By Ian Mill, CEO of the Rockhampton Jockey Club
Hello everyone again and didn’t it feel good to see the recent rain?
It is absolutely necessary and I am sure all our country readers will be delighted.
It has been good for the world at Callaghan Park and the racetrack is shaping up to be very vibrant and sparkling for the RJC’s big Christmas racing meeting on Saturday December 4th.
This will be the club’s last racing Saturday for the year and indications are that a sizeable crowd will be in attendance.
Kelly Suli, the club’s operations manager, is delighted with the bookings pouring in for the various entertainment packages planned for the day.
We still have a few reservations available for the Brookvale Union Christmas Party next Saturday.
This will feature live performances from the very popular Zac Cross Band which was a big hit at our St Peters Caulfield Cup Day races.
It includes a four hour drink package with a wide variety of drinks and of course the Brookvale Union Ginger Beer.
In addition, a large Australian barbecue will take place from 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Contact the club quickly to make your reservations or book through Rockhampton Tickets.
Almost forgotten, there will be fabulous prizes for the winners of the three categories of Fashion on the Field next Saturday,
Ramsay Pharmacy, our valued sponsors will be providing prizes to the winners for Best Dressed Woman, Best Dressed Man and Best Dressed Christmas Theme.
Last year’s winners looked very Christmas – if I can use such a word.
Hope to see you there as it promises to be a great day of first class racing and social fun.
Speaking of next Saturday at Callaghan Park, delighted to hear that North Queensland jockey Lacey Morrison will be attending the reunion and be available for riders.
Lacey 37, has had an interesting racing career and is now based in Tolga in North Queensland.
She was champion apprentice jockeys, successful trainer and later paid steward of Racing Queensland.
My research revealed that, at the age of 18 and 19, Lacey Morrison became the first woman to win the title of First Minister of the Downs and South West Champion Apprentice Jockeys in 2003 and then again in 2004.
Additionally, Lacey rode prolific winners in Brisbane and won the 2005 Mackay Cup over Awesome Warrior coached by George Osborne who was based in Rockhampton for a time.
Since making her comeback earlier this year after an eight-year hiatus and agreeing to ride the track for Tolga coach Sharlee D’Avila, Lacey has weathered a storm in North Queensland.
At the TAB races in Cairns last Tuesday, Lacey Morrison was in great shape with a winning brace after a recent treble at the TAB races in Townsville earlier this month.
Coaches requesting his services for hikes on Saturday, December 4 should check the RJC’s Facebook page for contact details.
Lead runner Justin Stanley won’t be competing in the Callaghan Park races next Saturday because he has a pretty big job at Doomben.
Justin will ride Olivia Cairns, coached by Mackay at Ammoudi Bay in the $ 105,000 Country Cups Challenge final (1600m).
The coach-jockey pair combine regularly as winners at Callaghan Park and in 2018 they were the winning duo with tough as the teak Mason’s Chance in the first Bush Battle in Brisbane.
Callaghan Park local coach Kristie Clark-Peoples will launch Hi Harry in the Country Cups Challenge and we wish him good luck after hosting the coveted rails draw.
In addition to this year’s bush battle, the rather healthy Brisbane (NZ) winner will also start in the Country Cups final, but has a big task in front of the 14 barrier and 60.5kg.
Rather Salubrious is trained in Dalby by former local boy David Reynolds and was recently the brilliant winner of the Yeppoon Cup.
The coinciding event at Doomben next Saturday is the $ 105,000 (1110m) Country Stampede Challenge Final.
Here CQ is represented by Raymond Williams, Ahwahneechee coached by Emerald well known to Rocky racing fans.
In addition, Clermont apprentice Emma Bell will ride the Boingo driven by Rodney Little in west-central Queensland, which won her race to advance to the final last week on the jockey track.
The Battle of the Bush and Country Cups Challenge and Country Stampede are brilliant concepts offering domestically trained horses and rare connection opportunities in Brisbane.
Racing Queensland is to be commended for the concepts.
Believe me, the relations relish the opportunity to represent their country and regional communities in the Big Smoke.
Aleysa’s Dream, the honest Carrara mare of Rockhampton trainer Nick Walsh, took a very nice second place finish at the big metropolitan races of Sunshine Coast last Saturday.
A prolific winner for the Milner family in Rockhampton, the 4-year-old mare ran three times on the Caloundra Corbould Park track for as many seconds.
As a co-owner of Easy Campese, I was very disappointed with their unplaced effort at the corresponding metropolitan meeting in Kembla, NSW last Saturday.
After a good first third a few weeks earlier, our expectations were high for last Saturday.
Either way, “Easy” lets us down and these things are happening, making it all the more reason to celebrate and enjoy your horse’s victory.
Sydney coach John Sargant will now give Easy Campese a three-week spell before returning to training in earnest.
The Rockhampton coaches were in brilliant shape at the Townsville Jockey Club Amateur Annuals last Sunday.
They won half of the program, with Clinton Taylor scoring three wins over her three starters.
Jared Wehlow won the rich amateur sprint with his 12-time winner Only Wanna Sing which is partly run by RJC committee members John Siganto and David Peel.
Jared approached the Amateur Cup when North Afrika finished third.
In recent times, the Callaghan Park coaches have been the most dominant at the Mackay and Townsville race meetings.
Be on the lookout for other Rocky-trained horses that could race and win at the TAB races in Townsville on Thursday, December 2nd.
Keep in mind that this is a roughly nine hour chariot trip for the Rocky Horses to race in Cluden, Townsville.
Coaches don’t make long trips to train and normally find their runners to be very competitive when they go there to run.
Just another reminder of the day of the Children’s Christmas Run at Callaghan Park on Friday December 17th.
It will feature an eight-race card, with the main event being the $ 32.5,000 (1200m) Magic Millions Country Cup qualifier.
The winner will earn automatic entry to the $ 250,000 (1200m) Country Cups Final at Magic Millions Golden Nugget Day in Gold Coast on Saturday January 8th.
I see where local trainer Shane Sigvart is likely to chase a spot with his best mare Chezblack who has won her last three races at Callaghan Park.
Incidentally, next year’s Magic Millions will take place two consecutive Saturdays at Aquis Park on the Gold Coast.
The $ 9.5 million race day plus bonuses will take place on the following Saturday, January 15.
Many Rockyites are already booked for vacations for the two days of racing and the following week from MM Sales.
It’s the readers again until next Saturday, so stay safe and have a good rowboat ride and meet at Callaghan Park next weekend for TAB Christmas Race Day.