Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 3 October 2023

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

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Sunday’s Rockhampton Jockey Club race meeting is shaping well with 79 entries to date. More are expected to come in with the extension deadline to close at 10am Wednesday (tomorrow). Sunshine Coast trainer Stuart Kendrick has a trio of horses nominated already for Sunday. They are Kayleen, Canny Impact and Canny Be Better. I mention this as Stuart, has been a longtime supporter of Rockhampton racing from when he was based for many years at Mackay before moving to Corbould Park, Caloundra in February 2013. Kendrick has been in career best form recently. Last Sunday, he amassed five winners at the Sunshine Coast Turf Club program which in anyone’s language is a magnificent effort. Kendrick has trained over 1200 winners and before leaving Mackay where he got his kick along, he was a premier trainer there for five seasons. Stuart’s best horses include the GR 3 winner Tambo’s Mate as well as Tarzan which was a beauty. However, the one-horse Stuart Kendrick will never forget will be the Not A Single Doubt filly named just that – Doubtfilly. Bought for $17,500 at a MM March Yearling Sale, she won a string of races but her fourth to Pierro in the 2012 Gold Slipper Stakes (1200m) at Rosehill was stuff that dreams are made of. We all have them as owners and sometimes they do come true. So, keep dreaming but always consider Stuart Kendrick’s horses anytime they come to Callaghan Park as should be the case on Sunday.

The Rockhampton owners of former Adrian Coome trained Enuff He Said, which incidentally is now trained by his great friend Stuart Kendrick, are also probably on a high this week. He has had two starts for Kendrick commencing with a Class 4 (1800m) win on his home track on September 10 and then a mighty fourth in the Toowoomba Cup (2000m) on September 23. Notice where Enough He Said is entered for the Queensland Cup (2400m) at Eagle Farm on Saturday. Don’t be surprised if Enuff He Said runs and runs well at huge odds. The QLD Cup is one of this State’s oldest races, first run in 1878. For the majority of that time, it has been run over 3200m before being cut to 2200m and in more recent years run over 2400m. Without being disrespectful in any way, over time it has not always been a difficult race to win. Back around 1987 for memory, thinking along those lines I had a crack at it with a horse named Stansky when it was run over 3200m. I don’t know who got more tired, me watching or Stansky as he came in a long, long way back. I have no doubt that Enuff He Said will run well should he start. Notice, Stuart Kendrick also has Enuff He Said entered for a BM 80 (1800m) at Eagle Farm again on Saturday. Good luck to Sharon Coome with him in whatever race Enuff He Said contests. 

Speaking of dreams, one almost came true for members of Tom Acton’s family from Paradise Lagoons last Saturday at Randwick. Tom’s wife Sherrie and his mother Jenny are part of the ownership team of the Capitalist filly Celestial Bling which was a close second behind Manaal in the $250K Gimcrack Stakes (1000m) at Randwick. A $300,000 buy for co-trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott at MM this January, Celestial Bling’s ownership group is entirely comprised of women. No doubt the ladies would be dreaming of taking out a share of the $500,000 bonus on offer to the first four so placed horses owned at the $3,000,000 Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) at the Gold Coast next January. That’s something to dream about ladies and the realisation is it could definitely come true. Clestial Bling’s sire Capitalist won the race in 2016. As a single training entity, Gai Waterhouse has won four Magic Millions with Driefontein (2012), Dance Hero (2004), Excellerator (2001) and Assertive Lad (2000). In the 2023 Magic Millions she and Adrian had second and third placegetters. I’ll bet the ladies already have “bling” on their minds for the possible big occasion early next year with Celestial Bing. Gain Waterhouse and Adrian Bott had a field day at Randwick with four winners last Saturday as well as producing the trifecta in the 2YO Breeders Plate for the males. They are no strangers to Rockhampton racing having had representatives in The Archer. They won the 2021 Rockhampton Cup with Regal Stage ridden by Matty McGilvray. 

Very saddened to have to advise of the passing of my very close friend, the Rockhampton trainer the gifted horseman and farrier Phillip Burke. I intend to pay tribute to Phillip in the weeks ahead. Phillip passed last Thursday night in the Rockhampton Base Hospital after being admitted the previous Saturday evening. I was blessed to have visited him twice during that period of his hospitalisation in the ICU at The Base. Always the gentleman, I will treasure Phillip’s parting words to me “Thanks for coming Tone”. I never in my wildest dreams believed they would be the last Phillip shared with me. To his treasured wife Barb and family, Jean and I share your sorrow. The celebration of the life of Phillip Burke will take place at 11am at the Nerimbera Gardens Chapel, Tuesday next October 10. I am privileged to have been invited to deliver the eulogy of Phillip Burke (RIP). As and aside Phillip’s late father Tom Burke was a longtime employee of the Rockhampton Jockey Club as a groundsman before his parting many years ago. 

That bonny mare Chinny Boom is back in training with Clinton Taylor at Callaghan Park. “I’m just taking her along quietly”, Clinton told me the other day when I snapped this picture of the pair. Chinny Boom has been the signature horse for Clinton and his affinity for her is reflected I believe in the photo. 

Finally, contact the RJC urgently re ticketing for the gala Caulfield Cup race day at Callaghan Park on Saturday fortnight, October 21.

Happy Horses ,Tony McMahon and we will be Racing Around Capricornia and On The Road, Again in the days ahead.

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