Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon

Published 31 May 2022

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon

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It was the morning after the night before when the question was posed by Bill Reid. “Jamie how much is that horse going to cost to land from New Zealand’’? “What horse”? was the reply. Draw your own conclusions but gathering around the Callaghan Park winners’ stall last Friday after Dollar Dollar (AKA What Horse) won for them, it seemed another big night may be on the cards. Bill Reid explained that following a phone call from a bloodstock agent on the night highly recommending the Kiwi horse Dollar Dollar, agreement was reached on the said night to purchase the horse. Struck by shall we say the effects of liquid amnesia, Jamie McConachy the subsequent managing-owner and trainer of “What Horse” could not recall the conversation of the night. It was a fine training performance to win first-up in the 1200 metres Maiden with Dollar Dollar which hadn’t raced since January 22 when third over 2000m at Matamata. The best in four previous starts in NZ was a 4th on debut at Taupo. Winning jock Stanley dismounted and told McConachy, Reid and fellow owners that their 3YO could develop onto a “cups horse”. Good luck all concerned. Jamie’s day got even better two hours later when another newcomer to his stable Montenegro Man donkey licked (excuse the expression) a good field in the 1200 metres Class 6 by 6.25 lengths. He and his hard-working partner Jess Ladbrook have enjoyed a grand season as they also won the rich Capricorn Yearling Sales 2YO Classic (1200m) with Sammibalerina in March. Just in case you didn’t know as was the case with me there are 52 racecourses in NZ.

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Talking about grand seasons – what about Justin Stanley? He rode five winners at Rocky on Friday to equal his best ever having done similar at Bowen some months back. As loyal as they come, he flew back to Brisbane to rider outsider Thelwell at Eagle Farm last Saturday and then back to the airport for Cairns last Sunday to ride a winner. That made it eight for the week after a double at Emerald the previous weekend. Now Justin sits with 1412 career winners.

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Callaghan Park TAB meetings certainly attract Queensland’s winningest jockeys. Last Friday for example Ryan Wiggins (75 wins this season 3rd-third placed in Queensland); Jasmine Cornish (73.5 – 4th) and Stanley (73 – 5th) all rode. Isn’t Beaudesert apprentice Jasmine Cornish a discovery? The daughter of former jockey Sheree Drake, she only commenced riding in April last year and already has ridden 94 winners and is fourth in the Queensland premiership this season – incredible really. Jasmine showed her skills winning on Toowoomba trainer William Kropp’s Tequila Dancer in the QTIS 2YO on Friday. For certain she is bound for a brilliant career.

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Jockey Chris Whiteley at his first ride back since February won on Graeme Green’s Ahooshu last Friday. Chuffed by the win in answering a question from me Chris replied – “I don’t .uck around. Caught you folks as Chris said of course “I don’t muck around”. What were you thinking he said? Ha Ha. You should know jockeys don’t swear.

IN BRIEF: Nick Walsh admits he has a likely Rocky Newmarket contender in last Saturday’s brilliant Mackay winner Villa Villekulla (54kg) who put the courageous Master Jamie (61.5kg) to the sword in the $30K Open. “That’s the plan anyway”, Nick said on Monday. Spoke to Jan Clark who purchased Sweet Dolly for $320K last week and she has not chosen a stallion this season for a mating. Jan is elated to have acquired the brilliant filly as are her former trainer Kevin Hansen and the Walker family for her. A big bird tells me to expect some news any day now about a possible trainer’s bonus for the top local trainer over the four main days of the RJC Winter Racing Carnival. Wendy Mulry keen to squash rubbish doing the rounds that the Pink Diamond Girls Grammar Race Day on June 18 at Callaghan Park is a “girls only” occasion. Wouldn’t that make media outlets all over the world if it was a race meeting for females only. Gents you are more than welcome to what is a magnificent race meeting. Thank goodness for that as I won’t have to frock-up because I wouldn’t miss the 20th anniversary meeting for anything. Beaut noms for Callaghan Park on Friday.  Victorian Frankie Stockdale has penned in 6 (I reckon even this early Riverside Special is just that in the Maiden 1400m), Toby and Trent Edmonds (7), Lindsay Hatch (3) and others. Winter is not only in the air but also on the ground at Callaghan Park.

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