Enthusiastic race club calls public to support amateurs

RACING: Buoyed by the confirmation and assurance from Queensland Racing Limited's Paul Brennan that racing will go ahead for the glitzy Rocky Amateurs feature Saturday meeting planned for Callaghan Park on October 3, club spokesman John Day has called for strong support from the racing industry and public.

“That was just the news we wanted to hear. The club is calling for the support and backing of the industry and racing people in general to get along to the Saturday meeting at Callaghan Park. We have big things planned,” Day said.

He said the Rocky Amateurs was still coming to grips with the effects of the loss of the 2007 two-day carnival brought about by the devastating equine influenza outbreak.

“Then last year wasn't the best either as it was a matter of just getting back on our feet. We struggled so that is why we want everyone to get behind the club over our two meetings in a fortnight,” Day said.

In a break from convention that has been ongoing since the restart of racing by the CQARC in 1934, this year will be the first when one of the two days of racing is staged outside Callaghan Park.

“Our first day, the big nine-race TAB program on Friday, October 2, will be run at Yeppoon on the turf track. Actually, it will provide some of the club's country members probably their first opportunity to go racing on the coast at Keppel Park. We have transferred our $25,000 feature races the Cup and Bracelet to Yeppoon for that day,” Day said.

He said a free courtesy coach would convey Rockhampton punters to Yeppoon leaving at 11am and returning at 5.15pm.

The Saturday program at Callaghan Park features The Morning Bulletin Chairman's Luncheon, scheduled for the Grandstand Lounge.

“We invite all club members, sponsors and guests to join with us at this function. Extra tickets are available to non-members at $85 a single and $150 a double,” Day said.

It wouldn't be Rocky Amateurs Saturday without the glamour and charisma generated by the fabulous Fashions of The Field which this year boasts some $4000 in prizes.

“Categories are Classic (over 30), Contemporary (under 30) and Millinery. The club's special guest judge will be Miss Universe Australia 2007 Kimberley Busteed.

Grand supporters of charity organisations, the $10 individual entry fee for the “Fashions” will be donated to the Capricorn Helicopter Rescue Service.

Apart from a prizemoney pool of almost $170,000 on offer over the two days, the CQARC offers another temptation for owners and trainers - alluring trophies to the winners of each of the 14 races.

“Once again the trophies are beauties this year and I'd love to have a horse good enough to win one,” Day said.

In keep with the tradition of “meeting and greeting”, a function with that ethos opens the carnival at Max and Kathy Brown's Kalka Palms Hotel/Motel in Rockhampton at 6.30pm on Thursday, October 1.

“I can only reiterate, the races are on in Rocky today fortnight so get along, not only for a fun day's racing, but have a bo peep at what is taking place with the $6 million track project at Callaghan Park. It is all good,” Day said.

That was the news we wanted to hear

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