Widely travelled jockey Bonnie Thompson rides 5 at Callaghan Park.
Published 16 December 2022
It will be a case of turning the clock back about 24 years when widely travelled Townsville based jockey Bonnie Thompson goes riding at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park racecourse on Friday.
Bonnie 44, with over 400 winners alongside her name, has five rides on the eight race TAB card in what promises to be a very hectic day before she even steps onto Callaghan Park.
She rides four for Mackay mentor and supporter John Manzelmann.
They are Marndarra (Race 1 – TAB 7); Boomko (R 3 -TAB 10); Kingmate (R 5-TAB 6), Let’s Torque A Deel (R 6-TAB 5) as well as local trainer Julieann Lancaster’s My Girl Spirit (R 8-TAB 10).
However, Bonnie’s working day will commence long before she steps onto Callaghan Park late on Friday morning.
“I’ve got to ride trackwork first at Townsville and then I’ll be off to the airport to fly down to Rocky. All in a day’s work”, Thompson said dismissively.
What has motivated such an effort I asked?
“Well, I have been riding John’s (Manzelmann) Kingmate in some races and it’s a bit of a problem child. He offered me the ride at Rockhampton saying he wanted to keep me on. He said I could ride his other three in Rocky as well so I thought I have nothing to lose so why not come down”, Bonnie explained.
“Problem child” as she describes Kingmate demonstrated his true ability at his last start at Mackay on December 6 when Thompson rode him for a stylish second over 1100 metres in a 3YO Maiden.
He steps up to 1300 metres in Friday’s race which also carries the lure of many dollars in QTIS bonus prizemoney should the Spirit Of Boom gelding figure in the finish.
Kingmate was a $101 chance at Mackay and previously he had failed there and finished last at Pentland and Cooktown while he has struck a very tough assignment on Friday.
That aside, the story is about the appearance here of Bonnie Thompson who started off her riding career way back in the late nineties with Emarald based trainer at the time in John Thomas.
“I rode in Rocky a few times (according to Racing and Sports six to be exact Bonnie) but never landed a winner but I was placed there for memory (correct -once)”, Bonnie said.
It’s no secret that Bonnie is highly thought of for her horse skills in North Queensland where she has ridden 111 winners at Townsville and some 41 at Cairns.
The holder of a dual trainer-jockey’s brief she is renowned for her willingness to ride at racetracks right out in the bush and beyond.
So much so Thompson has ridden on no fewer that 82 race courses (80-QLD) and (2-NSW) chalking up winners at just “dots on the map”.
“I don’t mind a bit of travelling “, Bonnie said which goes down in my book as the understatement of the year.
Just for a humorous aside, she and that travelling man, Rocky trainer Clinton Taylor would make a sure thing quinella in the “travelling stakes” wouldn’t they”?
As well, in an earlier life she has ridden multiple winners at the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba and Ipswich.
On Saturday, Thompson takes her saddles and riding gear to Mackay (11 wins) for the TAB races there where she holds a booking for five rides.
Currently, Bonnie Thompson is enjoying a successful season with 23 winners since August 1 and comes off a Cairns winning double just last week.
One thing is for certain, Bonnie will find the Callaghan Park circuit with the long straight, a very much different “kettle of fish” to when she last rode there way back down the track.
Bonnie Thompson will be one of 17 jockeys riding at the Rockhampton TAB meeting which commences at 12.56pm and concludes at 5.19pm.
Races on Saturday in Capricornia will be at Ferguson Park, Gladstone.