Christmas raceday almost here

The Christmas raceday is expected to draw a massive crowd.

By Rockhampton Jockey Club CEO Ian Mill

Hello again all and hasn’t it been good to see the recent rain?

Badly needed and I am sure all our country readers will be elated.

It has done the world of good at Callaghan Park and the racecourse is looking very vibrant and sparkling for the RJC’s big Christmas race meeting next Saturday, December 4.

It will be the club’s last Saturday race day for the year and indications are that a sizeable crowd will be in attendance.

Kelly Suli, the club’s operations manager is elated with the bookings that have been pouring in for the various entertainment packages planned for the day.

We still have some bookings available for the Brookvale Union Christmas Party next Saturday.

This will feature live entertainment from the very popular Zac Cross Band which was a big hit at our St Peters Caulfield Cup Day races.

It includes a four hours drink package with a wide variety of drinks and of course Brookvale Union Ginger Beer.

As well a big Aussie BBQ will run from 12pm until 4pm.

Contact the club quickly to make your bookings or book through Rockhampton Tickets.

Almost forgot, there will be some fabulous prizes for winners of the three categories of Fashion on the Field next Saturday,

Ramsay Pharmacy, our treasured sponsors will provide prizes for the winners of Best Dressed Lady, Best Dress Man and Best Dressed Christmas Theme.

Last year’s winners on the day looked very Christmasee – 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 enjoyment.

Speaking of next Saturday at Callaghan Park delighted to hear that North Queensland jockey Lacey Morrison will be riding at the meeting and is available for mounts.

Lacey 37, has had an interesting racing career and she is now based at Tolga in North Queensland.

She was a champion apprentice jockey, successful trainer and later a stipendiary steward with Racing Queensland.

My research uncovered that as an 18 and 19YO, Lacey Morrison became the first female to win the Downs and South West champion apprentice jockey premiership in 2003 and again in 2004.

As well Lacey rode prolific winners in Brisbane and won the 2005 Mackay Cup on Awesome Warrior trained by George Osborne who was Rockhampton based for quite some time.

Since making her comeback earlier this year after an eight years break and agreeing to ride some trackwork for Tolga trainer Sharlee D’Avila, Lacey has been riding up a storm in North Queensland.

At the Cairns TAB races last Tuesday, Lacey Morrison was in fine form riding a winning double after a recent treble of winners at Townsville TAB races earlier this month.

Trainers seeking her services for rides on Saturday, December 4 should consult the RJC Facebook page for contact details.

Leading rider Justin Stanley won’t be in action at Callaghan Park races next Saturday as he has a rather important assignment at Doomben.

Justin will be riding the Olivia Cairns, Mackay trained Ammoudi Bay in the $105K Final of the Country Cups Challenge (1600m).

The trainer-jockey pair regularly combine as winners at Callaghan Park and back in 2018 they were the winning duo with tough as teak gelding Mason’s Chance in the inaugural Battle of the Bush in Brisbane.

Local Callaghan Park trainer Kristie Clark-Peoples will start Hi Harry in the Country Cups Challenge and we wish her good luck after coming up with the coveted rails draw.

As well this year’s Battle of the Bush, Brisbane winner Rather Salubrious (NZ) will also start in the Country Cups Final but has a big task ahead from barrier 14 and 60.5kg.

Rather Salubrious is trained at Dalby by former local lad David Reynolds and was the recent brilliant winner of the Yeppoon Cup.

The coinciding feature at Doomben next Saturday is the $105K Country Stampede Challenge Final (1110m).

Here CQ is represented by Raymond Williams, Emerald trained Ahwahneechee well known to Rocky racegoers.

As well Clermont apprentice Emma Bell will ride the Rodney Little, Central Western Queensland trained Boingo which won its heat to get into the final just last week at the jockey’s home track.

The Battle of the Bush and Country Cups Challenge and Country Stampede are brilliant concepts providing country trained horses and connections rare opportunities in Brisbane.

Racing Queensland should be congratulated for the concepts.

Believe you me connections relish the opportunity to represent their country and regional communities in the Big Smoke.

Rockhampton trainer Nick Walsh’s honest Carrara mare Aleysa’s Dream ran a very fine second at the big metropolitan status Sunshine Coast races last Saturday.

A prolific winner for the Milner family in Rockhampton, the 4YO mare has raced on three occasions at the Caloundra Corbould Park track for as many seconds.

As a part-owner of Easy Campese, I was very disappointed with his unplaced effort at the corresponding metropolitan meeting at Kembla in NSW last Saturday.

After a strong first-up third a few weeks earlier our expectations were high for last Saturday.

Anyhow “Easy” let us down and these things happen which makes it all the more reason to celebrate and enjoy when your horse wins.

Sydney trainer John Sargant is now going to give Easy Campese a three weeks spell before getting serious with his training again.

Rockhampton trainers were in brilliant form at the Townsville Jockey Club Amateur Annuals last Sunday.

They won half the program with Clinton Taylor taking home three wins from his three starters.

Jared Wehlow won the rich Amateur Sprint with his 12 times winner Only Wanna Sing which is part raced by RJC committee members John Siganto and David Peel.

Jared went close in the Amateur Cup when North Afrika finished third.

In recent times the Callaghan Park trainers have been most dominant at Mackay and Townsville race meetings.

Look out for more Rocky trained horses possibly racing and winning at the Townsville TAB races next Thursday, December 2.

Remember it is an approximate nine hours float trip for Rocky horses to race at Cluden, Townsville.

Trainers don’t make the long drive for practice and normally they consider their runners to be very competitive when they go there to race.

Just another reminder of the Kid’s Christmas Race Day at Callaghan Park on Friday, December 17.

It will feature an eight-race card with the main event being the $32.5K Magic Millions Country Cup Qualifier (1200m).

The winner gains automatic entry for the $250K Country Cups Final (1200m) on Magic Millions Golden Nugget Day at the Gold Coast on Saturday, January 8.

I see where local trainer Shane Sigvart is likely to chase a spot with his top mare Chezblack which has won her past three races at Callaghan Park.

Incidentally, the Magic Millions next year will race two consecutive Saturdays at Aquis Park on the Gold Coast.

The $9.5M plus bonuses feature race day will be run on the following Saturday, January 15.

Many Rockyites are already booked in for holidays for the two race days and the following week of MM Sales.

That’s it again readers until next Saturday so stay safe and good punting and get on over to Callaghan Park next weekend for the Christmas TAB race day.