Jockey back on track in Rocky with five rides
Jockey Les “Bubba” Tilley will end an 11-week absence from race riding in Rockhampton when he hits the track at Callaghan Park races on Tuesday with five rides.
With the disruption resulting in a frenetic year of racing in 2020 because of the dreaded COVID-19, Tilley - once a regular at Rockhampton meetings - has been concentrating on south-east Queensland venues.
Over the years, some career highlights that have netted Tilley almost 500 winners have taken place for the 26 year old lovable larrikin of a jockey at Callaghan Park racecourse.
These have included winning the 150th Rockhampton Gold Cup (1600m) in 2018 on Mamselle Corday, as well as string of races on grand sprinter Master Jamie.
In the ever-changing landscape in the jockeying ranks which service Rockhampton mid-week TAB meetings, newcomers have flown in from the south, making it much more competitive in getting rides.
For example, Queensland’s most winningest jockey Justin Stanley invariably was used to gaining full books of rides at Callaghan Park but on Tuesday he has just five rides.
Similarly, the Gold Coast-based Chris Whitely was always busy at Rocky TAB meetings but his sole ride on Tuesday is King’s County (R 3 -TAB 1), which would have to be a tip in itself.
Some 18 jockeys will ride at Callaghan Park with all but four being visitors from outside the Rockhampton and Central Queensland region.
Fresh from a winner at Warwick on Boxing Day, Tilley has five engagements on the seven-race TAB Rockhampton Jockey Club program.
These are Roma trainer Craig Smith’s One Bold Bid (Race 1 – TAB 5); Besters (R 3 – TAB 5) and Shezome (R 4 – TAB 16).
As well, Tilley will ride Tower Road (NZ) (R 2 -TAB 5) and Mishani Istana (R 6 – TAB 3) for Barcaldine mentor Patrick O’Toole.
The most recent newcomer to the fly-in ranks of jockeys riding at Rocky TAB is the widely travelled Jake Bayliss, 26.
Bayliss has ridden extensively in eastern Australia as well as in New Zealand where he enjoyed much success, including landing two GR 1 race victories.
Just 11 days back at his first visit it to Callaghan Park, Bayliss teamed with successful Caloundra trainer Stuart Kendrick for two wins on No Doubt A Cracker and Sip It Slowly.
At Tuesday’s races they will combine with Pubs And Kisses (R 1 – TAB 1); Don’t Waiver (R 2 -TAB 5) and Sunrise Dance (R 3 – TAB 7).
The trio has strong winning claims in what looks a very open card of racing.
Given that Pubs And Kisses ran second under Bayliss at the Sunshine Coast races on Sunday, there must be considerable doubt that it would back up just two days later on Tuesday.
This being the case, it would leave the door open for the successful trio of trainer Nick Walsh, jockey Nigel Seymour and owner Gavin Milner taking out the race (2YO Mdn, 1050m) with Hidden Joy.
Listed as TAB 1 in the opening race at 1.34pm, Hidden Joy has recorded very close seconds at Townsville and Rockhampton at her only two starts.
The Ricky Vale-trained Meatball (R 2 – TAB 3), a Capricornia Yearling Sale graduate which romped home at its most recent start, also looks the horse to beat as TAB 3 in the third race.
Racing returns to Callaghan Park, Rockhampton on Wednesday, January 6.
Tony McMahon’s race tips for Tuesday’s Rockhampton meeting
Race 1: Hidden Joy; Pubs And Kisses; Shesaysthanks; Just Sid.
Race 2: Don’t Waiver; Electrified; Meatball; Little Hunter.
Race 3: King’s County; Mystery Element; Besters; Disco Mo.
Race 4: Stellar Witness; Magnate; Carlin Trend; Demurral.
Race 5: Boss Baby; Arnwood; Aleysa’s Miracle; Mr Tindall.
Race 6: Havannah Sunset; Ask Nino; Rock’N’Sol; Ornate.
Race 7: Calculated Risk; Wide Load; Ember; Sirfina.