Jockeys are short and it?s a worry

CENTRAL Queensland's cronic shortage of jockeys for non-TAB race meetings reared its ugly head at Thangool races on Saturday when only nine riders were available.

The $4000 Maiden Plate attracted a 12 horse field but trainers could only muster 10 jockeys which brought about two scratchings on race morning.

This was exacerbated when visiting apprentice Van Beccum sustained a leg injury after her mount Craiglera Scene became cast in the barriers and was a late scratching from the Class 3 Plate (1075m).

As a consequence of no other rider being available, Gympie trainer Col Williamson had to scratch his runner Craiglea Music from the Maiden (800m) thus reducing the race to nine horses from the original 12.

Female riders continued the exploits of their counterparts in South-East Queensland when they shared the program of four winners.

Rockhampton apprentice Donna Carrigg rode a treble through Senart, Little Ms Gorgeous and Kid Charlemagne while Leeanne McCoy won on Chinchilla visitor Condy's Crystal.

At Moranbah races, Rockhampton trainer Dave Vale provided three placegetters through Lousiville Lip, Raw Ability and Chief Harmony while his other three starters finished rearwardly.

The Capricornia jockey shortage meant Vale had to engage Mackay jockeys for his team.

With 116 horses entered for tomorrow's TAB races at Callaghan Park, the Rockhampton Jockey Club looks like staging its best meeting of 2006 to date.

The clash of Promising Joy, Rosilee Miss and possibly the ultra-attractively weighted Highest Power (55.5kg) in the $7700 Open Handicap (1400m) looks like one of the afternoon's highlights.

Similarly, the $7700 Special Conditions (1000m) is a puzzling race with the likes of Bikini Bottom, Kouneli, Sabre Sonic, Crystal Lane, Cindy Kate, Monte Bianco and Startacus billed to clash.

John Wigginton's in-form Rockhampton trained mare She's Decent chases more prizemoney in the $40,000 2MWY (1615m) at Doomben on Saturday.

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