Bat A Kat, pictured winning at Callaghan Park earlier this month, well placed in Friday’s $65K Mackay Newmarket Handicap (1300m).
Bat A Kat, pictured winning at Callaghan Park earlier this month, well placed in Friday’s $65K Mackay Newmarket Handicap (1300m).

Bat A Kat well placed for Mackay’s major sprint

Gifted comeback sprinter, the Mark Lehmann-trained Bat A Kat, looks superbly placed in Friday’s $65K Mackay Newmarket Handicap (1300m).

One of 22 entries for Mackay’s feature sprint, Bat A Kat has been weighted with the bulk of the nominations on 55kg.

This is a drop of 3.5kg on the handicap Bat A Kat carried to victory in a Rockhampton sprint over 1200m at his first start back in 20 months on July 7.

Lehmann said that Bat A Kat, which had undergone dual knee surgery as well as treatment for a troubled tendon during his long absence from racing, had done well since the sterling first-up win.

“He’s done well and I would think he would have to be some sort of very good chance in the race,” the conservative Lehmann said.

Jockey Les Tilley will ride Bat a Kat in the Newmarket.

Topweight is Inquiry on 61.5kg and trainer Jared Wehlow is prepared to overlook the talented Listed Race Brisbane winner’s last start unplaced effort in the Rockhampton Newmarket.

In that race, Inquiry and Master Jamie set the pace before both faded in the straight with Inquiry coming in sixth.

“I’m prepared to forgive him (Inquiry) for that run. They both went too hard too early,” Wehlow said.

In hindsight, the effort of Inquiry was sound as he did shoulder the burden of 61.5kg from a very wide barrier draw.

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Ryan Wiggins, the regular rider of Inquiry, has retained the ride.

Rockhampton trainer Kevin Hansen’s Casino Thoughts, a bold second to Doctor Zous in the Rocky Newmarket, is also heading to Mackay for its major sprint.

Wehlow will also be represented by topweight with 60kg in Balboa Rocks in Friday’s $85K Mackay Cup (2000m).

Rockhampton stables are represented by 50 horses among the 161 entries for Mackay.

Meanwhile, Rockhampton trainer Jim O’Shea plans to head south to Eagle Farm on Saturday with his pair of quality horses in Barachiel and Spring Creek.

Barachiel, runner-up in the recent Rockhampton Cup (1600m) to Absolut Artie, has been allocated 55kg in a $75K BR 84 Handicap (1400m).

Spring Creek, a cheeky fourth in the Rockhampton Newmarket, has equal topweight of 60kg in a No Metropolitan Win Fillies and Mares Handicap (1200m).

“Providing they draw reasonably well, both horses will be going,” O’Shea said late yesterday.

Chris Whiteley, who holds a strong affiliation with both horses, will ride the pair at Eagle Farm.

Whiteley rode four winners at Rockhampton races last Saturday and was in the money at Cairns TAB races yesterday.

On Monday, Cairns stewards suspended Whiteley for two months over his ride on Silent Order in an Open Handicap there on June 22.

Whiteley has appealed the decision, seeking an internal review with QRIC which will allow him to continue riding until that matter has been resolved and if necessary, he can then appeal to QCAT.

Trainer Ricky Vale has reported Absolut Artie has progressed well after his courageous Rockhampton Cup win and is likely to next contest a restricted class race over 1400m in Brisbane in mid-August.



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