Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 3 January 2023

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

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Let’s start off 2023 with some good news which is exactly the case for top local apprentice jockey Tahlia Fenlon. After riding trackwork for the last fortnight at Callaghan Park and competing in trials, Tahlia makes her long awaited return after a three months absence at Mackay’s TAB races on Friday. Tahlia 19, sustained a broken right ankle when bucked from a horse prior to a race at Twin Hills on September 24. “My weight is good and I’m really looking forward to getting back riding”, she said.  Good luck and welcome back Tahlia who should soon built on her 91 winners since she galloped off in Emerald in May 2021.

The $150K Capricornia Yearling Sale 2YO Classic (1200m) will be here before we know it on Saturday, April 1 at Callaghan Park. The race is really starting to fire-up after the recent wins of Ricky Vale’s Track Tale at Callaghan Park on December 23 and the Damien Batter’s Sunshine Coast filly Party For Two which romped home by 7.5 lengths there last Sunday. Bred by Dan and Rae Fletcher’s Telemon Thoroughbreds, the filly was passed in at $24K at last year’s Rocky Capricornia Yearling Sale. It is just amazing how many good horses emerge from the CYS after being passed in there. In just two starts the Sidestep filly Party For Two has now won $34,975 in stakes. The Sidesteps are really making their mark and Party For Two looms as being a force to be reckoned with in the big 2YO Classic. Getting very interesting isn’t it?

Speaking of Mackay, spare a thought for resident trainer John Manzelmann who has 25 entries there on Friday. What about this? John has nominated nine individual horses commencing with the moniker Mishani. He has Mishani Jewel, Merlot and Platinum in the 3YO Old Class 1 (1050m). Better still John has penned-in Mishani Diamond, Eagle, Promise, Twilight, Tycoon and Valour in the 2YO Maiden (1050m). Mishani Twilight, Mishani Tycoon and Mishani Valour were part of the nine horses Mishani team that contested a 10-horse race at Eagle Farm on October 29 last year. Brings back memories of the “Craiglea 7” that I called at Mackay in January, 2010. That was bettered by caller Russell Leonard in March, 2015 when Stan Johnson raced nine Craiglea horses in a 11-horse race at Callaghan Park. The records show he didn’t win it either as Jamie McConachy’s Duke of Eight did. I also recall broadcasting a Mackay race many years ago when John Manzelmann trained the entire field. In the race preamble I said something along the lines of “the biggest certainty in racing is that John Manzelmann will train the winner of this race”. I think John has done that twice at Mackay. Will  be interesting to see if John accepts with his “Mishani 6” in the 2Y0 but regardless, they will be a welcome addition to the scarce ranks of juveniles racing this way presently. Certainly, John Manzelmann and race caller Russell Leonard will be busy at Mackay on Friday. 

What a grand warrior Graeme Green’s Master Jamie is, as was confirmed by his fighting second under 65.5kg behind Kerrod Smyth’s “Mr Consistency” Mocial Chief at Callaghan Park last Thursday. Apprentice Melea Castle used a huge 10kg saddle to help make up the weight on Master Jamie. Remember, some jockey’s ride in a saddle referred to as “a pound dot” which isn’t much bigger than the palm of your hand. In 18 of his 46 starts which have netted 17 wins plus 15 placings, Master Jamie has carried between 60kg to 65.5kg. Little wonder trainer and part owner Graeme Green is off to the Gold Coast Magic Millions Yearling Sale next week to appraise Master Jamie’s half-brother by the Zoustar stallion Zousain. Master Jamie’s dam Verkko (x Flying Spur) has produced six foals to race with the males dominating. Jamie and his half-brothers Karisto, Cartland and Boys Day Out have won around 34 races between them. In conversation Graeme told me he believes Master Jamie will run 2000 metres this preparation. Can’t argue with that.

Popular Allenstown butcher Geoff Elliot has a very hand horse in the capable in the hands of his trainer Nick Walsh in last Thursday’s Rocky winner Milo Man. Now three wins from as many starts up this way for Geoff since he acquired him online for just a few months back from previous owner Grafton’s, Michael Beattie. Local trainer Stephen Rundle was back in the winners’ stall with Thursday’s $22K Maiden (1200m) winner Moonscape at the Odyssey Moon gelding’s 13th start proving that number wasn’t an unlucky omen. Both winners were ridden by Melea Castle who is a very promising young rider. 

Big effort on Saturday night at Toowoomba in the King Of The Mountain by the Bill and Di Ouston part-owned Alpine Edge which finished second behind Yellow Bridge. Alpine Edge has been a good money spinner winning over $860K from the Gold Coast stable of Toby and Trent Edmonds.

If you are losing track of the days like me at this time of the year, keep in mind the Rockhampton Jockey Club race at Callaghan Park next Tuesday, January 10. The RJC race again at Callaghan Park on Thursday, January 19.


Tony McMahon.

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