Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon

Published 23 May 2022

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon

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Right out of a chapter from the good old days when travelling trainers brought teams of horses up the Coast for the Winter Carnivals, Pakenham trainer Frankie Stockdale has arrived with six. Frankie a former jumps jockey left Pakenham a fortnight ago and has broken his trip numerously with wife and daughter “camping over” along the way. He has Riverside Special entered for the Maiden (1200m) at Callaghan Park on Friday. “I sent two around at Gilgandra on May 15 along the way. It’s long way (2045kl) up here from home so we took our time breaking the trip and resting the horses”, Frankie said. Riverside Special and his other Gilgandra starter both ran third there and earned $4600 to help with the exes. Stockdale plans to take his team all the way up to Cairns this winter. “I don’t have a Cups horse but a few of the restricted class horses may make it go through to the Sprints. Who knows”? Good luck Frankie. The Stockdale family is steeped in Victorian racing tradition. Currently, Frankie and family and horses are based with his mate trainer Kevin Miller at Bajool. Kevin trains Boom Time Baby for Frankie. His presence is just the shot in the arm the RJC Winter Carnival needs.


Interestingly the Rocky TAB noms for Friday totalling 96 are best for ages. Notice, Gold Coast Journeyman Noel “King” Callow will be riding. Bet he teams with Stockdale as over the years in Vic they have enjoyed a close and successful association. Prolific Dalby winning trainer Matt Kropp has 10 horses entered while Brisbane’s Lauren Abbot (4), Paul Butterworth runs two horses and the Gold Coast’s Tenille Ranger has two coming as well. Friday is shaping as a bumper meeting so as was said in an early Rocky Winter Carnival slogan “Get Your Backside Trackside”.


If you can get your hands on a copy of the latest Queensland June edition of the Race Magazine (bible for trainers) good read there on Emerald trainer Glenda Bell. The very versatile Rockhampton based veterinary surgeon, the former CWQ jockey and Rockhampton chemist Brad Johnstone also gets a mention. Brad won three races on the Charlie Prow trained Miss Petty (Longreach, 19-9-87 and 30-4-88) and finally Jericho, 12-6-89 along the way to the mighty mare breaking Picnic In The Park’s Australian record for consecutive wins making it 22 straight at Longreach on July 22, 1989. What memories. In the same mag former Rocky lass Liv O’Donnell features in the Apprentice Profile. Currently out injured she is going to make a name for herself based with Craig Smith at Roma. 


IN BRIEF: Good to see the Craiglea clan firing again at their happy hunting ground Callaghan Park. Krystle Johnston quinellaed the QTIS 2YO there last Thursday with Craiglea Arena and Craiglea Laki. I’ll never forget calling the seven Craiglea horses – Edge, Royale, Matilda, Smokie, Gal, Rawie and Tina in a Mackay race on January 15, 2010. Strewth that was 12 years ago – doesn’t time fly? Pleased as well when hard working jockey Tash Chambers won on $41 shot Fight In The Dog at the same Rocky meeting on May 19. Very much under-rated jockey Nathan Thomas also popped up on an outsider on Tom Smith’s Angola Miss an $31. Nathan deserves more rides and better ones at that. Another good news story when Miles based mum and apprentice Sarah Robbins won the Emerald Cup on Graeme Green’s Taraki last Saturday. The lady can ride and claims a valuable allowance. Wendy Mulry has reminded me to remind you so you can remind them that the big Girls Grammar School Race Day is set to rock and roll at Callaghan Park on Saturday, June 18. It will be the 25th anniversary meeting and is titled the Pink Diamond Race Day. Check the RJC website Facebook page for more details. Also, by popular demand I hope to combine with Wendy and organise some marvellous racing tours in the not-too-distant future. As they say nobody does it better than Wendy Mulry and old Tony McMahon when it comes to racing tours. What about the night your fearless tour leader (yours truly) was met at the door of the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore with a wheel chair? Very embarrassing as I suffered from an attack of Vertigo and resembled being intoxicated to the caring staff. Anyhow that’s my story and “what goes on tour stays on tour”. 


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