Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 4 July 2023

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

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Excuse the pun but there will be considerable “hype’’ around if the Irish horse so named Hype (IRE) contests Saturday’s $150,000 TAB Rockhampton Cup (1600m). As soon as I saw the list of nominations and read where Hype (IRE) was registered as being trained by Aiden Nunn, from Longford, Tasmania, I knew there was a story there. I found Aiden’s number listed in the Tasmanian records and I was off and racing. Hype (b/br g 5 Siyouni (FR)-Eavesdrop (IRE) (excuse my ignorance I was not familiar with the breeding), but Joseph O’Brien the young Irish trainer (remember he trained the Melbourne Cup winners Rekindling and Twilight Payment?) was as he paid 150,000 guineas for him as a yearling in 2018. He gave Hype four starts for wins at Dundalk and Leopardston before flying Hype over to the Robert Hickmott stable of owner Lloyd Williams in Victoria. After unplaced runs at Flemington and Swan Hill, he was transferred to Kris Lees who gave him three starts for a Doomben 1350m win on April 12 and then Aiden Nunn took Hype over when resold. Aiden has had Hype for the one start being a last run win over 1660m at Doomben on June 23. Aiden Nunn, 35, migrates from Longford in Tasmania each winter to Beaudesert (SEQ) to avoid the cold. “Haven’t been in Tasmania for the last eight winters. I train and educate polo horses and train a few racehorses as well. I had a very good horse called Brilliant Jet which I nominated one year for the Rockhampton Cup but you had about a 100ml of rain and I didn’t go”, Aiden said. However, Nunn is very keen to make the trip to Rockhampton for Saturday’s Cup but once again the weather has him concerned. ‘’It all depends on the weather as Hype needs a dry track. If the track is in the better range, I hope to come. I also have him nominated for the South Grafton Cup (Sunday – $80k) but the prize money is much better in Rockhampton”, Nunn said. Hype is also entered for an $85K 1600m restricted race at Doomben on Saturday. For what it is worth, the weather is forecast to be fine for Rockhampton on Saturday. Hopefully, there won’t be heavy falls over Callaghan Park in the next few days.

Following requests from trainers for another set of barrier trials and jump outs to be scheduled, RJC track manager Trent Williams has obliged. Barrier trials and jump outs have been penned in for Keppel Park, Yeppoon next Tuesday, July 11. More information will be messaged to trainers. Well done, Trent.

On paper the TAB Rockhampton Cup certainly looks a wide-open affair judging by the nominations which closed today (Monday). Under the Quality Handicap conditions it wouldn’t surprise me if Master Jamie goes “back-to-back”. Good luck to all concerned but I must admit I’ll be barracking for MJ. 

Top class rider Samantha Collett has notified that she will be available for Callaghan Park rides on TAB Newmarket Day on Friday. Can ride a winner or two, can’t she? In fact, Samantha Collett has ridden over 1000 winners. I hear her manager Cameron Partington’s phone ringing now. 

Good to see Callaghan Park trainer Dayle Whyte claiming Cups on the Capricornia country circuit with Zoustar gelding Starsonic. On Saturday, Starsonic and apprentice Brooke Johnson won the Clermont Cup (1400m) which followed a recent win in the Emerald Cup (1615m). The well-bred Starsonic sold as a yearling for $150K but Dayle and connections paid nothing like that as a tried horse purchase with whom Whyte has won six races.  

Jason Morgan and his good mate Craig Weatherley are in the news with their latest acquisition Media Empire. The catchy named son of Winning Rupert (Get it? Rupert Murdoch media giant), Media Empire has won three and been placed twice from just five starts for the lads. Saturday’s Mackay win under Warwick Satherley’s rail’s hugging ride was worth a write- up. Been done. Media Empire cost $90K as a yearling but was a cheap subsequent tried horse purchase. 

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