Chance to farewell champion
The best race horse to ever come out of Rockhampton, Our Boy Malachi, will make a swansong appearance at the Callaghan Park race meeting on Saturday, December 10.
In a coup for the Rockhampton Jockey Club, the pin-up galloper will parade between the first two races and on-course patrons will also have an opportunity to get their photographs taken with the "Rockhampton Rocket”.
Recently retired with a career record of 19 wins from 27 starts, the eight-year-old gelding's CV includes five Sydney victories - at Group 2 and Group 3 level along with multiple Listed successes.
Our Boy Malachi also won the Group 2 Caulfield Sprint (1000m) in October before his subsequent career-ending run in the Group 1 Darley Classic (1200m) at Flemington when he bled for a second time.
The sprinter, who won back-to-back Rockhampton Newmarkets in 2013 and 2014, amassed $946,400 in prize money during his stellar career and was placed in the Group 1 BTC Cup (1200m) at Doomben in 2015.
Our Boy Malachi will see out his days at managing owner Ross Donovan's Townsville property and arrived there on Wednesday.
"He is the people's horse and I always said that I would bring him back to Rockhampton to say goodbye to his loyal followers,” Ross said.
One can't help but think that's exactly what Ross's brother, the late Col Donovan, who bred Our Boy Malachi, would have said.
Rockhampton's premier trainer Tom Button is upbeat about the latest acquisition to his barn.
Button this week purchased the five-year-old tried galloper Heza Chaka (NZ) who is a full brother to his successful Rocky sprinter Lansdowne Road (NZ) being by successful stallion Pins from the dam Ugachaka (NZ).
Heza Chaka, a two-time winner from just 13 starts, was previously raced in Victoria by a group including Simon O'Donnell's OTI Syndicate and trained at Warrnambool by Matthew Williams.
Button has had a splendid record of producing Lansdowne Road fresh to win races and it will be interesting to see if he can do the same with "little brother”.
A horse for punters to jot down in their black books is the Ricky Vale-trained Futureal who, despite a wide alley, ran a bottler second at her Central Queensland debut at Callaghan Park on Tuesday.
Purchased as a tried horse from New South Wales by Bill and Di Ouston's Springton Park Racing, the four-year-old mare is well bred being by gun sire Medaglia D'oro (USA) from the Encosta de Lago mare Gamble.
Futureal is a half-sister to Chris Waller's Madame Moustache (Hinchinbrook - Gamble) who won the $100,000 Victory Vein Plate (1000m) for two-year-olds at Randwick last month at just her second race start.
If pedigree and last Tuesday's effort are any guide, the Oustons are certain to get a return on the $16,000 they paid for Futureal.
Aside from the notable riding efforts of Scott Sheargold (four winners), Zoe White (two) and a John Wigginton training treble, the other highlight from racing at headquarters this week was the performance of the Peter Fleming-trained Tinto Elemento in a crack three-year-old race.
The Capricornia Yearling Sale graduate has now won five of her eight starts and more than $100,000 in prize money - not bad for a filly who was passed in for $9000 at the local sale.
Seeing the excitement on the faces of Fleming's daughters Lashell, 11, and Allira, 8, as they celebrated with a cold can of Pasito and Sprite respectively in the Winners' Room was just what racing everywhere needs to encourage the next generation to develop an interest in the industry.
The next Rockhampton race meeting on Tuesday will see the return of the on-course price fluctuations service, allowing punters to monitor "market movers” at racetracks across Australia.