RACING around ROCKY – With Tony McMahon

Published 28 March 2022

RACING around ROCKY – With Tony McMahon

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RACINGAROUNDROCKY 2022-3-29

The big news this week is that the Hygain Capricornia Yearling Sale on Sunday week at the Rockhampton Showgrounds will be the second biggest on record. This has come about with a supplementary catalogue of another 11 yearlings to total 132 – now that is phenomenal, isn’t it? During its 35 years under the present format numbers have varied getting down to as low as 63 in 2004. Whatever the catalogue size, the commonality is that each sale punches above its weight and produces outstanding winners including of course the 2014 GR 1 Stradbroke winner River Lad. He was listed as Lot 86 on April 19, 2009 CYS as a gelding by Top Echelon from Ikeymo. However, he was retained by his breeders Sarna Pty Ltd (Ray Anderson) from Childers. Fortuitous decision as River Lad ($1.8M stakes) won the 2010 CYS 2YO Classic when trained by the late Frank Crick. I recall him telling me in the enclosure “Tony this is a real top horse”. Frank was correct. Incidentally early on, Frank trained River Lad’s grand-dam River Of Destiny a top mare that won in Melbourne. She lived up to her name one day breaking away from the handler when being swum in the Fitzroy and escaping to the Quay Street side. Imagine swimming horses in the Fitzroy with the crocs now. Magic week of racing, social activities and Sales coming up. Keep reading the RJC Callaghan Park Facebook and Website for all events.

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Rockhampton owners and trainers were very active at the Magic Millions March Yearling Sale at the Gold Coast last week. About 27 yearlings were knocked down to Rocky buyers for $900K.  Clinton Taylor was busy with multiple purchases including Lot 103 a Better Than Ready-Hearts and Diamonds colt for $125K. The colt is the brother to the Taylor trained In Order (sold as MM yearling $120K). In Order had won four straight at the time of his young brother’s purchase last Monday. It was seemingly a vote of confidence for In Order racing at Callaghan Park the next day. In Order finished a gutsy third in the race. Clinton Taylor trained a double at the meeting as well as wining with The Egyptian at Townsville two days later. Clinton’s travels with horses raises the question does the hard-working trainer “ever sleep”?

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Callaghan Park trainer Graeme Green filled his bag of MM March Yearling goodies on the first day. He bagged four babies totalling $97K. Graeme avoided further temptation by being an absentee on the second session on the Tuesday. As expected, the Rocky connections of Jemeldi linked up with Tom Button to buy his full brother for $50K (Lot 286). Button, Tom Smith, Nick Walsh, Michelle and Ken Walker, Bill Reid, Stewie Nobbs and John Howard, Jim Rundle, Ron and Val Beak and Kristy Clark were among the other CQ buyers. Results are available on the Magic Millions website.

IN BRIEF: Former Callaghan Park trainer Mick Attard still hospitalised in Sydney since last August. A serious infection has now postponed a planned marathon operation next week. A Go Fund Me page has been set-up to further help the Attard’s. Mick’s son Chris will have Baby Guinness representing Townsville in the rich CYS 2YO Classic on Saturday week at Callaghan Park. Stradbroke winner Tyzone coming for the $400K The Archer at Callaghan Park in May. Big interest in Capricornia Yearling Sales down Gold Coast way.

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