Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 3 April 2023

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

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Well, the 2023 Capricornia Yearling Sales Racing Carnival which embraced Callaghan Park races on Friday and Saturday and the CYS on Sunday is as they say “done and dusted”. Saturdays well attended meeting featuring the CYS $150K 2YO Classic Plate (1200m) and the $100,000 3&4YO Classic (1300m) both were taken out by Callaghan Park trained horses. The Jamie McConachy trained Sunnycoast (g Sebring Sun -Even So) ridden by Jackson Murphy and raced by Bryan and Lorraine Hall from Mornish lead throughout to win the 2YO Classic by 1.2 lengths from Track Tale (f Whittington-Tracktorque) ridden by Ryan Wiggins which cost owner Liam Goody $8K at the 2022 CYS. Incidentally, Sunnycoast was sold for just $7K at the same sale and now has winnings exceeding $150K. Track Tale has now won around $60K. Great incentive for QTIS. Magnificent training effort from Jamie McConachy with Sunnycoast. Jamie also won the CYS 2YO Classic in 2022 with another of the Sebring Sun breed Sammiballerina (Chris McIver). Congratulations Jamie McConachy who reported today Sunnycoast has come through the race really well. “He’ll have a few days off and then I will look for another race”, Jamie said.

At the risk of being declared a skite it was a case of “I told you so” when Divine Purpose (Justin Stanley) won the $100K 3&4YO Classic (1300m). Justin Stanley gave Divine Purpose the run of the race and if you could have gotten a bet on mid race, Divine Purpose would have been the horse you would have backed. She was literally trotting on the fence in behind the leaders and when the rails run came Stanley said see you later. However, in the last 150 metres, the Clinton Taylor trained stablemate Montana Night (Tahlia Fenlon) flew home closing late to go under by 0.46l. Both horses are in similar ownership with SWQ owner Laird Morgan managing them. Taylor said the owner was his first supporter. “Laird has always wanted a city (Brisbane) horse. When Divine Purpose came along, I said I have got you one”, Taylor said after the win. Four wins from five starts and bearing in mind Divine Purpose was first-up on Saturday, confirms that she is Brisbane bound and capable of winning soon if a suitable race can be found. Take a bow Clinton Taylor – superb training effort.

While handing out accolades, I was personally really happy when trainers Tom Bourke and Laurie Clem both celebrated winners at Callaghan Park on Saturday. I just love to see the underdogs doing well in all walks of life. Now back calling Rocky home, Tom won the Maiden (1100m) with Swiss Element (Georgina Cartwright, $6.50). Just 35 minutes later Carrara gelding Bornees Lad (Adam Spinks, $7.00) provided Laurie with a welcome chance of luck by taking out the popular 0-55 grade RB (1050m). Laurie had been hospitalised recently with a fractured hip but he felt no pain after Bornees Lad delivered a dose of the best medicine of all – a win.  Good for you Laurie. Tom Bourke trained successfully for years in Rockhampton and is best remembered for applying the polish to that brilliant short course sprinter Rocky King owned by a group of locals. From winning a 2YO Plate under Dennis Whitmore at Callaghan Park on June 9, 2012, Rocky King (x Easy Rocking) scaled great heights winning another 16 races and including metropolitan wins. The gelding provided his owners including Brian Williams and Clive Nitz and Tom Bourke with the rides of their lives. On November 6, 2014 Rocky King ran a game 3.8 lengths fifth of 16 in the Earl Grey Stakes (1000m) behind Atmosperical at Flemington during the Melbourne Cup Carnival of that year. Bet you can’t name off the cuff the 2014 Melbourne Cup winner? Neither could I but it was Protectionist (GER). After serious illness scares Tom Bourke shifted back from the Sunshine Coast to Callaghan Park stables last year. He now trains just a handful of horses with Swiss Element his first winner since Better Than Groovy saluted at the Sunshine Coast in December 2021. Believe me it was rewarding indeed just to see Tom’s smile in the Callaghan Park enclosure after Swiss Element got the “monkey off his back on Saturday”. Enjoy Tom another win is close on by. 

Just caught up (2.30pm Monday) via the Al Capone with “The Highwayman Trainer” Clinton Taylor heading down the Bruce to Brisbane. On board if I heard through the bad reception correctly were Chinny Boom, Divine Purpose and last Friday’s BM 58 Rocky winner Rover’s Reward. “Chinny Boom starts in a QTIS 3YO (1050m-$137,500) at Doomben on Saturday. Rover’s Reward in a Class 3 Plate (1200m – $75k) at Eagle Farm the following Saturday and Divine Purpose in the Princess 3YO Fillies LS Stakes (1600m) Doomben the week after that’’, Clinton said.

Lots of other racing news to bring you up to date with during the week. The stats for Sunday’s Capricornia Yearling Sales are also posted on this Facebook page. The equal highest priced yearlings sold were Lot 3 – and Encryption colt sold to Rodney Hay’s Livistona Grazing Company, Chinchilla for $65K and also A Love Conquers All filly to the same buyer. In total 72 of the final book of 118 yearlings offered sold for a gross of $1,064,000 averaging $14,778 for a clearance rate of 61.02%. In 2022 in the CYS, 96 yearlings sold grossing $1,617,250 for an average of $16,846 returning a clearance rate of 81.36%. Last year’s highest price was $55,000. The commonality of all yearling sales is that the quality horses brought good prices. There have been downward swings with most yearling sales held so far throughout Australia this year. 

Busy schedule of racing on Easter Saturday with meetings at Doomben, Gold Coast, Gatton, Barcaldine, Boulia, Bowen, Einasleigh, Emerald, Flinton, Gladstone, Nanango and Roma. Phones have been ringing hot trying to source jockeys. AND the winner is -Telstra! 

Countdown to The Archer on Sunday, April 30 – 27 more sleeps!


Tony McMahon.

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