Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 23 April 2024

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

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Naturally, all the racing hype in and around Rockhampton as well as elsewhere for that matter, focuses on the Rocky Amateurs Race Day at Callaghan Park on Sunday featuring the $775K The Archer (WFA). The news has been well documented on the Rocky Amateurs Facebook page but here is a brief update in case you missed it. A dozen runners have been declared for The Archer from as far south as Canberra. From there Barbara Joseph and Matt and Paul Jones trained extra talented racehorse Super Helpful arrived at Callaghan Park on Sunday. Looked superb when I visited him on Monday and met Matt and Di Jones who also made the 1534km road trip. To be ridden by Michael Rodd in The Archer, the RJC has given permission for Super Helpful to gallop on the course proper at Callaghan Park on Wednesday morning just after sunrise. I commend the Canberra team for bringing Max Whitby’s slot Super Helpful up a week before the big race. Very wise move.

The runners in The Archer with their jockeys, trainers and slotholders names follow. 

Princess Tenko -Justin Stanley for Clinton Taylor and slotholders Jennifer and Alan Acton (RIP). Strait Acer -Tyler Schiller for Edward Cummings – Aquis Farm. Eaglemont – Kyle Wilson-Taylor for Matt Dunn – Archer Park Racing. Master Jamie – Les Tilley for Graeme Green – Rob and Leonie Carr. Mishani Sniper – Noel Callow for Les Ross – The Three Amigos. Nikau Spur -Andrew Mallyon for Corey and Kylie Geran – John Kele. Lavish Empire – Josh Parr for Peter and Paul Snowden -Mc Kemme Racing. Ucalledit (NZ) – Dylan Gibbons for Kris Lees – Ron and Jill Milne. Super Helpful – Michael Rodd for Barb Joseph and Matt and Paul Jones – Whitby Bloodstock. Arentee – Vlad Duric for Chris Meager and The Bucket List. Namazu – Ashley Butler for Ricky Vale – Kayla and Peter McPhail. Better Get Set – Tommy Berry for Steven O’Dea and Matt Hoysted and Veramax Industries.  

Magic to see former Callaghan Park trainer, the longtime retired jockey Mick Attard win the first at Randwick last Saturday in the $120K The Midway (1400m) with Putt For Dough. Mick vacated training in Rockhampton some four years ago, moving to Hawkesbury to be closer to family members. He was double barreled (kicked with both hind legs) by a horse he was training there in August 2021. Despite horrendous injuries and being hospitalised for a lengthy period he survived making a miraculous recovery. Always a popular figure in Central Queensland for many years, it was great to see Mick smiling and chirping like a canary when interviewed after his Rosehill first city win as a trainer in Sydney. The irony is the Rocky Amateurs are just a week after that win and Mick Attard rode the old great legend Flap Jack to win a CQRC (now Rocky Amateurs) Cup (1800m) in 1992 in track record time of 1M:48.3 seconds for Taroom trainer Bill Cogill as an outsider. Old Flap Jack was as tough as teak and so too it seems is young Mick Attard.

Spoke to jockey Adam Sewell on Monday back home in Caloundra. Adam sustained a compound fracture of the left collarbone, a broken rib and a broken sternum in a Callaghan Park race fall last Thursday. He underwent surgery in Rockhampton’s Hillcrest Hospital last Friday evening. “My father-in-law drove me back home to the Sunny Coast on Saturday afternoon. The ribs and sternum have to heal of their own accord. The collar bone is more complex as there were different pieces (chips) all over the place. Normally with a fracture of the collar bone you can be out (of the saddle) for about six weeks. This one, however, is more difficult to say,” Adam said. Speedy recovery Adam who is not only a very good jockey but also a good person to match. I remember some months ago when doing the rounds at a Callaghan Park race meeting seeking donations for the injured trainer John Poots that Adam Sewell was the first actually coming to me to donate. Hope to have you back riding a winner for me and the women in our owner’s syndicate, sooner rather than much later Adam. Speedy recovery from all your friends in Rockhampton racing.

Terrible news has just come through that apprentice Olivia Kendall just broke her collar bone in a race mishap at Townsville races earlier this afternoon (Tuesday). A real shame as she has been dogged by mishaps and is such a talented jockey and horsewoman. Best wishes Olivia. 

From an earlier life I can assure you that racing stewards receive numerous brickbats but few bouquets. Well, here is a well-deserved bouquet to resident Capricornia chief steward Tate Hudson. He went all out with track inspections at Keppel Park last Friday to keep stakeholders updated on the track condition and likely fate of the meeting. Well, done Tate – much appreciated by all concerned. Regrettably overnight and early morning rain at Keppel Park forced his hand and the Yeppoon race meeting was abandoned. 

Happy Horses Tony Mc Mahon.

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