Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon

Published 11 January 2023

Clinton Taylor and Justin Stanley all smiles after winning with Divine Purpose.

Back to News

There’s a great chance that the Capricornia Yearling Sale Racing Carnival will get a big boost with the appearance of Rocky’s racing’s latest boom filly Divine Purpose here on Saturday, April 1. Trainer Clinton Taylor confirmed today (Wed) that Divine Purpose may start first-up from a brief spell in the $100K CYS 3&4YO Classic (1300m) at Callaghan Park that day. “She heads south to Kenmore Lodge (Wyreema-where she was reared) next Tuesday for a spell and yes that race is a possibility for her first-up”, Clinton told me this afternoon. With three straight wins and a debut second, Divine Purpose would be quite an attraction before chasing bigger fish to fry over the longer races for 3YO fillies at the Brisbane Winter Racing Carnival. She certainly looked awesome in winning at Callaghan Park last Tuesday. A $55K purchase at the 2021 Rocky Sale, Divine Purpose is now the pin-up girl for the Capricornia Yearling Sales.

Rumours spread like wildfire around racecourses and don’t I know it. Many were put to rest on Tuesday when Rockhampton’s chief steward Ben Cooke returned from leave to chair the Callaghan Park TAB race meeting. The look on some people’s faces was a sight to behold when Ben walked out of the stewards’ room. Basic maths goes out the window when you step on a racecourse where in my book in regards to the rumour mill, one (1) plus one (1) equals 11. Cooke was quick to hand out presents after his holidays with one jockey Paul Hamblin suspended for careless riding and five others Adam Spinks, Jason Taylor, Adin Thompson, Tahlia Fenlon and Hannah Richardson either reprimanded or fined for too many strikes with the whip. Which only goes to prove Ben Cooke has no trouble with his mathematics. Reminds me when I was on holidays in Rocky during the early eighties on leave from chief steward duties in the Northern Rivers. The late Kevin Conners, the RJC chief steward asked me if I could help out at Callaghan Park races this day and I agreed. I went to the jockeys’ room and the first hoop I “ran into” was Peter Nipperess formerly of Ballina. “What are you doing here”? he asked before adding “I drove nearly 1000km to move up here and get away from you and now you lob”. Nick named “The Travel Agent” (always arranging jockey’s holidays) I was rarely in Peter’s good books.

Rockhampton graziers Allan and Jennifer Acton raised their hands again at the Magic Millions Yearling Sales on the Gold Coast today (Wednesday). They paid $450K for Lot 244 a grey filly by Deep Field from the Snitzel mare Platinum Angel. On Tuesday, in conjunction with Archer Park Racing, trainer Tom Button paid $50K for Lot 30 a Headway colt. Archer Park Racing as well as the Acton’s are slot holders in the $775K The Archer (1300m) to be run at Callaghan Park on Sunday, April 30. Archer Park Racing also bought a Pierata filly, Lot 265 for $160K this afternoon (Wednesday).

Bouquets for the ladies Tasha Chamber (trainer-jockey) and Tahlia Fenlon (apprentice jockey) for their success at Callaghan Park on Tuesday. Tasha for her win as jockey-trainer on blueblood, the Rodney Hay owned Frankel (GB)-Main Chance (USA) x Street Cry (IRE) gelding Palace House in the Maiden (1400m) which led and won first-up since August. Take a bow for the training effort involved there Tash. At just her 7th ride back in less than a week after three months enforced break through injury, Tahlia Fenlon won on Nick Walsh’s Age Of Innocence a quaintly named daughter of Kiss and Make Up. Remember, Kiss and Make Up was the horse John Singleton named and Gai Waterhouse trained after they became “mates again, after a spat over More Joyous in 2013. Hence the name Kiss and Make Up.

Rockhampton trainers Tim Cook (Brad) and Jared Wehlow (Xanthus & Unassailable) will represent the city in the $500K Magic Millions Country Cup (1200m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday. Spare a thought for fellow Callaghan Park trainer John Wigginton who is caught between “a rock and a hard place” with first emergency Sidearm. Wigginton is “dammed if he does and dammed if he doesn’t” make the trip to the Gold Coast with Sidearm (17). All 16 runners have jockeys declared but that’s not to say there won’t be a scratching before the deadline early on Saturday morning. By the way the scratching fee is $2000 so something would have to go radically wrong for a declared runner to scratced. As of 2.30pm this afternoon (Wednesday) John was weighing up his options. See where well performed Alpine Edge, raced in partnership by CQ’s Di and Bill Ouston with partners contests the $1M RQMM Open (1300m) at the Gold Coast on Saturday. The recent runner-up in the rich King Of The Mountain has drawn the rails at the Gold Coast.

On the trial scene noticed multiple Rockhampton winner and last start Dec 16 Callaghan Park placegetter Jungle Beat, formerly trained by John O’Sing at Callaghan Park, has been transferred to David Vandyke at the Sunshine Coast. The Drumbeats gelding ran second in a 1000m trial there on Tuesday. Trainer Clinton Taylor produced two impressive trial winners on the grass track rated a Soft 6 this morning at Callaghan Park. They were El Of A Senorita (Justin Stanley) and the very talented 2YO I’m Pinker, a five and a half lengths winner of a 900 metres heat under the same jockey. Both should be winning soon as should Graeme Green’s trial winner Thisland Is Myland. Don’t say I didn’t warn you now. Graeme Green picked up good spending money for his MM Yearling Sale trip this weekend winning the QTIS 3YO Maiden (1200m) at Callaghan Park on Tuesday with Aleaco.

Let’s hope we never see a repeat of a five race TAB card at Callaghan Park which was the case on Tuesday after two races were deleted at acceptance when numbers were deemed unsuitable by Racing Queensland to proceed with them. An expanded nine race card through the addition of a QTIS 2YO Handicap (1100m) has been scheduled for Thursday, January 19 next week. It is to be hoped that owners and trainers get behind that meeting through horse numbers on the ground.

Back to News

Back to Top