Kelvin Wharton on Paris Boy (far left) comes up on the inside to win the big race at Callaghan Park yesterday.
Kelvin Wharton on Paris Boy (far left) comes up on the inside to win the big race at Callaghan Park yesterday. CHRIS ISON

Craiglea couple claim four wins

CABOOLTURE'S Stan and Marilyn Johnson, who conduct the Craiglea Stud, scooped the pool on the opening day of the new turf track at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park racecourse yesterday

Craiglea has produced at least 100 horses bearing that moniker and yesterday they led in four winners.

Naturally, the couple was in awe of the new turf track which was the consensus among the 1300 people on course.

The Johnsons, through their trainers Peter Fleming (Sunshine Coast) and Bevan Johnson (Tambo), won with Space Gal (Kelvin Wharton, $4.20); Craiglea Gee Tee (Kazuki Mizobe, $1.90); Craiglea Falcon ($5.50) and Craiglea Blondie ($4.50) – the latter pair both ridden by Wharton.

Better still, in the QTIS 600 2YO Handicap (970m) they produced the first four horses – Craiglea Gee Tee, Craiglea Edge, Craiglea Rapper and Craiglea Tina scooping the $28,000 prizemoney pool.

“We love coming to Rocky to race. We came here for the sand track meetings as well. This new track is a beauty,” Stan Johnson said.

Why wouldn’t they?

All told yesterday, Stan and Marilyn and their partners won $47,500 in prizemoney to add to the $56,500 their Craiglea horses won at Callaghan Park and Mackay in the previous 19 days.

Space Gal is part-owned by Brendan Parnell an executive of SKY Channel in Sydney.

Immediately after the race, Queensland Racing Limited’s Paul Brennan rang Parnell from Callaghan Park to gauge how the new turf track came up on the live race broadcast.

“Brendan said the track looked fantastic,” Brennan said.

Leading southern rider Glen Colless and Garry Baker echoed those sentiments about the new racing surface.

“It has raced very well and the horses haven’t really marked it. In a couple of months after it consolidates, it will be better still,” Colless reported.

Baker said: “The track is very good. About two months away from being perfect. However, I hope they don’t get heavy rain soon and race on it as that would cause damage.”

Punters were damaged en mass in quite a few races, including the Maiden Plate (970m) won by Ron and Bev White and Maureen Olive’s Commands colt Ahnighito which scored first-up in eight months at the lucrative odds of $15 but paying $27.60 on UNITAB.

“I gave him a good chance as he had been placed some time back behind No Name in a trial. He has always shown something,” winning trainer Pat Camilleri said.

Brisbane jockey Kelvin Wharton made it four winners for the afternoon when the Mark Cochrane, Mackay-trained Paris Boy ($13.00) beat Flying Test ($15.00) and Red Story $4.80 in the $20,000 Open Cup (1300m).

Boom sprinter and $1.70 favourite Gobou was taken-on in the lead by Red Story and the big horse faded in the straight to finish an uncustomary sixth.



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