Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 20 November 2023

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

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Two great advertisements for the forthcoming 2024 Capricornia Yearling Sales in Rockhampton on April 7 next year focusing attention on that venue came about at both Caulfield and the metropolitan Sunshine Coast meetings last Saturday. At Caulfield, the 2021 CYS graduate Divine Purpose, formerly trained by Clinton Taylor at Callaghan Park ran superbly there first-up for trainers Peter Moody and Katherine Coleman in the Damien Oliver Stakes (1600m). The mare was a vey close second in the $150K race, vindicating former trainer Taylor’s recommendation to connections to send her south for longer races. Taylor won four successive races with Divine Purpose including the $100K CYS 3&4YO Classic (1300m) at Callaghan Park last April. She was a grand buy from the Kenmore Lodge draft at $55K. Meanwhile, at the Sunny Coast, Party For Two a Sidestep filly from the 2022 CYS ran a close second in a QTIS 3YO after winning first-up at Eagle Farm at her previous start. Party For Two has won connections almost $300,000 in prize money. They are two of the latest additions to the long running list of CYS hotties!

Clinton Taylor reports that his recent RJC 2YO C & G Breeders Plate (1050m) winner Astapor, for which a $500,000 offer has been refused will be entered for a big $157,500 QTIS 2YO Plate (1110m) at Doomben next Saturday. A Magic Millions $38K graduate from this year’s Gold Coast Sale, The Tassort colt is considered something right out of the box. Stablemate, Valorous Performer, a daughter of Raheen Stud’s Heroic Valour cost $36K at this year’s CYS. She won the Breeders Palte for the fillies. Valorous Performer is being set for the valuable CYS 2YO Classic (1200m) at Callaghan Park on Saturday, April 6, 2024. More news from the Taylor stable, weather permitting top filly Chinny Boom is set to have her most serious piece of work before resuming racing in a Callaghan Park barrier trial 900 metres at Callaghan Park on Wednesday. Valerous Performer and Divine share the same ownership.

Rockhampton trainer Jared Wehlow had no luck with his ventures at centres wide apart over the last few days. On Friday night at Moonee Valley his Jericho Cup aspirant for Warrnambool in Ready By Design failed in a heat for that $302K race and tailed the field.  Jockey Luke Dempsey told stewards the horse failed to “travel” throughout the race. Jared’s sand scratcher specialist Kobe Rocks missed a place in the $50K Roma Cup on Saturday.  Then yesterday (Sunday) O’Mudgee finished best of the trio when fourth in the Amateur Cup at Townsville. Jared is an excellent trainer and I admire his philosophy about having a crack with his horses. The racing gospel advocates – “You will never, ever know unless you have a go”. Good for you Jared.  Callaghan Park trainers Tasha Chambers (Age Of Aquarius) and Kristie Clark-Peoples (Centaur) also were out of luck when both those horses missed out at the Sunshine Coast when well beaten. Better luck for fellow Callaghan Park trainer Jamie McConachy when he won with Antagoniser up at Townsville in the TAB Amateurs meeting there on Sunday. Antagoniser was ridden by the very competent and talented Rocky jockey Raul Silver Olivera. Raul is now getting a go on. I hate to tell you, but I told you so, how good the South American was by judging how he rode his first winner in Australia, also on Jamie’s horse Antagoniser (October 8) at Callaghan Park. Jamie and I are good judges are we not? Now other trainers are catching on to Raul’s ability. Tim Cook has a well performed galloper in his care in the former GR placed horse from France in Wren’s Day which was runner-up in the Amateur Cup at Townsville on Sunday. It seems like Tim may have the veteran going and Wren’s Day is capable of some good wins if he keeps going as well as he did in Townsville. Rocky jockey Ashley Butler was also a winner at Townsville as was the regular FI/FO to Callaghan Park in jockey Jackson Murphy who rode a winning double. Not forgetting of course, Justin Stanley as he scored also at Townsville. Meanwhile, at the Mt Perry races on Saturday, Rocky’s longshot training guru, “King” Stephen Rundle caused an upset winning the Country Stampede Qualifier with Poet’s Girl. Now he and the mare are off to the Stampede Final at Doomben in early December. Good for you Stephen. No such luck for Callaghan Park trainer Nick Walsh when his Stampede Final aspirant Single Honor failed to qualify by missing a place in the Clermont heat on Saturday. Callaghan Park talented apprentice McKenzie Apel rode a winner at Clermont being the only victor from the Rocky crew who went out there. Unfortunately, McKenzie copped an eight-day suspension from midnight November 27 until midnight December 5. McKenzie has now ridden 20 winners and is eligible to ride next Saturday, presumably at Emerald. More on Clermont races in RACING AROUND CAPRICORNIA later this week.

Then how could we overlook the efforts of Rockhampton stakeholders at their second home, Ooralea racecourse Mackay last Thursday. The Clinton Taylor and Justin Stanley combination took the laurels with a winning treble – Donmore Girl, The Hairdresser and Janean. According to that excellent website Racing and Sports, the pair have now shared 85 winners. Bear in mind, that has all occurred in just on four years.  Kerrod Smyth and gifted but too often overlooked jockey Dale Evans won there also with Tricky Beans. Then as well, Rocky apprentice Brooke Johnson rode a winner as did Tahlia Fenlon who definitely is a Rockhampton lass. Also, Rockhampton jockey Warwick Satherley won on Dennis Schultz, Gladstone trained Leica Bita Fun at Mackay. It is staggering just how many winners come from Rockhampton stakeholders at Mackay race meetings. I have been writing accordingly about that for years now and I doubt it will ever change as it has been going on for as long as I can remember. 

Don’t forget the Rockhampton races tomorrow. Also, what a big day the December 1 race day should be at Callaghan Park for all concerned. A nine-race card has been scheduled with the addition of a QTIS 3YO Handicap (1300m) from RQ. That is followed by the Family Christmas race day at Callaghan Park on Saturday, December 9. That day also features Kid’s Fashions and of course the iconic Dashy Dash. Read all the latest racing news as usual on the RJC Callaghan Park website and Facebook page.

Happy Horses everyone – Tony McMahon. 

  

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