RJC buoyed by 280 horses entered for it’s annual feature race weekend.

Published 8 July 2024

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The Rockhampton Jockey Club is buoyed by the entry of 280 horses for the two feature days on its annual racing calendar which gallop into reality at Callaghan Park racecourse this coming Friday and Saturday.

Friday’s One Syndications $100K Rockhampton Newmarket meeting lured 143 entries which represents a 10.8 percent increase in number for the corresponding meeting last year. The 2023 Newmarket was won by the Brian Wakefield Brisbane trained Roman Aureus (Georgina Cartwright). In total $352K in prizemoney will be distributed over the eight race TAB card on Friday.

Saturday’s TAB Rockhampton Cup similar card ups the ante, not only through its offering of $482,000 stakes but also by a pleasing 13% increase in nominated horses.

It is no surprise that just over 50% of the 280 horses entered are visitors from outside the Rockhampton, Capricornia and Mackay regions, which guarantees intense competition and first-class racing.  The Rockhampton Cup has attracted 23 nominations and while only six of those are Callaghan Park trained, they include the mighty chances Master Jamie and Namazu.

A surprise omission was the Jamie McConachy trained Alcyone which ran a slashing third in the recent Tatts Cup at Callaghan Park but will now instead aim for the forthcoming Mackay Cup being a preferable and more suitable option.

Chasing the $20K lucrative purse for the leading trainer over the two days of the RJC Winter Carnival racing is Brisbane maestro Tony Gollan having entered 19 horses.

RJC CEO David Aldred said he believed the resurrection of last Saturday’s partly abandoned Sunshine Coast feature meeting to next Sunday had brought about the loss of entries from some Brisbane trainers which he branded “unfortunate.”

“Our Cup is a very interesting race. With the history making efforts from Master Jamie (three successive Rocky Cups wins) and Namazu (The Archer – Cup double) and the attempt by local Tash Chambers (Sunfall) to be only the second female winning jockey in its history, make the race so interesting particularly from a local aspect. Then there is Under The Cap (Tatt’s Cup & Cap Classic 3&4YO winner) striving to do it all in Rockhampton. As well Tony Gollan’s pair of Devastate and Rising Pacific have to be considered. I rate it a very open and an interesting race,” Aldred said.

The CEO said similarly about Friday’s One Syndications Newmarket where 16 horses were submitted as likely candidates.

“Again, it is a nice open race with no standouts,” he said.

Tony Gollan features strongly with his two entries Ef Troop and recent Ipswich winner Rockribbed. 

“John Manzelmann’s Battle Of The Bush winner Tiger Legend must be a strong prospect while Art By Concorde (Craig Smith – Roma) can never be left out while Fastconi (Natalie McCall) is another to consider while Sir Warwick (Jake Capewell) is another racing well. The local horses are chances as well and as I say it looks a nice open race, “Aldred concluded.

Callaghan Park trained horses are represented through Jason Morgan’s Exeter; Clinton Taylor’s Honkytonk Diva; Ricky Vale’s Knight’s Sword and Jared Wehlow’s Letmeletgo.

Weights for the two glamour race days will be issued by Racing Queensland handicapper’s tomorrow (Tuesday) and they will be the barometer to determine what and what not horses’ journey to Callaghan Park.

It is however a given that a high percentage of Queensland’s leading jockeys will ride on both race days.

Friday’s Newmarket program fields will be finalised on Wednesday morning with Rockhampton Cup meeting races released on Thursday morning.    

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