Torrid time for punters. Article by Tony McMahon

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As forecast punters had a torrid time at the Rockhampton Jockey Club’s TAB races last Thursday when only one favourite won on the seven-event card while three double figures odds winners saluted.

Punters Australia wide had to wait until the fifth race, The Rocks Yeppoon Bar and Restaurant BM 65 (1600m) for the favourite John Wigginton’s Angola Miss ($3.90) to turn the tide.

Popular Callaghan Park trainer John O’Sing produced perfect figures winning with outsider Corkonian (Nathan Day, $20.00) and then with his only other starter Ketchikan Gold (Ngarie Nelson, $8.50).

Renowned as the man who forced the brilliant career of Our Boy Malachi back in 2012 with whom he won 12 races, these days John only keeps a stable of three horses in work.

“I’m semi-retired but this is great. I reckon it is my first double since Our Boy Malachi and Townsie won here on the same card years ago”, O’Sing said.

There was a deserving tale to tell by the all the way win of Golden Archer filly Ketchikan Gold in the St Peter’s Caulfield Cup Race day QTIS 3YO Maiden (1100m).

Not only was it winning Townsville based rider Ngarie Nelson’s first Rockhampton success but the circumstances around it were deserving of so.

A former Thangool based apprentice Nelson, 41 (nee Kaepernick) was the only jockey available to ride second emergency listed Ketchikan Gold which can be highly strung requiring two lead attendants in the pre-race parade.

“We (husband Ricky) decided to bring a truck load of horses down for the meeting so as we could travel over to Thangool to see my dad who hasn’t been well. This was great thrill to pick-up this ride and win. I am thrilled”, Ngarie said.

Two other women – trainer Toni Schofield a former jockey and rider Sonja Wiseman teamed for a boilover win with Rather Silky ($18.00) which downed favourite Buffy ($1.95) in the Class 6 Plate (1300m).

Young trainer Nick Walsh and his stable patrons the Milner family enjoyed back-to-back wins with Hidden Dragon mare Aleysa’s Dream (Day, $4.60) in the Pat O’Driscoll Real estate 0-70) Band Handicap (1050m).

The successful combination of trainer Clinton Taylor and jockey Justin Stanley went home winners when former West Australian and South Australian Lord Greystone ($15.00) won first-up for the stable in the XXXX Gold Rating Band 0-55 Handicap (1050m).

It was a creditable training effort by the talented Taylor to produce Lord Greystone a winner as the horse had barely beaten a runner home at his previous six starts in the previous 18 months.

Furthermore, Lord Greystone (b g 5 Oratorio-Bantry Bay) jumped from the outside barrier in the 13-horse field from what is a treacherous draw to overcome at the 1050 metres starting point.

“We bought him cheaply from an online bloodstock sale for $800. He had only won one race (3/11/18) from 13 starts but had earned $81K prize money. The horse he beat in that race Festival Miss when on to be Listed race placed”, Taylor who has 18 horses in work explained.

Rejuvenated trainer Kerrod Smyth demonstrated his expertise when Eurozone gelding Genoa (Ryan Wiggins) led throughout to win the Class 2 (1300m) his first start for the stable after four months break from racing.

Smyth one of Rockhamon’s leading trainers during the nineties, made a comeback to training in recent times and as his winners mount it is apparent that he has not lost his skill for training.

In other news jockey Zoe White vacates Rockhampton bound for Adelaide next week where she plans to test the waters after attracting the attention of some prominent trainers there.

Racing heads back to Callaghan Park next Saturday for the glamour St Peters Race Day where some online general admission tickets are still available.


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