Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 15 January 2024

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

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The thrill of winning a horse race, be it as a jockey, trainer or owner is hard “to beat” if you will excuse the pun.
While I will not disclose his identity nor that of the horse concerned, over 20 years  ago an owner of a winner of one of Australia’s biggest races made a memorable proclamation during his trophy  speech. “This (winning the big race) is better than sex”. It left an indelible mark in the memories of many, myself included. That gives you an idea just how good the euphoric feeling of winning with one’s horse is. For a first time winning trainer the win is really something special.  I can only imagine how thrilled Callaghan Park trainer Jessica (Jesse) Kuhn would have been mid afternoon last Saturday out at Thangool races. Jess will always remember January 13, 2024 as the day she produced her first race winner. Better still the horse in question Shadow Project is also part-owned by Kuhn. It gets even better as Shadow Project (Warwick Satherley) scored in a photo finish result by the barest of margins – a nose!
No doubt Jesse would have been on tenterhooks awaiting the result of the photo finish to be declared. Jesse Kuhn has sound experience in the racing industry. She has been a trackwork rider at Callaghan Park for many years and even did a stint in Melbourne.
As Jesse Mergard, before marrying she worked for Callaghan Park trainer John Wigginton. That led her to becoming a small shareholder in Better Reflection (2016 Br m Better Than Ready – Miraposa x Canny Lad). As such, last Saturday’s Thangool win with Shadow Project may have been her first as a trainer but not by any means as an owner.  Better Reflection was a Stakes winner and a four times victor all up of over $330K in prize money.
Regardless for my money the humble Thangool win will top the list on Jessica Kuhn’s CV. At Tuesday’s RJC race meeting she will start the other horse she has in training named Divider in the first race.  Congratulations Jesse on Saturday’s win and savour the moment and it will be the first of many more. By the way Jesse Kuhn also breeds horses and last year she had two yearlings in Rockhampton’s Capricornia Yearling Sale. They were magnificently presented. So if you see J.Kuhn as a vendor at this year’s CYS in April, I suggest the Lot or Lots, would be well worth an inspection.
Shaping up as a very good TAB race meeting at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park racecourse this Tuesday (January 16). Interesting to note that leading Townsville trainer Georgie Holt will have two starters from her northern base some 712km away. It is a rarity for any Townsville trainer to be racing their horses at Callaghan Park but not so vice versa. Georgie Holt turns out winners galore in the “North” and has only once or maybe twice raced at Callaghan Park previously and if memory serves me correctly she once won a race there. Her starters on Tuesday are Capitalist gelding Twenty Three Week (Race  1 – TAB 4) and Decrypting Gold (Race 6  -TAB 8). Twenty Three Week has raced just once for a fourth in a Cairns 1250M Maiden company on January 8. He was bought very cheaply online last September after failing in southern interstate barrier trials. Decrypting Gold has very good form in one of the hardest races on the card, the QTIS 3YO (1100m). It is a long way to travel horses so the conclusion can be drawn that Georgie Holt must have some degree of confidence about their prospects. Astute Rockhampton trainer Ricky Vale has given punters a good lead by scratching two of his other acceptors in Namazu and Knowitall Jack from the Open for Fighting Commando to represent the stable.
The Clinton Taylor trained Chinny Boom certainly did her band of Central Queensland follows proud when a slashing third in the Magic Millions QTIS Open (1300m) at the Gold Coast last Saturday. Nice prize money pickup of $90K as well. Take off the $5050 acceptance fee and still a nice little earn of just under $85K – nothing wrong with that. In the process Chinny would have convinced her Rocky trainer Clinton Taylor and jockey Justin Stanley that she is a genuine city open company mare. Wouldn’t all be surprised if she is set for The Archer at Callaghan Park in a few months time. The weight conditions for The Archer would be very tempting for connections to resist. I’ll bet potential slot holders are already ringing Taylor and Co! While Rocky’s Media Impulse, Brad and Letmeletgo finished down the track in the $500K Magic Millions Country Cup they got to chase the big prize money on offer for free. Each earned $2525 unplaced prize money which negated the $2525 race acceptance fee. Clean slate! Rocky owned Jemeldi earned Ten Grand for its eighth placing in the $1M The Syndicate. Less the acceptance fee of $5050 it was still a nice prize dividend be be divided.

Remember the mare Outback Saga, a Real Saga and a five times Rocky winner for Kevin Hansen? She later changed stables and won city races as well as in Sydney. Outback Saga is the dam of none other than Boom Torque the winner of the $1M race in which Chinny Boom finished third.
Rodney Hay, who has Fight In The Dog racing at Callaghan Park on Tuesday has been very active at the MM Gold Coast Yearling Sales. As of early afternoon Monday he had purchased at least six youngsters. See where the Central West’s Nathan Schofield and Bowen’s Tom Button have also opened up their wallets with buys. Expect many more purchases for up this way to be knocked down in the next day or so at the Goldie.
Happy Horses folks – Tony Mc Mahon.

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