Teen Rocky jockey has busy schedule for Melbourne Cup day
WHILE gates will open early at Callaghan Park today for the Melbourne Cup race meeting, the attractive five-race local card will not commence until 2.25pm.
However, early bird racegoers will not be disappointed as there will be much on offer including bookmakers anxious to accommodate them on the gala Flemington Cup Day races.
Nine of the 13 jockeys riding in Rockhampton this afternoon will have already ridden in the morning races at Gladstone, which start there at 10.30am.
Rockhampton and Gladstone are two of the 14 race clubs in Queensland today that host a Melbourne Cup race meeting.
Interestingly enough, while Queensland has far more race clubs than any other Australian state, it is New South Wales which will stage the most meetings today, totalling 15.
In total, 43 race clubs throughout Australia will race with the other states and territories being Victoria (6), Western Australia (3), Northern Territory (2) while SA, NT and the ACT each have one race meeting.
Teenage apprentice jockey, Rockhampton's own Zoe White will be the envy of many race mad school students as she will be absent from high school today with a foolproof excuse.
White has a full book of rides at both Gladstone and Callaghan Park, which undoubtedly makes her the busiest jockey in Australia today with nine rides in two different centres.
She has realistic chances of riding winners at both venues with Just Do Something (Race 4) and Magic Decision (R 5) looming as her best hopes at Rockhampton.
This afternoon will be the first occasion White has ridden in races at Rockhampton, getting the opportunity as it is a non-TAB affair.
Chris McIver and Tracy O'Hara, back from riding in New Caledonia last Saturday, will also be in action at Callaghan Park.
The Ray White Rockhampton Rocky races today have drawn competitive fields, making it a tricky afternoon for local punters.
Memorial races will be staged in honour of two of Rockhampton's best revered "old time" jockeys in Norm Fox and Shorty Unwin as part of the card.
As well, the Ray White Rockhampton City Carly-Mae Pye Memorial is also scheduled.
The inaugural running of the Capricornia Yearling Sales 2YO Maiden Plates (1050m) for male and female youngsters has attracted considerable attention on Friday.
The $42,000 fillies division has lured 15 entries including three nominations from Brisbane and one each from the Gold Coast and Caloundra.
The John Smerdon Gold Coast-trained Sidereus-Vivante filly Starante, raced by Vince and Judy Aspinall's Diceridge syndicate in partnership, will be in commission on an excellent Gold Coast recent trial.
Brisbane trainer Les "Mishani" Ross has overtaken the Craiglea absent invaders with four nominations for the 2YO races.
Ross has Mishani El Lobo and Mishani Sleuth among the nine entries for the colts and geldings' division.
Ross has nominated Mishani Silver and Brisbane fourth placegetter Mishani Belier for the fillies division with the latter the likely favourite.
The clash of the locals, Vic Vagg's Sayrothy and Gary Fisher's Celestial Son, in the race for the boys looks like being one of the highlights of Friday's meeting.
In all, 76 entries have been taken for Friday's races which precedes an evening concert at Callaghan Park. An admission fee of $5 for an all-day pass to the TAB races and evening concert is applicable.