Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.
Published 5 January 2024
As I keep on saying, year-in and year-out around this time graduates from Rockhampton’s Capricornia Yearling Sales really fire. For instance, 2019 graduate, Divine Purpose, last year’s 3 &4YO CYS Championship (1300m) winner was placed at Moonee Valley last weekend looks likely to win soon in Melbourne. She was last season’s RJC 3YO Of The Year when trained by Clinton Taylor. Ringers Reward was a splendid third in the GR 3 Vo Rogue in Brisbane last Saturday. I felt she would have won last year’s $150K CYS 2YO Classic (1200m) had she run. Hope Toowoomba trainer Kevin Kemp can bring her for the 3&4YO Classic at Callaghan Park on Saturday, April 6. Then on Wednesday, Tahlia Fenlon’s runaway Brisbane winner Exotique Miss also flew the CYS flag being passed in for $14K at the 2022 sale. Interesting to see if she arrives for the co-feature at Callaghan Park on the first Saturday in April. Thursday’s Gatton winner Boult was also a CYS youngster from the 2016 version. No doubt the winners from the Rockhampton Showgrounds based sale will keep on keeping on before the 2024 event on Sunday, April 7.
The racing merry-go-round stops at Callaghan Park, Rockhampton next Tuesday, January 9 with a six race TAB card. A new face on the jockey-carousel will be Karl Zechner, a Zimbabwean and South African jockey. Originally, on moving to Australia some years ago, Karl had a stint is South Australia where he enjoyed success in Adelaide. He became a Queenslander two years ago and rides mainly around the SEQ provincial meetings and the Darling Downs. Three times a GR 1 winner with 728 wins to his name (Racing and Sports), early today (Friday) he had three engagements for Tuesday’s Rocky meeting.
Isn’t Ryan Wiggins having a golden season and a sensational start to 2024? Since and including December 30 when he rode four consecutive winners at Cairns, he added a Sunshine Coast winner the next day and two days later at Callaghan Park last Tuesday, scored a winning double. Seven winners in a week is quite an achievement. I penned this before the commencement of today’s (Friday) Mackay races and the likelihood is Ryan would have been among the winners there as well. For the record, Wiggins is placed equal fourth on the current Queensland Jockeys Premiership table with 48 winners which is six ahead of another FIFO jockey in Justin Stanley. Because of weight limitations, Ryan only has a small book of rides at Callaghan Park next Tuesday. One is the talented Nick Walsh trained Just Super which clashes with another goodie in Clinton Taylor’s recent five times consecutive winner Janean. Both clashed at their last starts with Just Super the victor by 1.23 lengths over Janean. On Tuesday through the claim of Brooke Johnson, Janean will have a big weight pull over Just Super. Makes for an intriguing clash.
The Callaghan Park turf circuit certainly was outstanding for last Tuesday’s meeting. Some 162.5ml of rain had fallen over the racecourse in the seven days preceding the meeting. That included 23.5ml in the 24 hours preceding the first race at 1.45pm. In fact, 220ml had been dropped in the 12 days preceding last Tuesday’s races. Stewards rated it a heavy 8 for the first two events and upgraded it to a Soft 7 for the remainder of the program. Race times were indicative of a “good “track rating that’s how well Callaghan Park had soaked up the deluge. Credit where credit is due, so I made a point of congratulating course curator Trent Williams on its presentation. To his credit Trent said, “you don’t have to congratulate me as I have been away for seven days and Robert (Burnell) was in charge, He deserves the praise.” Robert Burnell is the Callaghan Park racecourse foreman. Well, Robert the praise has been hereby delivered in the best form of all, the written word. Congratulations.
Tom Smith trained Acre’s Away represents CQ at the Gold Coast tomorrow (Saturday) in a QTIS 3YO and has Michael Rodd aboard and leaves from the rail’s barrier. The flashy chestnut is always easy to identify in his races.
Clinton Taylor reported to me just after noon today (Friday) that it was a case of “so far so good “with his diva Chinny Boom as she gets ready for her big assignment on the Gold Coast Magic Millions Day card on Saturday week. Clinton is on the prowl and will be “looking at them (yearlings) “at the MM Sale which commences on Tuesday and runs through until January 16. Plenty to choose from Clinton, as 1468 yearlings are catalogued. Bet he and his connections bring a few back to Rocky.
At the Callaghan Park barrier trials on Wednesday there were some impressive performances. John O’Sing’s Jungle Beat looked ultra impressive and stopped the clock at 54.82 seconds for its 900 metres trial win. Notice it is among the fields for here next Tuesday. Looks like John has Jungle Beat on song again and its owners the Sturgiss family are on a winning roll. Nick Walsh’s pair of trial winners Valtino and Shadowen are certainly worth having an investment upon when ever they step out shortly.
Until next time – HAPPY HORSES Tony McMahon.