Rockhampton winter racing reopens
ROCKHAMPTON in June is synonymous with horse racing – a tradition that has been in vogue for around a century.
So come June 1, today, it is no surprise that the classy thoroughbreds from throughout Central Queensland will be galloping at Callaghan Park as pipe-openers for the ensuing Winter Racing Carnival.
Actually, the nine-race card with well over 100 starters will be the most spectacular staged at Callaghan Park since the opening of the new turf track earlier this year.
Introducing Alesprit, a Bel Esprit filly endowed with scintillating pace who resumes her career under new trainer Paul Curtis in a crackerjack field of three-years-olds contesting a scamper of a race run over 970 metres as the fourth event at 1.40pm.
The flying filly will be attempting to provide her young trainer with his first Rockhampton win, but under a full 57kg from barrier seven she faces no easy task especially as she concedes weight to a number of males in the field.
Later, during the afternoon, nondescript Snaadee (USA) gelding Gobou, bought out of sympathy for a song by his owner Margaret Garland is back on track in the Open Handicap (970m).
With eight wins and only once unplaced in 12 starts, Gobou (Dale Missen) will carry a good horse’s weight in 59kg from a treacherous barrier wide out at the 970 metres starting point.
Gobou hasn’t been idle in his workouts since returning to training and he beat his rivals in a handy canter in a recent trial.
Although he hasn’t raced since February 18, Gobou is expected to warrant his advancement to his penultimate aim this campaign – the $75,000 Rockhampton XXXX Newmarket Handicap (1300m) on June 24. Speaking of which, the Rockhampton Jockey Club (RJC) has announced a busy social itinerary for the Winter Carnival “players and stayers”.
“On Wednesday, June 23, there will be a cocktail party at Rockhampton’s Ginger Mule. The Calibre Earthmoving and Environment Rockhampton Cup Calcutta luncheon will be on at the Cambridge Hotel on Friday, June 25,” RJC chief executive Denis Cox said.
Radio TAB’s race day host, Tony Clements, will be in action at Callaghan Park on June 23 and 24 while all-conquering Sydney trainer Chris Waller will be the drawcard at the luncheon on Rocky Cup Eve.