Secure your vantage point at Keppel Park for Derby Day
Published 28 October 2022
It’s Derby Day races at Yeppoon’s Keppel Park racecourse on Saturday where a huge turnout is expected to take in the five local races from vantage points at the picture-perfect bushland setting.
With dual GROUP I winning parents, The Stone Mason on breeding would not be out of place lining-up at the rapturous Derby Day races at Flemington instead.
Afterall, The Stone Mason’s dad Redoute’s Choice was a colossus on and off the racecourse being both a champion racehorse and as hard as it is to imagine even better in Australia as an immortalised stallion and progenitor.
It was envisaged that it was a match made in racing’s heaven when The Stone Mason’s mum, the Dubawi (IRE) mare Shamal Wind mated with Redoute’s Choice in 2017.
Wow couldn’t Shamal Wind gallop as she demonstrated in winning a GR 1 Oakleigh Plate in Melbourne among here eight wins down there.
When bidding for the Redoute’s Choice-Shamal Wind yearling colt at the 2019 Magic Millions Gold Coast Sale stopped at $425K it was passed in by Gerry Harvey’s Baramul Stud.
Alas, as so often is the case with bluebloods of the turf, that yearling subsequently named The Stone Mason was a major disappointment on the training and racetracks.
After being among the also rans at barrier trials in Sydney, The Stone Mason had one inglorious start for high profile Sydney trainer John Thomson only to fail badly at Kembla Grange on August 18 this year.
Then sold at an online sale,The Stone Mason left the opulence of his Sydney stables for country digs roaming in a long yard shaded by trees at Taroom trainer Rodney Hay’s property.
Trained from a lead attached to a car driven by Rodney, it must have been a culture shock for The Stone Mason as he merrily jogging along in that mode on the Hay property.
Hay has given The Stone Mason just the one start that being a fair bit down the road from his property to collect a very small cheque when a distant third in a Taroom Maiden over 1200 metres on September 29.
At Keppel Park, The Stone Mason and his very promising Ipswich based apprentice rider Olivia Kendal contest the Maiden (1200m) where he is suitably placed to win – that is of course if he is good enough.
Olivia Kendall is being touted by astute racing judges as being a talent in the makings although that may not shine through at Keppel Park as some of her rides are questionable in that quality.
Olivia 24, with 44 winners beside her name rides Stephen Rundle’s debutant Six Drinks In, Bold Zip, and of course The Stone Mason as well as Camarosa and Elle A Walking.
QRIC steward Shane Larkins has reported that Yeppoon Turf Club officials believe the Keppel Park track will be in fine raceable condition for the big GJ Gardner Yeppoon Cup (1400m) race day.
So, it’s all go with secretary Mary Hornery reporting on Friday that all the amenities will be up and running and ready to cater for the traditional Derby Day throng.
If you are among them have a gander at The Stone Mason as on breeding the lad should have been contesting the Victoria Derby in his three-years-old year just a few seasons ago.
For cattleman and country racing lover Rodney Hay who has 21 horses spread around Queensland with various trainers, a win at Keppel Park will do him just fine.
Local racing commences at 1.30pm with gates opening hours earlier for the annual challenge of bookmakers versus punters.
If there is a certainty at Keppel Park, it is the track after rain on the Capricorn Coast in recent times should be favourable to both horses and their trainers.