2YO Classic mystery deepens/Rocky Racing News
By Darryn Nufer
THE puzzle that is Rockhampton’s richest race was meant to start taking shape last Saturday but instead all of the pieces have been scrambled.
Two weeks out from the 2018 Capricornia Yearling Sale 2YO Classic (1200m) and just who should hold race favouritism is anyone’s guess.
Jamie McConachy’s boom filly Brook’s Pleasure (Hinchinbrook – Startling Pleasure) was rolled as an odds-on favourite at Callaghan Park last Saturday in her final hit-out before the April 7 Classic.
Clouding things further both Legal Ties and Shenron who finished ahead of Brook’s Pleasure are Magic Millions products and not in contention for the Classic while Capricornia sales graduate, Tom Button’s Wicked Grimshaw (Wicked Style (USA) – Harley Ma), finished fourth beaten 7.85 lengths.
Also last Saturday, Liam Birchley’s Capricornia graduate Wicked Ways (Wicked Style (USA) – Camphor) wasn’t disgraced running seventh, beaten just under five lengths, in the $250,000 QTIS 2YO Jewel (1200m) at the Gold Coast.
While on the surface Brook’s Pleasure’s third placing appeared a let-down, her performance wasn’t that bad considering she was four weeks between runs and she was only beaten 2.1 lengths in good time (1:03.18) over the 1100m.
Statistically only one two-year-old race over that trip has been won in quicker time in the past four years at Callaghan Park and that was by the star juvenile of 2014 in Executed – a horse we were comparing Brook’s Pleasure to (on times) after her blistering debut win last month.
The query – on what we saw last Saturday will Brook’s Pleasure run a strong 1200m which is the Classic distance?
On Wicked Grimshaw, before last Saturday’s failure all of the talk out of the Button Barn was that he was their king-pin juvenile for the Classic.
That opinion may change if stablemate Gypsy Toff (Toorak Toff – Aadelaidee) runs well at Doomben today.
While weather will play a large hand in the fate of the race meeting, Button was on the road with Gypsy Toff on Thursday morning and was committed to running her in today’s $122,500 QTIS 2YO Handicap (1050m).
The Button runner creeping under the Classic radar to some degree is Ruby Georgie (Sidereus – Little Pin Up Girl (NZ)) who hasn’t missed a place in four starts which includes two victories.
There’s also a sense of timing about Mick Attard’s Capricornia graduate Gohan (Carrara – Fine Shakira) who won on debut at Rocky earlier this month and in that victory he was very green and looked like he had scope for improvement.
How exciting is this time of year for racing in Rocky?
Bring on the Capricornia Yearling Sale Carnival from April 6-8.
Apprentice jockey Zoe White is set to return home to Rockhampton following a brief stint in Brisbane.
White’s stay with the powerful Tony Gollan yard was short-lived before she switched to trainers Billy and Dale Healey at the Sunshine Coast.
White will link back up with her original master Tim Cook at Rocky.
Even though White was not away for long the local riding landscape has changed a fair bit and with apprentices Elyce Smith and Lachlan Dodds firing on all cylinders, she will have her work cut out to return to the top of the tree.
Star Rocky filly, Tony McMahon’s Paradis Imperial, will continue her racing career in Victoria under the care of trainer Patrick Payne.
A winner of nine of her 21 starts, the three-year-old earner of upwards of $360,000 has been difficult to place in Queensland because of her success and it will be interesting to see how she measures up in southern grade.
Central Queensland buyers were active at this week’s Magic Millions March Yearling Sale on the Gold Coast.
No less than 15 yearlings were purchased by CQ interests including Lot 62, a So You Think filly out of Milady Clang, for $100,000.
That filly will be syndicated by the Rocky-based Livinadream Racing Syndicates and associates.
For mine, there’s no tougher horse racing in Rockhampton than Ricky Vale’s Court Clown (pictured).
The eight-year-old gelding scored his 14th career victory at Callaghan Park last Saturday – 13 of those career wins have been for trainer Vale.
What a marvel Court Clown is.
Every stable would love to have one of him.
Tonight more than 300 people will converge on Callaghan Park for the third annual Club 150 Gala Ball under the stars trackside.
All Club 150 members will go into the draw for this year’s Rocky Cup naming rights with the winner of that privilege revealed tonight.