Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 30 August 2023

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

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Callaghan Park regular, the Gold Coast based FIFO hoop Jason Taylor has been very much in the news this past week after a career best five wins at the Cairns meeting last Saturday. At Tuesday’s Callaghan Park races Jason was at it again scoring a narrow win on Kerrod Smyth’s Fay Faye ($4.20) before turning in a bottler of a ride on widely drawn Nano Star ($7.50) only to be swamped and come in 0.37 l third in the 0-55 (1200m). Jason displayed another side of his talents with his “oratory’’ skills during the protest hearing brought about by Adrian Layt – second (Rubunkar) against Fay Faye alleging interference over the last 150 metres. To say Taylor’s statements and account of what took place were impressive was an understatement. It was detailed, precise and delivered with confidence and supported by a head-on film. Similarly, chief steward Shane Larkins presided over the hearing with decorum. When calling back into the room the parties Taylor, Layt and trainers Kerrod Smyth and Tom Bourke, the chief stipe just did not say “protest dismissed”. He gave a verbal explanation or should I say judgement to define the reasons for dismissing the protest. Most professional indeed Mr. Larkins. 

Sunshine Coast trainer Stuart Kendrick built on his impressive Callaghan Park winning list for August with two more winners under caretaker trainer Adrian Coome. They combined with the very talented Brisbane jockey Jackson Murphy to win with Deal An Ace ($2.80) and Orca ($51.00). Kendrick, based for many years as leading trainer at Mackay, has prepared almost 1200 winners with six of them at Callaghan Park this month. Adrian Coome announced this week he his giving up training after taking up a position in the mining industry at Blackwater. A former champion jockey, Adrian for memory did similar years ago before coming back to racing. His partner trainer Graham Green’s daughter Sileas (Mully) will likely take over Coome’s small team of horses. I wish Adrian well in his new career move and I won’t be surprised if one day down the track he trains again at Callaghan Park. Similarly good luck Mully Green, a tireless worker with enviable work ethics which go a long way towards success in any chosen career.  

No such plans for another youthful CP trainer Jared Wehlow who produced his eighth winner in August per medium of Cusack (Ashley Butler, $3.80) and Skymaster (Dan McGillivray, $4.40). Long time stable patron George Fysh races Cusack while Skymaster is raced by an enthusiastic syndicate of 14 with many spilling into the winner’s stall. Great to see the delight that Skymaster’s win delivered them. Cusack (ch g 4 Not A Single Doubt-Belle Que x Street Hero) was a $200,000 yearling purchase by Busuttin Racing. It started brilliantly as on debut Cusack won the $252K Magic Millions Ballarat 2YO Classic in November 2021. With a subsequent Sandown placing and some fine city efforts Cusack was an uncanny purchase at an online sale for just $25K as a tried horse in February this year. Question – who was the clean-shaven attendant leading Jared’s winners on Tuesday. Was it his sire, the former long grey maned Greg Wehlow? 

I am not sure about this, but I will go for the punt anyway. It is a given in journalism if you are wrong someone will be very quick off the mark to put their hand up and tell you. Anyway, here goes. I suspect that the Tom Button and Ryan Tyrell trained Spellcatcher (Ashley Butler, $5.00) is the first horse raced by Australian Bloodstock to have won at Callaghan Park which it did on Tuesday in the BM 70 (1100m). Their colours the royal blue, white horseshoe and black and white sleeves and cap are instantly recognizable Australia wide mainly on Kris Lees (Newcastle) trained horses. The syndication group won the 2014 Melbourne Cup with the German horse Perfectionist ridden by Ryan Moore. The Australian Bloodstock website is well worth the look. At Callaghan Park, Tom Button explained that he met the AB representatives at a function for The Archer at which they were represented by Animate and that’s how it came about he got Spellcatcher to train.  A Newcastle and Scone winner, more wins seem assured for the horse. Incidentally, being a disciple of superstition, I have always believed that a horseshoe facing upwards from the open end is a symbol for good luck. Similarly, a horseshoe facing downwards (the opposite) brings bad luck. The upwards horseshoe on the colours of Australian Bloodstock has done them no hard. It’s been good luck for them with 791 winners, 15 at GR 1 level and near on $70 million in prizemoney. Congratulations to all concerned as AB have been grand supporters of the Rocky Amateurs’ The Archer. I will tell you just how superstitious I am. I carry something “green” on me 24 hours a day. I remember the late CP trainer John Cooney despised green and would chip me about it to which I would always reply” never hurt Bart Cummings horses (green and gold colours)”. Come to think of it, green was good for our horses Mamselle Corday and Paradis Imperial among many others. 

IN BRIEF: Congratulations to jockey Ashley Butler on his double here Tuesday. Namazu will not be heading back to Cairns for The Amateur Cup there with trainer Ricky Vale and jockey Ryan Wiggins reporting he was far from suited by the wet track last Sat when a gallant fourth in the Cairns Cup (2100m). Good to see resilient jockey Tasha Chambers back in action testing her injured hand at Callaghan Park with one ride Tuesday also trainer Jamie McConachy quietly going about his business there after recent heart surgery. Sorry to report that his City Mission (Graceville Thoroughbreds) will be out for a lengthy period after a suspensory injury incurred when a close fifth in Brisbane last Sat. I am a great believer in letting nature take its course – that is the way to go.  Beaut, to see Peter Moss well known among clients and fellow workers from Elders Real Estate, Yeppoon back at Callaghan Park for a jovial retirement function there on Tuesday. Peter reminded me about how one of my horses kicked him in and I quote “the bum” many years ago and felled him into the mud. “Ï carried a horseshoe bruise on my bum for ages”, Peter laughed as I cringed and naturally had no recollection of the alleged incident.  Take care Peter and good luck on the punt and a shame Rubunkar didn’t get the protest for you. Finally, don’t forget the RJC Awards Night will take place at Callaghan Park in The Members on the evening of Saturday, September 16 with no admission cost. More details coming soon on these sites. Happy Horses – Tony McMahon.

FUTURE WINNERS FROM TUESDAY: Nick Walsh’s Onomatopoeia, Craig Smith’s Artopia and Ricky Vale’s Freckle Rock will soon atone.

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