Coome Racing take out first and second place in Race One at Callaghan Park on December 18.
Coome Racing take out first and second place in Race One at Callaghan Park on December 18.

Big line-up: Racing and markets to light up Callaghan Park

The ever-changing roles of racecourses to diversify and open other revenue streams apart from just race meetings comes into play at Callaghan Park, Rockhampton this weekend.

Callaghan Park in recent years has become an integral venue for community events ranging from boat shows, conventions and parties of all sorts as well as hosting aspects of the Rockhampton Show.

With no disrespect intended, it has also played host to the “Matches and Dispatches” – more plainly known as the celebrations of weddings and funerals.

In keeping with tradition that has been established at Callaghan Park since 1898, the thoroughbreds will there in a six-race card on Saturday to commence at 1.22pm.

Come early Sunday morning around 6am, Callaghan Park will be the venue for the grand opening of the new Rocky Racecourse Markets.

The Kern Arcade car park in Rockhampton’s CDB had been the home of the weekly Sunday morning iconic markets for donkeys’ years but its recent closure brought about relocation.

The Rockhampton Jockey Club’s CEO Tony Fenlon reached out to organisers of the markets offering Callaghan Park as an alternative,

“We feel it is a most suitable location for the Sunday Markets. The racecourse has the facilities including unlimited parking and so much more to offer. We did not want to see these markets lost to the community and I am very pleased to see them at Callaghan Park from Sunday onwards,” Fenlon said.

The enterprising CEO and his highly talented functions co-ordinator Kelly Suli have also recognised the opportunity for patrons and vendors to breakfast-out at Callaghan Park.

“We will be offering a big and I mean big breakfast in the CQARC air-conditioned lounge with table seating from $20 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. As well there will be a kiosk opened down stairs offering basic food lines,” Fenlon said.

Racegoers at Saturday’s meeting will be served a smorgasbord of talent in the racing department.

The highly successful combination of local trainer Clinton Taylor and Brisbane jockey Justin Stanley combine with a talented juvenile in the QTIS 2YO Maiden (1050m).

Their charge is Attackabeel, one of 11 debutants in the 12-horse field.

Stanley stayed on in Rockhampton recently to ride Attackabeel in a 900 metres barrier trial which it won convincingly in fast time.

A smart quartet of gallopers in Mr Attitude, Mr Phenomenal, Only Wanna Sing and Brad will make the running of the Sunday Morning Big Breakfast Open Handicap (1100m) a most interesting contest.

Star Rockhampton galloper Marway, the RJC’s Horse of the Year in 2019, will make his eagerly awaited comeback to racing at Warwick Farm, Sydney on Monday.

Marway was sent south in mid-2020 after local trainer John O’Sing moulded him into quite a talent.

He is now trained at Randwick by Mark Newnham and recently won a Sydney barrier trial in fast fashion and with aplomb.

At Townsville’s TAB races on Wednesday, Capricornia Yearling Sale graduate Gossiping Girl quickly repaid her $14K purchase price by winning the QTIS 2YO Maiden (1000m).

A daughter of Spill The Beans and trained by Georgie Holt in Townsville, Gossiping Girl was too smart for her rivals in the $36K event.

Gossiping Girl is raced by Peter Malpass and Ross Donovan who has close ties with Central

Queensland racing.

“We have had a lot of luck with yearlings we have purchased from the Capricornia Sale,” Donovan said.

This years CYS will be held at the Rockhampton Showgrounds on Sunday, April 11 and follows two huge days of racing at Callaghan Park.

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