We are racing next Tuesday (26/03) at Callaghan Park ahead of a HUGE 3 day Capricornia Yearling Sale weekend!

Published 21 March 2024

We are racing next Tuesday (26/03) at Callaghan Park ahead of a HUGE 3 day Capricornia Yearling Sale weekend!

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First things first. Racing Queensland has advised that a $23K Maiden Plate (1200m) has been hastily added to the RJC’s TAB program scheduled for Callaghan Park next Tuesday. This came about when the Class 3 “fell over” through insufficient nominations. RQ advised this morning (Thursday) that entries for the substitute race would close at 9am Friday. Well after next Tuesday’s races, Callaghan Park will have a break of just 10 days duration until the first of the Festival of Racing and Sales days on Friday, April 5. What a fabulous race meeting that promises to be with over $200K in prize money there to be won. The feature race, the $30K Country Cup (1600m) should be very alluring for trainers from near and far. The conditions of the race state that should the winner of this race have won at a Non-TAB Queensland race meeting since February 23, the winning prize money will be doubled. It will escalate from $16,800 to $33,600. That’s nothing to be sneezed at, is it?  Don’t forget trainers, nominations for Friday, April 5 races in Rocky close next Friday, March 29.   Of course, Saturday, April 6 is the big day when the Capricornia Yearling Sales Classic events for the babies (2YO) over 1200m and the 3 & 4YO run at 1300m are run. It’s a colossal program of races with in excess of $400K prize money and bonuses being raced to collect. Then of course on Sunday, April 7, all roads will lead to the Robert Schwarten Pavilion at the Rockhampton Showgrounds for the Capricornia Yearling Sale.

On that topic the Capricornia Yearling Sale, by now if you are on the RJC’s official list for catalogues, you should have well and truly received your copy. If not pop on over to the club’s offices at Callaghan Park racecourse to collect a copy. Among the catalogue of 112 yearlings, there is sure to be at least one that hops out at you. As an incentive to “buy local” the Central Queensland Thoroughbred Breeders Association is offering three complimentary pay-ups to enter the 2025 race series. These are valued at $1100 each – a big saving. The eligible yearling Lots are numbers 15 (Koala Dreaming Syndicate); 21 (Stewart Park); 37 (Capricorn Thoroughbreds); 68 (Stewart Park); 87 (Graceville Thoroughbreds); 91 (Capricorn Thoroughbreds); 99 (Stewart Park) and once again Stewart Park with Lot 105. A draw will take place at the Sale.  Well, that is a very generous incentive for would-be purchases and the breeders involved deserve commendation. I’ve perused the pedigree pages of those Lots in the catalogue and they read very well. Best of luck to all associated with the scheme. 

As if scripted, Rockhampton trainers, always prolific race winners at Mackay TAB meetings, were at it again there last Tuesday winning all bar one race on the seven-event program. Zoe Hohn did best with a race double scoring through Roy’s Road (Les Tilley, $6.00) and again with Tilley onboard Skreath ($20.00). I’ll go out on a limb and record that it was Zoe’s first double at a Mackay meeting. For sure if I am wrong, one thing I have learned in penning racing for over 40 years I’ll certainly be contacted and corrected. By the way Zoe Hohn Racing has Lot 57 (b/br f Wonder Boom-Lynda’s Never Late) entered in the CYS. Wonder Boom, a speedy son of Falvelon won the 2019 Rockhampton Newmarket for trainer Paul Butterworth The dam of the filly, the Collate mare Lyna’s Never Late won eight races. Back to Mackay last Tuesday. Jared Wehlow won with Caracristi (Justin Huxtable – $1.80) while that jockey also piloted Graeme Green trained Thisland Is Myland ($2.15) to success. Mark Cochrane scored with Spring Valley (Georgina Cartwright, $9.00) while that Travelling Man Clinton Taylor won with Hangin’Around (Ash Butler, $2.10). Clinton was back at the Rocky trials on Tuesday, and I have just got off the phone (Thursday AM) talking to him in Brisbane. At Eagle Farm on Saturday, he starts the very speedy Princess Tenko (Race 7 -TAB 6). Runner-up in the 2023 Newmarket here, Princess Tenko bungled the start before running “better than what it appeared on paper)” when 3.44l away resuming, finishing last at Eagle Farm on March 2. “She has remained down here (Brisbane) and just has to start on Saturday. The barrier 15 is a bit morbid but they have been winning from wide out at Eagle Farm so it may not be too bad”, Clinton told me. He also mentioned that Chinny Boom is to start en route to The Archer ($750k) here on April 28 in a Brisbane race within the next fortnight with Cejay Graham to ride.

QUIZZ TIME: I am often contacted by racing folk (older ones at that – remember though “never let the old man/woman in” readers, that they would like the occasional older race photo being published in RAR. Only too pleased to oblige with the attached pic from Callaghan Park which unfortunately was undated and unidentified. I know the jockey was Mark Unwin, owners Mary and Ian McKenzie with daughter Amanda, trainer Kevin Fisher and strapper Kylie Welburn. The trouble is, I don’t know the identity of the horse. I surmise it was around 1987, 88 or 89. If you can help out, please make a comment below this site. My gut feeling centres around a horse named Serterial and a Carlton Plate win? What’s yours as I just don’t have the records?

While Rocky’s own Tahlia Fenlon in two rides at Murray Bridge on Wednesday representing Queensland in The National Apprentice’s race series had no luck. She has her busiest city book at Eagle Farm on Saturday.  Worth having a look-see in the race fields for Eagle Farm as Tahlia has been riding in fine form in Brisbane of late.   

Saddened to hear this week of the passing of “The Silver Fox” better known as Callaghan Park trainer John Crane who always had a yarn to tell. John only maintained one or at the most two horses in training at oncourse stables he rented off the Rockhampton Jockey Club. A character, I can still see John going about his business at the stables away from prying eyes in his favourite work boots “thongs”. A lover of horses, I dubbed John Crane “The Silver Fox” (because of his impressive grey mane) and it caught on. John retired from training around the same time in 2020 when his Trusting mare and three times winner I Trust Layla also retired. The Silver Fox enjoyed success also with multiple winner Mystic Lad during the 2017/18 season at Callaghan Park where also Reset Our World was another winner for him. John had a kind heart, and I will always remember him lending me his new horse float on one occasion for a long distant trip. Vale – The Silver Fox and deepest sympathies to his family and friends. 

Tony McMahon.

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