By Rockhampton Jockey Club Ceo Ian Mill
Welcome back readers and yes what a week it has been.
Well last Saturday’s The Archer race meeting at Callaghan Park was nothing short of amazing.
Successful in every facet and congratulations to all concerned with the Rocky Amateurs for paving the way for such an outstanding event.
It certainly shone the spotlight on Rockhampton racing on a national scale.
Even bigger next year with chairman Bill Reid announcing the 2023 version of The Archer will be a stand-alone race day on Sunday, April 30.
I lost count last Saturday of just how many positive comments I received about the new look “big screen” being back in action in the Callaghan Park centerfield.
It was the focus of much attention particularly for the running of The Archer where owners and trainers watched the televised version of the race on the screen from the saddling enclosure.
Or should I say “the yard” which is the trendy way these days to describe the saddling enclosure?
Among them I noticed was Sydney trainer Adrian Bott in Rocky with his wife Jess for the occasion.
Much had been happening at Callaghan Park as the Rockhampton Jockey Club goes into preparations mode for the forthcoming Winter Racing Carnival.
Hard to believe I know but the Rockhampton Cup is only 56 days away on Saturday, July 9.
Unofficially the carnival kicks off on Saturday June 18th with the running of the Pink Diamond Girls Grammar Rockhampton race day.
Traditionally, the Tattersall’s Race Club was recognised as he official commencement of the Rockhampton Winter Racing Carnival.
This year that occurs again over two days on Friday, June 24 and Sunday 26.
Then the two big days – Rockhampton Newmarket meeting on Friday, July 8 and the Rocky Cup the following day Saturday, July 9.
The club is in the throws of organising big promotions for the RWRC and these in part should be announced in the coming fortnight.
What is important though is you save the above dates – 18/6, 24/6, 26/6, 8/7 and 9/7.
Saturday, June 18 marks the 20th anniversary of the Girls Grammar Race Day at Callaghan Park.
Organisers have promised to make the occasion something really special.
Part of the package costed at $200 per person in the Party Pavilion at Callaghan Park provides for the opportunity to win a Pink Diamond valued at $5000.
This has been provided by Rockhampton’s Phil Peel Jeweller.
Organisers from the Rockhampton Girls Grammar School have put together a spectacular agenda for the race day.
As well the Fashions on the Field is going to be as they say awesome.
All details are on the RJC Facebook Page which I thoroughly recommend you join and read.
For more information contact Vicki Jackson on 0419-791836 or Merin Weston on 0418.193162.
The club would also like to advise that A Days Graze Catering Company based at Yeppoon has been appointed as the new caterers at Callaghan Park.
A Days Graze will be in that role at all Rockhampton race days as well as all non-race day functions.
You can source more information about the company on www.adaysgraze
Come to think of readers, I am feeling a little hungry right now as I compose this column.
So, I should as it isn’t quite daylight yet.
I can’t get my head around the fact that horses from all parts of the world find their destiny in racing in Rockhampton.
Take for example the Jared Wehlow Rockhampton trained Akatino (GER).
Yes, GER stands for Germany and that is where the 5YO Akatino (Sidestep-Akatino (GER) commenced his racing career.
Lone behold Akatino (GER) made his racing debut at Baden Baden, Germany on June 2, 2019 when last of four in 2YO Maiden over 1000 metres.
Baden Baden according to Dr Google is 15,695KM away from Rockhampton.
Akatino had six starts in Germany winning at Mulheim and Hannover – no not Hangover, with the last of the two wins being on February 20, 2020.
Anyhow, Akatino next appeared at Warwick Farm, Sydney on October 9 that year when last of eight in a 1200 metres trial for Sydney trainer Matthew Smith.
He gave the dour Akatino 10 starts with the best results being two thirds over 1865m and 1880m at Newcastle.
First-up from a two months transfer to Jared Wehlow, the German finished a fighting nose second over 1600m at Callaghan Park to Boom Raider on April 9.
Akatino has won his two subsequent starts over 1800m at Mackay with the most recent being last Tuesday.
The way he is shaping, Akatino partly owned by Jared Wehlow and Mark Withers is shaping as a northern Cups contender.
It’s a safe bet that connections are eyeing off the Mackay Cup (2000m) run on Saturday, July 23 with the 1600 metres of the Tatt’s Cup at Callaghan Park on June 26 a possible lead-up.
Last year the Wehlow stable raced another import Fly For Yulong (IRE) under similar ownership and that flashy grey did his early racing in Ireland before lobbing at Lindsay Park, Victoria,
As I say it is quite astonishing just where horses end up these days with international travel for them being accessible but yes expensive.
The mind boggles.
Jared has a strong team of horses in training presently.
He won three barrier trial heats at Callaghan Park last Monday with Only Wanna Sing, Sabor and Whakamiharo all ridden by Nathan Day.
Similarly, Clinton Taylor produced three trial winners in Betterdeel, Cacao and Shaluna with Brisbane’s Justin Stanley doing the honours.
Senior trainer John O’Sing and young apprentice Tahlia Fenlon teamed-up to win with In Close Reach and She’s Out There during the morning trial heats.
Not forgetting on behalf of the RJC and all in racing, I would like to record our thoughts are with local jockey Ash Butler who was seriously injured in Rockhampton last Saturday evening.
We all trust for a speedy recovery for you Ash.
Reminding early bird Saturday (May 14) readers of this column (yes there are plenty from what I can gather) the RJC race again at Callaghan Park this afternoon.
If you can’t make it then how about next Thursday, May 19 when the club will hold an eight race TAB program.
Well, I’ve suffering from hunger pangs now after researching the website of the club’s new caterers so I’m off for a hearty breakfast.
Yours in racing Ian Mill.