Record 45 of 91 entries are Callaghan Park trained for Mackay meet Saturday.

Published 7 May 2024

Record 45 of 91 entries are Callaghan Park trained for Mackay meet Saturday.

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The exodus of Callaghan Park trained horses to contest races at the Mackay Turf Club TAB meeting next Saturday is likely to set a new record. No fewer than 45 of the 91 entries are from Rockhampton which equates to around 50%. As well Mackay’s Manzelmann clan of trainer father John Manzelmann, son Lachie and his cousin Joshua have entered 28 horses or approximately 31%. What are the odds that between them the Rockyites and the Manzelmann’s will train the winners of the seven-race card?  Short odds I would suggest.

It’s on the cards also that Brisbane based jockey Sam Collett will be seen in action more often at midweek RJC race meetings. “If it fits into my schedule and I can get the rides to cover my airfares I will definitely come up here. I love the big track,” Sam told me just before she won on Clinton Taylor’s I’m Bluey here last week. Currently she is enjoying a well-earned five-day break in Bali but will be back riding at the Sunshine Coast feature meeting on Saturday. Last week Sam rode at Ipswich on Wednesday, Thursday (Rockhampton), Friday (Kilcoy) and Saturday (Eagle Farm).  With 1052 wins including 30 GROUP race successes, Sam Collett would be a valuable asset at Rocky meetings. 

Callaghan Park trainer Nick Wash has his in-form pair, Queen Assassin and Just Super entered to race at the glamour transferred Gold Coast meeting to the Sunny Coast on Saturday. The flying Queen Assassin is marked in for the $105K Bat Out Of Hell (1000m). Just Super is among the 32 entered for the BM 80 (1200m). 

The well-travelled Tash Chambers’ Rocky trained juvenile Age Of Aquarius bobbed-up at Ipswich races on Monday and ran an excellent second under 59kg to Walsh Bay. At his previous start AOA was runner-up at Doomben. On debut, he won the Pallarenda Stakes (1000m) at Townsville last October. Tash Chambers has done a fine job in placing the horse to advantage. 

Jockey Vlad Duric who rode in Rockhampton for the first time on Archer Day on Sunday, April 28 no doubt would have felt like “pulling the whip on himself” after enduring a week he’d rather forget. Duric 46, returned to Australia and based himself in Brisbane after vacating Singapore, riding a winner there on his last day on March 23. Since kicking off in Brisbane on April 3, Vlad has ridden eight winners including a treble and two doubles in the city. Last Saturday at Eagle Farm he rode a winning double but scored a “treble” as well, not on the track but in the steward’s room. He copped two suspensions for exceeding the use of the whip during two races. Earlier, he received eight days for careless riding. The previous Sunday during The Archer meeting he was suspended for six days on a careless riding charge aboard Nouverre Fille. So, Vlad, a GR 1 winning jockey incurred four suspensions within seven days. Now don’t be too critical about his whip infringements as Duric 46, has been riding for the majority of the last 13 years in Singapore chalking up 700 winners there. Unlike most racing jurisdictions in the world including Australia, Singapore has no limitation on the use of the whip during races. Singapore rules state – “no person in a race shall use the whip in an excessive, unnecessary or improper manner.” That being the case it would be second nature for a jockey who had been riding there since 2009 to apply the whip in the manner he/she was used to. No doubt Duric, the ultimate professional, will learn from his suspensions on Saturday which sees him sidelined until availability on May 30. It will cost him a small fortune in riding fees and missed feature opportunities. I suppose it is a case of “when in Rome do as the Romans do.” Duric has swallowed his medicine no matter how bitter it may have been, as his manager Brad Glendenning told me this morning Vlad “won’t be appealing.” Don’t think the stewards were too harsh on Duric either, as they ruled one of the suspensions was to be served concurrently with another. Success has never changed Vlad Duric as he was still the same gentleman when I interviewed him in Rocky last Sunday week as was the case when I met him on a racing tour in Singapore 10 years ago. Incidentally, Singapore racing closes down in October after racing for about 182 years. The 120Ha of the magnificent Kranji Racecourse will be torn down and ripped up and used for crucial housing and leisure facilities in the land- strapped country.

Suspect Vlad Duric is likely to be among a number of glamour jockeys riding at the Rockhampton Newmarket meeting on Friday, July 12 and possibly the Rocky Cup meeting the next day at Callaghan Park racecourse. All related social events and ticketing arrangements are on the RJC sites. Duric, like all the big-name visiting jockeys who rode at Rocky Amateur Day, was glowing in praise of the Callaghan Park track. Nothing like good publicity.

Interesting to see what numbers of visting trainers bring horses to the RJC meeting here next Tuesday (May 14) now that tracks are drying out in SEQ. Couldn’t believe my eyes seeing 200 horses entered Warwick on Thursday with 139 accepting to start.

Happy Horses everyone – Tony McMahon.





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