CUP GLORY: Jockey Dennis Whitmore and the Darryl Hansen-trained Leica Launch celebrate their winning start to this year’s Rockhampton Winter Racing Carnival after taking out the Shadforths Richard Mannion Memorial Tattersall’s Gold Cup at Callaghan Park on Saturday. Leica Launch pipped Stuart Kendrick’s Captain Biggles.
CUP GLORY: Jockey Dennis Whitmore and the Darryl Hansen-trained Leica Launch celebrate their winning start to this year’s Rockhampton Winter Racing Carnival after taking out the Shadforths Richard Mannion Memorial Tattersall’s Gold Cup at Callaghan Park on Saturday. Leica Launch pipped Stuart Kendrick’s Captain Biggles.

Leica launch takes Tatt's cup

IT was a mixed day for Rockhampton jockey Dennis Whitmore at the Tattersall's Cup race meeting at Callaghan Park on Saturday but he still could come up trumps from a Woollam Constructions Rockhampton Cup point of view.

Whitmore combined with Mackay trainer Darryl Hansen and Taroom owner Richard Hooper to win the $20,300 Tatt's Cup (1800m) on outsider Leica Launch ($17.00) but later left Callaghan Park after incurring a careless riding suspension.

That came about as a consequence of Whitmore's unplaced ride on Geomar in the Class 1 (1300m), which was won by the Ricky Vale trained Springbok Lad (Ashley Butler, $9.00).

Fortunately for Whitmore, departing chief steward Chris Jasprizza, who incidentally commences work in Townsville today, handed the hoop a soft two-meeting suspension given consideration of his clean riding record.

This means that Whitmore misses riding next Saturday and Rocky Newmarket Day on June 25 but he will be back in action for the $100,000 Rockhampton Cup (2000m) on June 27.

After Whitmore's skilful winning ride on Leica Launch, who got there by a long head from Captain Biggles (Ivo Fry, $5.00), Hansen said the jockey was well and truly in the loop to retain the Rockhampton Cup ride.

“His Taroom owner Richard Hooper sent Leica Launch to me to try him in all the northern cup races. Dennis did nothing wrong with his ride winning on him today so Richard might stick with him in the Rocky Cup,” Hansen said.

That would provide Whitmore with the opportunity of winning back-to-back Rockhampton Cups as he rode the Mark Pratt trained Very Canny to victory last year.

Interestingly, no jockey since the late Ivan Wernowski, who won the Cup on Shesh Besh in 1981 and El Akbar in 1982, has been able to repeat consecutive Rocky Cup winning riding feats.

While Leica Launch was having the first start of his current stint with Hansen in the Tatt's Cup, the Mackay trainer is very familiar with the Nothin' Leica Dane seven-year-old.

“I had him back in July 2007 for a while and ran second with him to Adavale Hornet in the Mackay Cup then,” Hansen said.

The Hansen-trained genuine Cup campaigner Stage Shaker was scratched from the Tatt's Cup as a result of injuring himself on the float trip south and he is now likely to miss the Rocky Cup.

“Time will beat me with him but I think I can get him ready for the Mackay Cup on July 18,” Hansen said.

While Brisbane trainer Robert Heathcote's On The Up disappointed, finishing near-last as $3.00 favourite five lengths from Leica Launch on Saturday, the leading Brisbane trainer's day was indeed successful.

Heathcote watched the television monitors at Callaghan Park as his Our Lukas won the $200,000 Ipswich Cup while he was on hand to saddle the Rockhampton Class 2 (1200m) winner Maraquitas ($2.35).



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