Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 7 February 2024

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

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As I have said before and allow me to say it again, as long as I can remember a poster horse arrives around this time of year – year in and year out – for the Capricornia Yearling Sales staged this year in Rockhampton on Sunday, April 7. Nothing has changed as in 2024 it is the Raheen Stud bred Uncommon Valour. A gelding 4 (Heroic Valour-Outlandish x Redoute’s Choice) he entered the Robert Schwarten Pavilion sales ring as a colt just after noon on Sunday, April 11, 2021. As Lot 28, he only took a few minutes to sell for $38,000 to Toowoomba trainer Michael Nolan.  It wasn’t by chance that Nolan was the successful bidder as he had trained the colt’s half-brother by Whittington named Patches with whom he had enjoyed success. I had marked in my catalogue which I looked up today – “L  lovely type. Winners galore in the family with the third dam the champion filly of her time Slight Chance. Looks like a runner. Late foal so probably won’t make an early 2YO”. Uncommon Valour did win as a juvenile once in Toowoomba exactly one year and two days after being sold as a yearling. With maturity Uncommon Valour has won three more races. Just last Saturday at Eagle Farm he won a BM 72 (2118m) lifting the now gelding’s prize money haul to $212,670 from four wins and 11 placings giving Nolan and his syndicate of owners a grand ride. More wins no doubt should be coming the way of this CYS graduate.

Incidentally there are no fewer than 14 of the Heroic Valour stock catalogued in this year’s CYS. Naturally the majority come from the now home of the former champion New Zealand 2YO of his time at Basin Nolan’s Raheen Stud, Warwick. A son of Fastnet Rock, Heroic Valour has been a very successful sire all round and certainly of juveniles. Raheen Stud has a draft of 11 yearlings entered for this CYS. It along with Oaklands Stud are the longest active vendors at the Rocky yearling sale. As the weeks progress there will be much more to write about the CYS as more details are released to me from the RJC.

James Dawson from Magic Millions sent in some interesting statistics about the catalogue for the forthcoming March Yearling Sales at the Gold Coast on March 11 and 12. “Just as an example the current 5YO yearlings from the 2020 March MM Sale have won over $24M, over 300% of the sale aggregate from that year’s sale which was just under $8M. The sales average from last year was $35K with a median of $26K”, James said. I haven’t got the full list of March Magic Millions yearlings that went on to race successfully in Central Queensland, but I can quote on two I purchased from there. Paradis Imperial won 10 races and the most in Australia for a 2YO in the 2017-18 season. I paid $9000 for her at the 2016 Magic Millions March Yearling Sales. Stable named Esmee, she went on to win 11 races including Eagle Farm, Rocky, Townsville and Mackay wins making $379,975 in stakes. I bough Mamselle Corday off one $5000 bid at the 2013 MM March Sale. She won 11 races including the 2018 Centenary Rockhampton Cup earning $202,995. So, for just an outlay of $14K those two Magic Millions March Sale Yearlings won 21 races and $532,970. That is nothing short of amazing and the Luck of the Irish certainly was with me at those sales. However, what about Rocky champ Master Jamie, a $10K MM March Yearling that has won over $1M in stakes and the register is still ticking. Then of course there was Better Reflection who John Wigginton paid $20K for at the 2018 MM sale and won $336K and then resold at a Magic Millions Broodmare Sale for $350K and then resold again for $420K. The point I am emphasising here is you don’t have to invest a fortune to win a small fortune from yearlings. That is also the case with the Capricornia Yearling Sales where bargains galore are prolific. It is wonderful that the Magic Millions and the Rockhampton Jockey Club work so closely together. As I am sure you know Magic Millions is the selling agents at the Capricornia Yearling Sale.

By the way go to both websites and Facebook pages for the Rockhampton Jockey Club and Magic Millions to check out their complimentary accommodation incentives for both yearling sales. Great deals there. 

See where the Rockhampton based One Syndications will have its first Brisbane metropolitan starters at Doomben on Saturday, They are Shadowen (Jim Byrne) in the 3YO (1200m) at 12.48pm and Awol (NZ) (Cejay Graham) in the BM 78 (1350m) at 5.50pm. They have been the only starters for One Syndications and both winners, so it doesn’t get any better than that. Yes, it would do if both Awol and Shadowen won on Saturday. Good luck crew and trust you will be eyeing off some yearlings at the upcoming sales as that’s where the big QTIS bonuses come into play. By the way Nick Walsh the trainer will be aiming for his first metropolitan double with the pair. Tim Cook has Brad accepted for two races at Doomben. As well Cocobrew Express, a last start Brisbane winner for his Rocky owners will also race over a mile there on Saturday. Once it was a rarity for Callaghan Park trained or Rockhampton owned horses to race in Brisbane. Not so these days. 

Plenty of action-packed races at Callaghan Park, Rockhampton on Friday with a seven race TAB card commencing at 1.24pm and concluding at 5.10pm. Surprise, surprise, Ryan Wiggins has some good rides and notice Tahlia Fenlon who rode her first Brisbane Saturday winner last week also has a few winning hopes. On the subject of jockeys, congratulations to Callaghan Park’s Tasha Chambers on her winning double at Emerald races last Saturday, 

Racing again at Callaghan Park on Friday, February 16 and then a big Saturday meeting on Saturday, February 24.

Happy Horses Tony McMahon.  

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