ: with Tony McMahon

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Hot off the press as I commenced to pen this column at 10.28am today (Friday, Nov 25) Chinny Boom has arrived safe and sound in Brisbane. “She travelled well and all is good”, trainer Clinton Taylor just told me. Asked if stablemate Attackabeel had accompanied his boom filly to Brisbane, Clinton replied “no she would melt down there now and will go down later next week”. Unbeaten; Chinny Boom, the shining star of CQ racing; contests the $150K Mode 3YO Filles LR Stakes (1200m) at Doomben on Saturday, December 3. Attackabeel (55kg) has come up with barrier two for Samantha Collett in the Country Stampede Final (1110m) on the same program.

Emerald trainer Raymond Williams has his veteran stablemates Ahwahneechee (8YO) 58.5kg drawn 21 gate (gets a start) and Shigeru Mahogany (11YO) 55kg and fourth emergency entered for the Country Stampede Final (1110m). Raymond’s Echo Point (5Y0) 60kg drew barrier two in the $200K Country Cups Challenge Final (1600m). Les Tilley is the likely jockey and Echo Point as the weight suggests is the class runner of the field and likely favourite. Kristie Clark-Peoples Rocky has Centaur (55kg) engaged with Jim Byrne in the saddle which looks superbly placed to my way of thinking. Drew 11 barrier but even so is extremely well weighted. Taroom trainer Rodney Hay, who is in the process to moving to top class “digs” at Chinchilla has Coach (55kg) entered but as fifth emergency is likely to miss out. Blackall’s Clinton Austin has Burden (55.5kg) an acceptor drawing 13. The Bevan “Billy” Johnson Moranbah trained Han Dynasty which I believe would have given the Country Stampede a big shake is an absentee because of an injury scare. Hopefully, Han Dynasty will get his chance at Doomben next year., 

Tom Button certainly doesn’t mind trekking his horses north in search of suitable races. His trio of Birthday Boy, Rollinwiththeflow and Maximum Altitude will make the 638km float hike from his Fenwick Farm, Canungra to race at Thangool tomorrow (Saturday). Thought I had a really good tale to relate when I noticed on RISA that Unitary, engaged in the Thangool Class B was listed as being trained by Garth Tully at Bedourie – that’s 1472km away from Thangool! Strewth, I thought, this thing must be a certainty. Sounded unbelievable so I checked and Queensland’s office bible, RQ’s monthly RACE magazine has its trainer Garth Tully based at Roma (375km). One of these had to be wrong so I got on the Al Capone and left a message for Garth. Obligingly he rang me back and sure enough he’s been based at Roma for a short time. The number one lesson in journalism is “to check your facts”. Regrettably some don’t. Thangool’s well supported race day will be akin to a meeting for the CHA -Country Horses Association. Others are galloping in from Mackay, Bundaberg, Eidsvold, Nanango, Taroom. Kumbia, Toowoomba, Sunshine Coast, Wondai and of course Rockhampton. 

Good to see Liv O’Donnell back race riding at Thangool on Saturday where she has a full book of six rides. Liv hasn’t ridden since October 1 at Eidsvold and in more recent times has been attached to the Jamie McConachy stable at Callaghan Park from where she has been riding a stack of trackwork. A highly talented apprentice Liv has ridden 13 winners in a short time race riding. I wish her well now that she is back at jockeying.

Jamie McConachy has a really good team of horses in his care with some others to join the team in the New Year. Parkburn ridden by Liv looked good for the stable in winning an Open trial over 900 metres at Callaghan Park last Monday. Don’t be surprised either if Sammiballerina with which Jamie won the CYS 2YO Classic here earlier this year heads back to him for a crack at the $100K 3&4YO Final next April. As it is McConachy would have the early favourite for the $150K CYS 2YO Classic in Sunny Coast. Both are sired by Sebring Sun and I’ll bet if any of that progeny are listed for Rockhampton’s Capricornia Yearling Sale next autumn they won’t be overlooked by buyers. By the way Sammiballerina is engaged in Race 3 (TAB 15) at Rosehill Gardens tomorrow. Dropping back from contesting a LR last start to a restricted class race suggests he is capable of a big showing.  

You have to take your hat off to a lot of country jockeys for the miles they rake up travelling to race meetings. Take for example Clermont’s Emma Bell who must have thought it was Christmas not having to travel last Saturday. Emma was the pin-up girl at Clermont’s Pepperina Park racecourse riding two winners before a very large crowd. Since the start of this racing season on August I, Emma has travelled and ridden at Winton (606km), Barcaldine (320km), Blackall (355km), Mackay (287km), Muttaburra (472km), Longreach (427km), Roma (511km), Emerald (109km) and Bluff (204km)> Sometimes she has tripped to some centres more than once. Her longest journey of 645km to Jundah on October 1 was justifiably rewarded with a winning treble. I estimate taking into account the return trips, Emma Bell has clocked up about 11,500km at riding at 15 race meetings over the last 117 days. That will be extended by another 640km when she arrives back in Clermont from riding at Barcaldine races tomorrow. Take a bow Emma Bell.  

Movement at the station as word has gotten around that highly gifted Namazu, winner of this year’s Townsville and Cairns Cup has been transferred to Stephen O’Dea and Matthew Hoysted in Brisbane. “He’s been in pre-training at Kolora”, managing owner Pav Cheimardinov told me this week. He said that the owners of Namazu had been delighted to have acquired his full brother, the unraced 4YO Seisme which goes to a very happy Ricky Vale to train in Rockhampton. Probably few if any better-bred horses having done the rounds in Rocky than Namazu a son of Medaglia D’Oro (USA) and the Exceed and Excel mare Earthquake. The mother of Namazu and seisme, being Earthquake won $1.7M in stakes. “Yes, we are over the moon to have Seisme and if he can be half as good as Namazu it would be great”, Pav said.

Marway, a former RJC Horse of the Year under trainer John O’Sing for owners including the Sturgiss family and Sydney and Wagga Town Plate winner for Randwick trainer Mark Newnham has headed south again. This time to the stables of Caloundra’s David Vandyke where he has been for a few weeks and is likely to trial at Deagon next Tuesday.

Sorry to have to report on the passing this week of Joanne Gardiner. The wife of successful Bundaberg trainer Darryl. Joanne and Darryl were a grand racing combination. Darryl prepared Victory Hotel (James Orman) to win the 2015 Rockhampton Cup. Deepest condolences to Darryl and family.

Also, the shock news this week on Facebook from Radio TAB’s Mr. Nice Guy – Tony Clements that he was informed of his redundancy from that organisation to come into effect from December 11. Tony was a champion for country racing and real friend of a myriad of people. A true gentleman from the old school he will be a great loss to the audible racing media in Queensland for which he has been intrinsically involved for 28 years. Have no fear Tony’s golden voice, professionalism and knowledge in the Radio and racing industries won’t see him of the airwaves for too long if that’s the path he chooses. When one door closes another opens. Today when contacted, Tony expressed his gratitude for so many people who have contacted him. “It means so much not just the calls and emails saying how disappointed they are for me but especially when people are genuinely concerned to seek out and say are you all right”, he said. Hopefully, Tony Clements will still be part of the iconic Tuesday program Bush Beat. “I would love to remain involved with Bush Beat”, Tony said to which I am and I am sure you too would attest.

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