Racing AROUND Rocky – With Tony McMahon
Published 27 April 2022
Racing certainly can be a “bitch”. Just last Thursday at Callaghan Park, former Rocky lass the now Sunshine Coast apprentice Montana Philpott would have been feeling on top of the world. Montana, 23 rode the last three winners on the RJC card in Bold Halo, Bold and Lucy and then Starhattan. Three days later at the Sunshine Coast, Montana won on Rose of Duporth making it 48 wins in just 15 months of race riding. Some 33 minutes later Montana’s luck soured when she was dislodged from Blue Pacific. Her injuries include two broken collarbones, a broken neck, a rib and four pelvis breaks. Montana is happy go lucky lady and nearly always wears a welcoming smile. As she so aptly put it “the highs and lows of racing. I’m counting the days to my return”. So too are so many of your supporters Montana.
I was really upset when I initially heard Justin Stanley may have injured his shoulder in a horror race crash aboard Attackabeel at Wondai races on Anzac Day. The gifted Justin has endured rotten luck through injuries throughout his career. Fortunately, Justin escaped injury and only complained of discomfort in the shoulder. Earlier, Justin drove from Brisbane to Rocky last Thursday where he rode a winning double. He stayed up here then to win on Adrian Coome’s Le Figaro and Shane Sigvart’s Strathbogie Land on Saturday at Yeppoon. Justin travelled down with trainer Clinton Taylor to Wondai on Monday with Sonic Arrow (ns second) and Attackabeel. Home late on Monday, Justin was all ready to ride at Keppel Park trials on Tuesday but then were washed out. I caught up with him when he was driving home to Brisbane on Tuesday arvo. As cheery as ever he said “All good and I’ll be back riding at Mackay on Thursday”. Surprise, surprise three of those top rides Chinny Boom, Bluindi and Brigalow Boy are for journeyman trainer Clinton Taylor. I reckon Clinton should change his postal address to “somewhere on the Bruce Highway”. How does he keep doing it?
Sad to report of the passing of former gentlemanly Rockhampton trainer Clem Jackson over the weekend. Clem, retired and bowed out graciously from the Callaghan Park training ranks in June 2006 with his last of numerous winners being Cariboo Hills on May 25 that year. Clem, a butcher by trade trained for beef industry owners including the Acton and White families among others. Under his loyal coachman Wally Welburn, Clem and the White’s won the 1993 Rockhampton Newmarket with that glorious chestnut Bamako (1989 Anchor Inn-Flaming Hope). Wal and Clem also won consecutive Capricorn Yearling Sales 2YO Classics with Bonslot (1991) and Slotalot (’92). Then there was Laribon and Drive On James among many other top horses. He was probably the last of his ilk at Callaghan Park and he and I had many a laugh and friendly banter over the years at early morning track work under “the tree of Knowledge”. His catchword was “matey”. One morning he was telling me about winning a race at Murwillumbah in the early eighties with Drive On James. “ Tony”, he said you came from down that way and they warned me and Lyle (Rowe the jockey) that the officiating steward there was a real B…… (Clem was too much of a gentleman to swear). Did you know him, Tony”? I replied “yes Clem you are talking to him now”. Clem didn’t bat an eyelid replying with that innocent look of his “I’m sorry sir, Mr McMahon”. To this day I don’t know if Clem was taking the mickey out of me but yes, I was by necessity a bit of a bastard in those stewarding days but now a gentleman just like the late Clem Jackson. I hope I am anyway.
IN BRIEF: Good racing at Keppel Park last Saturday. Former chief stipe come YTC committeeman Luke Collins happy with the crowd of 1100. Congratulations to trainer John Poots on producing barrier shy Lynric Lass to win the QTIS Maiden on debut. Last out, trapped wide, circled the field, debated the lead and drew clear to win. Owner Lyn Sullivan, 80 has a smart one on her hands there. Trainer Jamie McConachy on fire of late with five recent winners but it should have been six as Eveready (last out) was the proverbial certainly beaten at Keppel Park when fourth. Good to see the lime green and dark green shamrock colours of the late Viv and Jacko Sigvart successful for Shane Sigvart on Carrara’s Strathbogie Land at Yeppoon. Marway’s return to Rocky likely this week preceded by the win of his younger brother Beg’s Belief at Yeppoon. Seriously owner Elaine Sturgiss, I do want a shirt out of that vibrantly coloured dress you wore. Please? Budding trainer Cooper Crear 9, (son of Benny) vigorously with whip in hand delivered the winning instructions to Menschkeit’s jockey Nathan Day at Keppel Park. I think Cooper may have more energy that some of the horses Dad trains. Seriously I am being philosophical about that. EXPLANATION: Check out the meaning of Menschkeit.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK: Prevention is better than cure.