Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 5 December 2023

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

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A sizzling summer awaits the Rockhampton stable of Clinton Taylor after he gave glowing reports today (Tuesday) on the progression of his star pair Chinny Boom and Astapor after their recent wins. Chinny Boom (b m 4 Spirit Of Boom – Imanoremiss x Made Of Gold) went within a fraction of a second of establishing her second Callaghan Park course record when resuming to win an Open Handicap (1100m) there last Friday. In what was nothing short of a 5.13 lengths demolition of an above average field of open short course gallopers, Chinny Boom under 59kg was eased down by jockey Ashley Butler about 50 metres from the finish after leading effortlessly throughout. Only for Butler understandably ensuring that Chinny Boom had the easiest of possible first-up runs after an absence of five months from racing, she would have decimated Legal Procedure’s long standing course record time of 1M02.10 seconds for the 1100m distance established on a track rated “Good “on 2-01-2016. Last Friday on a track rated a Soft 5, Chinny Boom registered 1M:02.30! No surprises whatsoever when Clinton Taylor told me today “she is going better than ever.” That is a huge compliment for Chinny Boom, twice a Brisbane winner and a seven times overall victor from 10 starts amassing $303,550 in prizemoney. “She is bigger and stronger this time in and has had the benefit of a proper spell as well as plenty of groundwork to come back racing,” Taylor said. Going on to say that Chinny Boom had come through “super” after Friday’s win, this allowed the trainer to map out the mare’s next start during the Brisbane Summer Racing Carnival.” Her next run is planned to be in the Nudgee Stakes over 1200 metres for Fillies and Mares at Eagle Farm on December 30,” he said. It is likely that stable jockey Justin Stanley will link with Chinny Boom in that race. Stanley has ridden Chinny Boom for two wins while city jockey Ben Thompson has ridden her in the dual Brisbane wins.

Astapor (br c 2 Tassort-Black Mink x Lonhro) which has set tongues wagging and “cheque books” opening after two effortless Rockhampton and Doomben wins returned to Taylor’s North Rockhampton stables today (Tuesday). “He looks magnificent”, Clinton said of the colt for which a million dollars offer was not even considered after his three lengths Doomben 1100m win against juveniles on November 25. Shortly after his debut at Rockhampton in the Breeder’s Plate (1050m) on November 10, a $500,000 offer for Astapor went begging. Astapor was given a freshen-up and went on a short holiday immediately after the Doomben win to a Embrook, a Beaudesert spelling establishment to be rejuvenated. On Clinton Taylor’s appraisal it has worked wonders and now it is back to the serious business for Astapor which is aimed for the $3million Star Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic (1200m) on Saturday, January 13. “He (Astapor) is tenth on the qualifying list for the Millions but may need a little more prizemoney to guarantee getting a start. He will have one more run before the big race and that will either be in the B.J. McLachlan (1200m) at Eagle Farm on December 23 or a QTIS 3YO at Doomben the week after,” Taylor said. Stablemate, the Rocky Breeder’s Plate winning 2YO filly Valorous Performer, a Capricornia Yearling Sale graduate was sent to Embrook for a break last Sunday. The day before she was a fighting fourth in a Doomben 2YO with Justin Stabley telling stewards he believed the Heroic Valour youngster was unsuted by the soft track, Valorous Performer will be set for the rich CYS 2YO Classic (1200m) at Callaghan Park in April.

Brisbane jockey Justin Huxtable took riding honours at the RJC TAB races last Friday. He won on the Mully Green trained Robust Boy ($1.65); Mully’s partner the Callaghan Park trainer Adrian Coome’s Moenave ($6.50) and Garnett Taylor’s Bold and Smooth ($1.65). It was a big day for Mully and Adrian and the Coome clan as Adrian Coome’s father Stephen races Robust Boy which was ultra impressive in winning the QTIS 3YO (1200m) very easily. More wins are in store. Mully, daughter of Callaghan Park’s Graeme and Julie Green almost trained her first winning treble when Srini (Huxtable- $8.50) was a long neck second in the Class 3 (1400m) and then when Canny Be Better ($41.00) ran second in the Class 3 Plate (1200m) beating home her father’s trained Top Spy (third). I believe a family member, celebrated a birthday around last Friday’s date as well. Cheers. Lovely family pics on this Facebook Page from Caught in The Act Photography. 

I relish seeing the “little players” win races and in this regard congratulations to Callaghan Park trainer Jim Lewis. Persistence paid off for Jim as his Gulf Of Sidra (Jackson Murphy, $31.00) won the Maiden (1400m).  The Pierro gelding was having his 11th start for Jim and his son. Jim is a stayer and usually only has the one or at a stretch two horses in training at the on-course stables at Callaghan Park. Formerly from the New England Tablelands many years back, Jim Lewis is more than handy with a horse. I recall his last winner (correct me if I am wrong Jim – I know you will as we go way, way back) was Commander’s Watch which won two races in the space of four days in January 2022. That is no easy trick to pull off. Very pleased for Jim and family. Long live the little players in the racing industry as they are the salt of the game. 

Also, good to see Tom Bourke back in the winner’s stall at Callaghan Park with Rubunkar (Brooke Johnson, $1.80) in taking out Friday’s Class 1 (1050m). Also, well-done Brooke Johnson on celebrating her first Callaghan Park winner after just getting her brief to ride there. Unfortunately, due to a careless riding incident at Mackay races last Thursday, Brooke commences a 13-day suspension from midnight December 9 until midnight December 22. However, Brooke will be clear to ride at this Saturday’s Callaghan Park, RJC Christmas race meeting. Also well done to young trainer Dane McKinnon who led in his first winner Rowbositi (Nikki Olzard- $12.00) at the Thangool races last Saturday. Dane is a regular at Callaghan Park training sessions each morning with Rowbositi and is also a talented horse educator. Nothing like the feeling of training your first winner except of course training your next winner. Keep winning Dane. 

Callaghan Park apprentice Nikki Olzard, 18 through a Thangool race winning double brought up 28 wins last Saturday. Well done to you too Nikki. 

Rockhampton trainers Clinton Taylor, Allan Jones, Ricky Vale, Peter Fleming, Jim Lewis Dane McKinnon all have starters at the Emerald Jockey Club races on Sunday. 

Finally, check out the Rockhampton Jockey Club website and this Facebook Page to read all about all that is happening for the Christmas Race Meeting at Callaghan Park on Saturday, The Dashy Dash has quite a following and is always fun to watch. See you there Saturday.


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