“Unprecedented” mammoth 12 race TAB card for Callaghan Park Thursday.

Published 16 April 2024

“Unprecedented” mammoth 12 race TAB card for Callaghan Park Thursday.

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In what well may be unprecedented in Australian racing, the Rockhampton Jockey Club on Thursday will stage a mammoth 12 race TAB card at Callaghan Park racecourse stretching over a duration of 6.40 hours.

The first race on the extended morning-afternoon racing program commences at 10.27am with the 12th and final event run at 5.07pm.

Irrevocably, the meeting on a number of fronts will break all records for a RJC race day since racing commenced under its tenure in the city on July 22, 1869.

Not only will it represent the biggest number of races run on a single card but also the richest the RJC had ever offered in a race day’s prizemoney with over $500,000.

Also, an unparalleled number of 136 horses have been declared as starters.

With such huge numbers, the RJC meeting on Thursday will be the focal point of racing not only throughout Australia but also at overseas betting outlets.

RJC CEO David Aldred was chuffed when the 12 races were confirmed through the acceptance declarations of trainers.

“It is a tremendous result for the club and the participants. It augurs well for betting turnover – the lifeblood of the industry and it is great to see so many prominent southern trainers and jockeys supporting Thursday’s card,” Aldred said.

To put Thursday’s colossal program into perspective, the last RJC TAB race meeting at Callaghan Park on Friday, April 5 consisted of a six-race program with 58 runners.

While midweek racing in Rockhampton is dependent on a regular supply of FIFO Brisbane and SEQ jockeys, those higher up in the metropolitan chain rarely service them at Callaghan Park.

On Thursday GROUP 1 winning hoops Jim Byrne and Samantha Collett will be in action and so will Brisbane’s leading apprentices, Bailey Wheeler and Ms. Cejay Graham.

In total some 25 jockeys will ride comprising 17 males while the female jockey’s room will hold eight hoops.

The extraordinary meeting came about through the addition of three feature races from the washed-out Saturday, April 6 card and as well as another event being scheduled.

As such the $168K Capricornia Yearling Sales 2YO Classic (1200m) and it’s 3 & 4YO counterpart race worth $118K and the $30,000 Mayor’s Cup (1200m) are the centrepins on the program.

Rockhampton’s millionaire war horse Master Jamie contests the Mayor’s Cup under 67.5kg (Tilley) as his vital lead-up run for the Rocky Amateurs $775K The Archer (1300m) at Callaghan Park on Sunday, April 28.

The huge prize money on offer has lured visiting horses from outside centres including Brisbane, Toowoomba, Roma, Chinchilla, Nanango, Sunshine Coast, Mackay, Bowen and Townsville.

Some 48 horses comprising 35.2% of the total 136 declared to run on Thursday are visitors from outside of Rockhampton.

The busiest jockey will be Brisbane’s Les Tilley with 11 rides while local Warwick Satherley holds engagements in10 of the races.

This Saturday, the Yeppoon Turf Club stages it’s first race meeting for 2024 and has attracted a very satisfactory 49 entries for the five race Keppel Park program.

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