Success continues for Callaghan Park contingent.

Published 8 January 2024

Success continues for Callaghan Park contingent.

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Callaghan Park trainer Kerrod Smyth is certainly the in-form mentor among the racing ranks presently having prepared six winners between December 22 and last Friday, January 6. The winners started rolling-in at Mackay on December 22 in the form of Nic Me Some and Murrajong Road. At Callaghan Park last week, the Smyth trained Fay Faye saluted. However, the best was yet to come after the stable went racing at Ooralea on Friday. A winning treble surfaced per medium of Devil Kick (Dale Evans, $4.20); Ocean Emperor (Ryan Wiggins, $1.35) and Nano Star (Warwick Satherley, $3.80). The day, however, did not start off well for Smyth with his first race favourite Murrajong Road (NZ) (Wiggins, $1,95) coming in 16.7 lengths last. Stewards reported that the horse post-race was distressed from cardiac arrhythmia which at times is described as irregular heartbeat. Stewards reported that stipulations have been placed on him before being permitted to race again. Quite detailed and the Mackay stewards report on RISA from last Friday makes interesting reading all round.

That’s leading into how refreshing to see an extensive Mackay Turf Club stewards report up and running on the RISA (Racing Australia) website early on Friday night despite the last race only being run at 5.40pm. Well done to steward Shane Larkins, who is also the QRIS racing manager for an extensive area up and around and beyond here. Good on you for posting it so promptly although having said that, it should be a given anyway. Racing followers and racing stakeholders and astute punters are avid readers of stewards’ reports. Therefore, it is important that they be posted as quickly as possible after the completion of race meetings. It is very frustrating having to wait days after a meeting before the relevant stewards’ report is furnished. If Shane Larkins can do it on the day or night after a busy eight race program encompassing 69 horses, I am sure those stewards who he oversees certainly can too. I know there are certain situations that prevent this from occurring, but more so than not that is not the case. Well done Mr Larkins.

Apprentice Tahlia Fenlon continued on her crest of a winning wave by scoring on the John Manzelmann trained Eyewitness in the Open (1100m) at the Mackay meeting. Eyewitness only just has to regenerate his earlier form when trained down south which included a Canterbury win in Sydney to be in the upper echelon on the CQ and NQ provincial and country racing circuits. I am sure the beach work from the Manzelmann stable would be refreshing. It is raced by John Manzelmann and the former supremo and grand patron of Longreach racing and Central Western racing, Rob Luck. You can hear Rob and another passionate country racing enthusiast Tony Clements on RADIO TAB each Tuesday morning. I wonder if the win of Eyewitness will be mentioned this Tuesday.  Is the Pope a Catholic? Short odds it will be and rightly so. 

Nothing worse than someone who constantly sings their own praise or implies to do so that way, so the following is not a relative of that egotistical trait. However, I do take pride in endeavoring as hard as possible to ensure and am always pleased when statements I write are factual. Such as the continual advice I have written in this column, that Rockhampton racing stakeholders always supply multiple winners at Mackay Turf Club TAB race meetings. They trained the whole card of winners there recently and last Friday it was a mere 50% of winners. Clinton Taylor of Stanley, Butler and Co quinellaed the QRIS 3YO Maiden (1300m) with runaway (8.8l) winner Viennawaitsforyou ($1.70) and Just Bingo. Clinton’s stable apprentice Brooke Johnson won the Class 3 (1300m) on Jerle ($2.10) from the Toni Schofield, Barcaldine trained stablemate Hezagem (Stanley, $15.00). Toni, as under Toni Hall, plied her trade as a jockey earlier on and trained and rode trackwork for years at Callaghan Park. Later she married retired (2014) trainer Nathan Schofield. Nathan was a regular from his SEQ base to the Rockhampton racing carnivals over the years. By the way Toni has been in fine touch and in May she trained six winners in the one day I believe at race meetings in Longreach and Clermont. Callaghan Park apprentice Brooke Johnson has struck an accord with the Schofield team in recent times, winning 12 races for them. 

Brooke Johnson has now ridden 75 winners in a relatively short space of time. I have often penned about her and rightly so. However, this is new for this race writing dinosaur. Brooke has her own “Fan Club” on Facebook – Brooke Johnson Racing Fan Club. Wonderful initiative by whoever came up with the idea. It is a great way to advertise. The attached photo is one with Brooke and none other than Gai Waterhouse at The Rocky Amateurs Carnival in Rockhampton last April. By the way, Brooke has four rides at Callaghan Park, Rockhampton TAB races coming up this Tuesday. 

Until I write and you read again, HAPPY HORSES – TONY MCMAHON.

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