Racing AROUND Rocky: with Tony McMahon
Published 15 November 2022
What a phenomenal run the Callaghan Park trainer Jared Wehlow and jockey Ash Butler are experiencing. From my calculations Jared prepared 12 winners from 27 starters between October 1 and November 11. Butler has shared in seven of those wins. During the same period (1/10-11/11) Ash Butler has ridden 12 winners. Wehlow has three in-form starters at Callaghan Park on Thursday – Tricology (NZ), Bondurant and Xanthus. Ash Butler can only make the weight for the latter. The pair are planning a raid on the giant Roma Cup race meeting on Saturday with four likely starters. That’s a fair drive of around 460km. However, there is one hitch. “We can’t get accommodation, Roma is booked out, so we will probably have to turn around and drive back to Rocky after the races”, Ash said. Roma’s Cup meeting has magnetic drawing appeal as the entry list of 133 horses confirms. Another in-form Rocky trainer Clinton Taylor has only the one entry for Roma in Seductive Spur in the QTIS Maiden Plate (1000m).
The Taylor stabled produced a winning double at the Emerald TAB races last Saturday in Capricornia Yearling Sale graduates Ashiko Bay and She’s Winning. Ashiko Bay, a son of Kobayashi sold for $17.5K at the 2021 sale on account of Gunn Alley Farm. She’s Winning, a daughter of Winning Rupert was a $32.5K purchase from Kenmore Lodge at the same CYS sale. Been a busy time for CYS graduates with Tom Button and Ryan Tyrell trained Maximum Altitude (x Exosphere), a $36K purchase from Oaklands Stud at the 2021 CYS winning at the TAB races at Warwick last Friday. Flying the CYS banner at Cairns last Sunday, the Susan Peddle bred Altius gelding Peter The Piper which was passed in at the 2020 sale was successful. Next year’s Capricornia Yearling Sale is scheduled for Sunday, April 2. The rich CYS 2YO Classic meeting held the preceding day at Callaghan Park has been expanded to a seven-race program.
See where Master Jamie and the Graeme Green trained stablemate and recent Rocky Breeders Plate 2YO winner Shamedy have been entered for the Sunshine Coast metropolitan race day at Caloundra this Saturday. Master Jamie is entered for the $125K Swiss Ace Set Weights Open (1000m) while Shamedy is penned-in for the QTIS 2YO Handicap (1200m).
Of course, the big news this week was the announcement from the Rocky Amateurs that The Archer to be run on Sunday, April 30 next year was been injected with substantial stakes increase of $335,000. The 2023 The Archer (1300m) run at Weight For Age will have a prize money pool of $775,000. Who in their wildest dreams could have imagined a race of this magnitude ever being staged at Callaghan Park, Rockhampton? Not me that’s for certain. The Sunday non-clash metropolitan race date next year is ideal and rest assured it will bring the best of the best to Rockhampton. As of noon today (Tuesday), there were still a few tickets available to the official luncheon launching The Archer at The Red Lion Hotel timed for this Friday. It is a must attend and better still all proceeds go the the charity of choice by the Rocky Amateurs – Cure Cancer. I attended last year’s luncheon and Russell Leonard’s interview of special guest Wayne Bennett was brilliant. Dare say Russell will be in top form again on Friday interviewing Rob Heathcote and other special guests.
Saturday race meetings at Callaghan Park are a rarity in this day and age but are always well received. The next one cropping up comes about on Saturday, December 3 so mark it down. The Christmas races at Callaghan Park are planned for Friday, December 16.