Jockey tries luck down south with Sunshine Coast trainer
RACING: Jockey Adrian Coome, who boasts the best winning strike rate of any rider in Queensland and arguably Australia, left his Mackay base yesterday to link-up with multiple Mackay-premiership winning trainer Stuart Kendrick at Corbould Park on the Sunshine Coast.
Since moving to Mackay from Rockhampton almost two seasons ago to ride for Kendrick, the gifted Coome has dominated the riding ranks there as well as in Rockhampton where he has won the past two premierships.
Disillusioned by Racing Queensland Limited's decision to strip the Mackay Turf Club of at least four TAB race dates next season, Kendrick moved his entire stable of 20 horses to Corbould Park last month.
Fittingly Delago Raider, the only horse he started at Mackay's races last Tuesday, won with Coome up.
This brought the former Rockhampton-based Coome's winning tally for the 2012/13 racing season to 74 winners placing him in second behind Brisbane's Michael Cahill (86 winners) in the current Queensland's jockey's premiership ranking.
However, Coome has a remarkable winning strike rate of 29% whereas Cahill's is at 18%.
It is quite possible that Coome has the best winning strike rate in Australia.
Coome was quite philosophical and modest about his move to the Sunshine Coast.
"I may as well give it a go as Stuart has some smart horses among his team including the very good filly Doubtfilly who is back in work now. I still intend to service the race meetings at Rocky, Mackay and Townsville. It would be good to get established around the Sunshine Coast and Brisbane as there are so many race meetings down there. If I don't make a go of it I can always come back up here (Central Queensland)," Coome said.
Tuesday's Mackay meeting was remarkable from a track rating perspective.
The new Strathayr turf track was deluged by 275mm of rain in the six days preceding the meet yet it was only rated as a Dead 4 and winners posted brilliant times and the track was barely marked after the seven-race card.
There are persistent rumours in the north that now Townsville's much-maligned turf track at Cluden will be transformed into a Strathayr track similar to that of Mackay.
Meanwhile, training is gradually returning to normal at the Rockhampton Jockey Club's Callaghan Park racecourse.
Officials are confident the TAB race meeting scheduled by the Rockhampton Jockey Club for Thursday, February 28 will proceed at the Rockhampton course.
Bluff-Blackwater Amateur Race Club officials have been buoyed by a bumper entry of 48 horses for the race meeting scheduled for the Bluff racetrack this coming Saturday.
"We are planning for a big day. Bookmakers Vince Aspinall and Rob Crow have donated betting vouchers to be distributed during the afternoon. As well the club is offering a $500 bonus to the trainer who prepares three winners which must include first in the Robbie Haynes Memorial Open Handicap," spokesman Scott Power said.