Worth the long miles to Callaghan Park for Matt Kropp.

Published 20 February 2024

Worth the long miles to Callaghan Park for Matt Kropp.

Back to News

It’s a well- worn quote, phrase, term or however you wish to refer to it, “the harder I work, the luckier I get.”

Of course, “hard work and luck” sits comfortably on the shoulders of successful racehorse trainers.

What’s more I feel confident that former Rockhampton beef industry identity, the now Toowoomba trainer Matt Kropp can own both pair.

In the 24 hours period from 1.22pm last Friday and 1.57pm Saturday, Kropp trained three winners.

That’s no bull but there is much more to this tale so let’s grab this story by the horns.

Last Thursday morning at 3am, Kropp left his Toowoomba stables with three horses on his transport for the 640Km drive to Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park racecourse.

That resulted in two winners for himself, Fly Like Helen and Let’s Dance Jandy and an eye-catching second placing for his son William’s trained Bilpa Morea.

All were ridden by former Rockhampton based apprentice jockey Alisha Donald now indentured to Matt Kropp.

After the trio of horses had recovered and rested, Kropp was behind the wheel again and driving through the night back to his Toowoomba stables arriving at 2.30am Saturday.

Night driving on long country hauls can be very jumpy if you’ll excuse the pun.

“Ï normally stay over in Rocky the night after the races but we were a little light on (staff) last weekend, so I had to head back and get down to Brisbane on Saturday. It was a good trip and would you believe never a saw a single kangaroo until 13km out from Toowoomba. The country is so green at present, and they (kangaroos) don’t have to come out near the side of the road for a green pick”, Matt said today.

On arrival at home base, after unloading and attending the horses by watering-up and feeding them, Matt hit the hay himself and had about “three hours kip”.

Then around daylight it was a case of up and at them again, readying stable runner Flying Joy for her engagement and trip to the races for the 1.57pm at Eagle Farm, Brisbane.

That required a float trip of just over two hours down the Toowoomba Range and once again Matt Kropp was the coachman.

All’s well that ends well, and Flying Joy duly won at the juicy odds of $19.00.

The day was far from over for Kropp as he and his winner hightailed it back to their home base at Cliford Park for the night races there that evening.

Around sunset his only runner on the Toowoomba card, Rowdash finished second in its race rather narrowly beaten.

Even as I penned this tale, it sounded to me a rather exhaustive albeit exhilarating 24 hours work from Matt, but it was quite productive.

His four starters in three different centres he attended on Friday and Saturday, scored three wins and a second earning in total $77,150.

However, if you tally up the M. Kropp stable figures and stats commencing from the previous Saturday, February 10, the ledger looks much better.

At the previous Clifford Park, Toowoomba TAB races on February 10, Kropp prepared two winners as well as a runner-up and fourth placegetter from just the four starters.

That made it five winners, two seconds and a fourth from eight starters in seven days for a prize money haul of $117,650 equating to training percentage earning of $11,765.

Kropp has been training for just over three decades and at one stage during the eighties worked permanently for Elders in Rockhampton.

“I did bull sales with Ken McCaffrey and Dave Watkins up there”, he said.

A fan of Rockhampton racing and willing to travel, over the years Matt Kropp has won 19 races at Callaghan Park racecourse.

He has around 30 horses along with his son William who trains under a separate entity, from a barn on Clifford Park racecourse and home stables just off the Toowoomba track.

Given his success in the last week or so, it’s on the cards that Matt, an advocate of hard work, will add to his overall winning tally of 738 victories and top-up those 19 in Rocky in the near future.

HOOFNOTE: Winners aside, Bilpa Morea (NZ) trained by Matt’s son William turned in an outstanding effort when coming from 13th near the home corner to finish a flashing second in last Friday’s Maiden (1300m) at Callaghan Park. The lightly raced daughter of Reliable Man (NZ) looks a winner over a longer distance in the immediate future. Raced by the Kropp family, they hold aspirations that the filly may possibly develop into a Queensland Oaks filly this winter.

Back to News

Back to Top