Rocky PREVIEW with Tony McMahon
Published 17 May 2022
Rockhampton racegoers are set for a mammoth session of racing at Callaghan Park on Thursday stretching over 330 minutes and ending at 4.42pm.
No need to reach for the calculator or do the subtractions so just read on.
The enlarged 10 race TAB program will commence if you will allow a colloquialism virtually at “Sparrows Fart” for a race day at 11.12am.
That terminology seems very apt as race programs in Rockhampton usually consisting of seven or eight races unquestionably begin after noon.
Winning machine Justin Stanley is in for one of his busiest days on record with nine rides on the card.
The majority of those are strong winning prospects including no fewer than six for his grand supporter, the Rockhampton mentor Clinton Taylor.
The pair in the last three years have combined for 40 winners while overall Stanley has won 1401 races with Taylor going great guns with 97 winners in a career of just short of four years.
Both Stanley 41 and Taylor share a commonality with Callaghan Park, Rockhampton being their most successful track as the jockey has won 197 races there with Taylor claiming 40 wins.
They should both improve their stats on Thursday through Divine Purpose (Race 3 – TAB 8), Bluindi (R 4- 1), Shaluna (R 5-7), Niccyas (R 6 – 2), Kinky Dreams (R 7 – 5) and Free Dawn (R 8 -4).
It will be a big pay day for the hard-working Stanley because even if the unthinkable happened and he didn’t land a winner or placegetter, he stands to earn nine times the individual riding fee of $225.
Surely you can do that maths in your head – yep $2025 but believe me all jockeys earn every cent they receive in arguably the most dangerous of occupations.
Digressing from Justin who in a checkered current season has still ridden 62 Queensland winners, another popular Brisbane based hoop will also be in action but in a far quieter mode.
Les “Bubba” Tilley 27, returns to race riding after being sidelined since March 25 as a result of a trackwork injury in Brisbane when he broke a bone in a hand.
Tilley has opted for a steady race riding return with a trio of mounts Cavellton (R 2 – 2) for Adrian Coome as well as Ricky Vale’s well performed pair Ornate (R 8-5) and Allanon (R 10 – 3).
Then there is Brisbane jockey Micheal Hellyer 34, a regular at Rockhampton TAB meetings just under a decade ago where he had quite a following winning 34 races at Callaghan Park.
At Thursday’s marathon card Hellyer, a winner of 708 races overall will be as highly active race riding as Stanley contesting no few than nine races with winning chances galore.
Not forgetting of course possibly the most naturally talented of the 17 hoops riding on Thursday is Barcaldine based Ric McMahon who makes the 580km trip for just two rides.
I hear you thinking they must be worth the long trip as two losing riding fees would hardly cover the heavyweight Ric’s fuel and expenses.
Exactly as remember, 2 times $225 equals $450.
You will have to patient though as McMahon’s first is Clinton Taylor’s Farmer’s Friend in the eighth at 3.27pm and Benny Crear’s Menschkeit in the lucky last at 4.42pm.
After all that I don’t know about your punters but I’m a tad confused but that’s a given in horse racing, isn’t it?