Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 10 February 2024

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

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There has been a run of jockeys who service Capricornia racing being “in the wars” through in the main – injuries. The latest is Callaghan Park apprentice jockey McKenzie Apel who was involved in a race fall at Emerald last Saturday from Starhattan. As a result, Mc Kenzie, who has been chalking up winners recently has fractured her L3, L 4 and L5 in her spine. “If it all goes smoothly with my healing and rehab, I should be back in the saddle in six to eight weeks,” McKenzie said on Friday. Chief steward Sharon Coulthard reported that the fall occurred near the 400 metres mark of the Open Plate. “This resulted in apprentice M. Apel being dislodged and transported to Emerald hospital for further assessment. When the relevant parties are able to attend, stewards will enquire into the circumstances of the fall”, Coulthard reported. Starhattan sustained a minor abrasion to the nearside neck area.  McKenzie 22 and indentured to Ricky Vale has ridden 31 winners in a relatively short time.

Ipswich apprentice Olivia Kendall has not ridden since January 2 when she won on Fay Faye and had one subsequent ride on the program. Olivia, with 66 winners to her name, sustained an injury when parting company with her mount during a race in Rockhampton on December 21. Although sustaining pain in her thumb she kept riding for another two weeks until the pain increased. It turned out she had two fractures in the base of the thumb. “Ï see the doctor next week with more X-rays to see how it is healed and then go from there. It feels OK at the moment, but I have lost my strength in it so not sure about the timeframe. Maybe the end of this month or March hopefully,” Olivia said on Thursday.

A late starter to race riding as a mature age apprentice, Mackay’s Jade Doolan with 64 winners has been out of action since an incident at Atherton races in early December seriously injuring her right hand. Jade has undergone multiple surgery on the hand, and she reported on Thursday she still has no feeling due to damaged median nerve. “There is no timeframe or guarantee I’ll get this back unfortunately. I have heaps more movement but no strength or control. Pins have moved so having them removed next Wednesday. If my wrist is stable and ligaments reattached and looking viable all metal will stay out. But if not looking stable, they will repin and brace for another six to eight weeks”, Jade said on Facebook. Jade is apprenticed to John Manzelmann.

Another Mackay apprentice Nikki Seymour 27, who is indentured to Tracey Simmons is making steady progress after her injury in a Rockhampton race on October 27 last year. Nikki has ridden 56 winners and is literally itching to get back race riding. She sustained an ankle injury which required a cast for months. Nikki was much more upbeat when I made contact with her on Thursday than on previous occasions, which was great to hear. “Hey, Tony, I got back on my horse at home this week and the ankle felt really good – sore but nothing dramatic. I’ll be heading to the track next week (Mackay) and I’ll see how the body holds up. All going to plan, I should be back racing next month,” Nikki said.

Good luck ladies and I admire your resilience. Winning days ahead for you all.

Rockhampton apprentice jockey Erin Molloy 23 has also been not racing since December 16 at Mackay when winning on her master Tim Cook’s Deel With Me. Erin was just hitting her straps having ridden 29 winners. Quite a few people have been enquiring about what has become of Erin. I have not been able to contact her, but Tim Cook reported to me that “Erin has taken a break from racing for the moment.” Trust Erin gets back to race riding as she is quite a natural talent.

“In the wars but on a different battle front so to speak is Rockhampton comeback jockey Dale Evans who only may a return to race riding last September after a four-year spell. Last Thursday stewards concluded an inquiry into his ride on Nic Me Some at Mackay races on December 16. As a consequence, Evans was suspended from race riding for four months until midnight June 2. All details in relation to the steward’s charge are detailed on the QRIC website under the category of Thoroughbred Stewards reports.

In other news the Mackay Turf Club race meeting scheduled for next Tuesday has been abandoned due to the track not being in a suitable state for racing after recent track renovations. Accordingly, RQ has added a Class 6 Plate (1300m) and a 3YO Maiden (1100m) to the Rockhampton race card for next Friday. Nominations close Monday morning.

How’s your memory? Dubai Moon ring a bell? Well, it did to me after him being very much in the news on horse racing sites the past few weeks. Dubai Moon is a six-year-old gelding trained by Frankie Stockdale at Pakenham. Yes, the same pair that raced at Callaghan Park, Rockhampton in June 2022 when the trainer brought a team of horses north for an extended stay for the Central and North Queensland Winter Racing Carnivals. Dubai Moon only had one Callaghan Park start on June 3 that year when fourth in a BM 60 over 1800m. He did manage to win at Longreach and Jundah on the trip back south. Well read on. Over the last fortnight from January 26 to Thursday, February 8, the Frankie Stockdale trained Dubai Moon has won FOUR (4) races. Yes- 4. He won at Hanging Rocky (2400m) on January 26; the next day January 27 he backed-up and won at Moe (2400m). Then on February 1, Dubai Moon won over 2550m at Pakenham before seven days later scoring again over 2550m at his home track Pakenham on Thursday. That’s one for the record books no doubt. In this day and age unheard of occurring. Well not anymore thanks to Stockdale and Dubai Moon.

While writing this column yesterday afternoon had to check-in on Rockhampton races. Timely win in the 2YO Handicap when the John Wigginton debutante Better Than Ready filly More Stylish was successful. That’s because More Stylish was purchased for $70K from last year’s Magic Millions March Yearling Sale and the MM team including James Dawson were on course at Callaghan Park promoting the upcoming March Sales.  Wigginton and his owners are grand supporters of that MM sale and why wouldn’t they be as that’s where they acquired the great mare Better Reflection for $20K before going on to win well over $300K. Graeme Green’s Shamedy also won at Callaghan Park today (Friday) and he too was a March MM purchase. Making it a MM March Sale treble was the Raheen Stud bred Fine Shot a $30K buy at the 2022 MM March Sale and trained by Nick Walsh. Notice some of the One Syndication folk share in the ownership of Fine Shot. That will give you some ammunition for your two runners Arwol (NZ) and Shadowen in Brisbane on Saturday. No wonder the Magic Millions team was delighted at Callaghan Park. They could also claim the win of Dennis Schultz trained Soften It Up. It came through the MM National Weanling Sale in 2019. Personally, I was delighted for Gladstone’s Schultz as he has been a great supporter of racing in Rockhampton and Capricornia through the years and battles away day in and day out without too much success with his small team in work at Ferguson Park in Gladstone. Dennis and his ilk are the backbone of racing so cheers Dennis and enjoy the lemonade celebrations.

Congratulations also to trainer Kerrod Smyth through the win of Devil Kick. ss just jumped in at its first outing for new team. Smyth spoke highly of winning apprentice Yvette Lewis. “This girl can really ride. She rode an winner in Brisbane on Wednesday and her ride on Devil Kick was a pearler. She is willing to come up here and give Rocky a go so I hope this gets her more opportunities here”, Kerrod said. So do I Kerrod as Yvette has ridden 121 winners and is very experienced. Hop to it trainers and get on the Al Capone.

Also, it seems I am always writing about her, but Tahlia Fenlon is a case of winners are grinners. Another early double to her before I signed off. Tahlia won on Soften It Up ($26) and Shamedy ($1.75). That brought her fourth winner for the week. Good on you Tahlia and did I see where you have a ride for Chris Waller in Brisbane tomorrow (Saturday)? Tahlia has certainly benefitted from the skills of her master, the former champion jockey Chris Munce.

Happy Horses everyone – Tony McMahon.

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