Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

Published 13 May 2024

Racing AROUND Rocky with Tony McMahon.

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The successful Rockhampton trainer, jockey and owner combination of Kerrod Smyth, Warwick Satherley and Glenda Smyth will be out to extend their run of good fortunes at Tuesday’s RJC six race TAB card. This they will be hoping for in the form of former Southern Highlands of NSW galloper in Juke Box Jimmy (Race 3 – TAB 2), in the Maiden Plate (1400m) at 2.57pm. At his only start for the astute Smyth stable, “Jimmy” was unsuited when a fourth (albeit distant at that) in a Thangool Maiden (1200m) on April 29. While the Headwater 4YO gelding’s form is nothing to sing home about, a repeat of his third in a Queanbeyan Maiden (1460m) four starts back on January 26 is sufficient to see him go close in Tuesday’s moderate Maiden. Trainer Smyth and Satherley presented Kerrod’s wife an early Mother’s Day present resulting from Mackay races last Saturday. Glenda’s Divine Kamehalani and Murrajong Road (NZ) rode both won. Even better the Smyth couple quinellaed the Maiden with Excite Choo running second to Divine Kamehalani. It was a case of bouquets galore with owner Glenda’s prizemoney amounting to $21,820. Kerrod’s training percentage made $2000 enough to buy a float load of Chrysanthemums for Glenda on Mother’s Day. Incidentally, belated Mother’s Day wishes to all the mums in CQ racing.

Mentioning Mackay, the float loads of Rockhampton trained horses heading back the 336km down the Bruce Highway after Saturday’s races would have been driven in the main by happy drivers. Rocky trainers won seven of the eight races, producing six seconds, two thirds and four fourths as well. My calculations revealed that the Callaghan Park trained horses hauled in $122,850 of the $180K up for grabs at Mackay last Saturday. That’s about 68% of the dollars on offer. People ask me “why do so many Rockhampton horses race at Mackay.” I have just provided the answer which in short is “it is much easier to win there.” Always been that way during my 36 years based here and for sure always was before then and always will be.

The Nick Walsh trained Just Super which the trainer thought strongly enough to enter for the Sunshine Coast metropolitan meeting last Saturday but decided against proceeding, runs at Callaghan Park on Tuesday. Raced by the Diplock and Green families – both with strong Rockhampton racing ties, Just Super contests R 2 as TAB 4 and is perfectly placed under Ryan Wiggins from the rail’s barrier over the 1050 metres trip. Four times a winner at the distance, Just Super has been freshened after a courageous third from 13 alley with 61kg in the $100K CYS 3&4YO Classic (1300m) at Callaghan Park on April 18. Nick Walsh trained stablemate the well performed Queen Assassin did make the trip to the Sunshine Coast last Saturday. The mare finished 15.3 lengths last in the $105K Bat Out Of Hell (1000m). The run was too bad to be true only to be confirmed by the stewards’ report that Queen Assassin pulled-up lame in the near foreleg.

At Saturday’s Calliope Cup races, the result in the $15K Cup (1608m) was “one for the ages.” Looking resplendent through their smiles were owner-trainer Lyn Sullivan, a sprightly 82 and teenage apprentice jockey the 17yo Biloela High School student Jaimee-Lee Devine. Lyn Sullivan has been a stalwart of racing and harness racing in Rockhampton before the latter closed. Lyn was a very successful trainer-driver with the pacers although at times Lynric Lass has tested her horsey skills being a former barrier rogue but now well and truly cured. Lyn and her husband Dick (passed September 2019) operated a successful Gracemere Real Estate business while also training their own pacers and racehorses. “I was determined to carry on with the horses as that’s what Dick would have wanted. Afterall, I’ve been doing it for around 50 years and hope to continue on,” Lyn said after her “lass “won at Calliope. Win she did by six lengths in a very fast 1min:37 secs. As for Jamiee-Lee, her dream has continued. At her first race ride at Thangool a fortnight ago she won on her parents’ horse Imagine That. Now just eight rides later she has won her first Cup trophy race on Lynric Lass. Apparently apart from her school homework last week, Jamiee-Lee studied up on as many of Lynric Lass’ race videos as she could. Seems the study paid off handsomely as with riding fees and percentages earned at Calliope, $1685 comes her way. Not bad for a Saturday’s afternoon’s work for a schoolgirl. Sounds good but there is much more to it work wise than that for an apprentice jockey. Jamiee-Lee goes racing at Emerald on Saturday and Gladstone the following weekend.

Former Rocky apprentice Erin Molly’s comeback gathered momentum when she won on the Lachie Manzelmann trained Outback Action at Calliope. At Toowoomba last Saturday night former Rocky trainer Kristie Clark-Peoples and her son Louis Peoples combined for their first winner under the training partnership with Cailin. Earlier in the day Persevere was runner-up at Ipswich. Erin Molloy is indentured to them at the Sunshine Coast.

What busy few weeks it has been in Rockhampton. Firstly, the Rocky Amateurs on Sunday, April 28 and then last week Beef Australia. Now this week from Thursday, May 16 to Sunday, May 19 inclusive comes the 22nd Annual Paradise Lagoons Campcraft. And the winner is – the Rockhampton economy.

Happy Horses all – see you at Callaghan Park on Tuesday – Tony McMahon.

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