Diamond day for trainer Coome, jockey Whiteley
HORSE RACING: In horse racing any trainer or jockey will tell you that some days are diamonds and some days are stones.
For Rockhampton trainer Adrian Coome and Gold Coast journeyman jockey Chris Whiteley, Saturday’s races at Callaghan Park, Rockhampton, turned out to be a diamond day for both.
Coome, Rockhampton’s leading trainer, landed three winners while Whiteley had a “pearler”, booting home no fewer than four.
They combined with Quidni ($1.55) in the Class 3 (1600m) and teamed-up again with Miraculous ($7.50) in the Class 2 (1200m).
Earlier during the seven-race TAB card, Coome’s Windchill (Beau-Dene Appo, $5.00) won the Maiden (1400m) from favourite Scandina ($3.60).
Whiteley also combined with Sunshine Coast trainer Darry Hansen with Bring It Home Pop ($2.00) who made a one-act affair of the Open Handicap (1050m), romping in by four lengths.
That win took the classy Rothesay geldings prize haul to $416,125 from five wins with the majority of that coming from four rich QTIS bonus races in Brisbane (2) and the Sunshine Coast (2) in 2016 and 2017.
Whiteley’s other winner was courtesy of trainer Kerrod Smyth’s Applicant ($7.00) which ran away from equal favourite Algeroba (Zoe White, $3.70) to take out the RB 0-55 Handicap (1050m).
Whiteley has been dividing his time between his Gold Coast home and a Townsville base in recent months since electing to ride the northern circuit when COVID-19 protocols were introduced in March.
During the previous 15 plus days including Saturday, Whiteley had ridden at Cairns (9/7); Townsville (14/7); Rockhampton (17/7); Gold Coast (18/7); Mackay (21/7); Townsville (23/7).
From those 32 rides he recorded seven winners.
“I have been driving to all the meetings. I bought a car in April and it had done 26,000km and now it is up to 50,000,” Whiteley said.
“I’ve seen plenty of countryside, that’s for sure. However, it is much cheaper than the planes which have been unavailable anyhow and it has proven worthwhile.”
However, before getting ready to drive back to the Gold Coast on Saturday night, Whiteley said he was looking forward to regular flights north becoming available almost immediately.
That’s understandable or otherwise Chris faces a long 1776km drive to Cairns races for Tuesday’s TAB card where he holds four bookings.
It was at Cairns where Whiteley last rode four winners in April, an achievement he has done about 12 times in a career, with his winners closing in on the 1500 mark.
Young Rockhampton trainer Chris Attard’s career went steamrolling further ahead when his latest ARES Racing purchase Danawi (Sonja Wiseman, $1.95) won the BM 69 Handicap (1300m).
Through the backing of successful Townsville businessman John Horan, the Attard stable has acquired a well performed team of southern tried horses having outlaid over $200K to do so in recent months.
“I have 11 in training in Rockhampton with more coming. We hope to get a stable of horses in Brisbane and Danawi is likely to have his next start down there,” Attard said.
A son of all conquering stallion Exceed and Excel, Danawi had won the GR 3 Ming Dynasty Quality (1500m) at Rosehill in 2018 as well as being GR 3 placed at Randwick.
With the benefit of hindsight, it made Danawi look a good thing when he bobbed up at Callaghan Park last Saturday,
However, spare a thought for trainer Jim Rundle as his runner-up Van Winkle recorded his 12th second when beaten by Danawi by just 0.75 lengths.
Saturday’s other Callaghan Park winner was the John Wigginton Better Than Ready 2YO gelding Aerial Combat (Marnu Potgieter, $4.40) which scored a six lengths win in the $27K QTIS 2YO Maiden (1200m).
It was champion young stallion Better Than Ready’s 17th individual 2YO winner for the current season.
In some way the win would have eased the disappointment over stablemate Better Reflection coming in 17 lengths last on a heavy Doomben track on Saturday.
Better Reflection was dropped off at a southern spelling facility on the way back from Brisbane yesterday.
“She is fine,” he said. “The track was bottomless and I don’t know if it was that or the addition of a tongue tie as she did not want to go into the enclosure. She had trialled well at Rocky and worked in it OK.”