Rocky horse Peacock to contest Friday's Tatts Sprint
AN ASSOCIATION going back over 20 years has been the catalyst for premier trainer Tom Button landing two plum Northern Crown Series aspirants in Peacock and Astoria.
The prized pair have been transferred from Gleneagle (SEQ) trainer Diane Murphy to Button's Bouldercome stables where they are in training firstly for Rockhampton's choice races.
Astoria turned in a dynamic finish to run Man Booker to a head in last Saturday's feature $176,500 Eye Liner Stakes (1350m) at Ipswich.
Peacock won last year's Rockhampton Newmarket (1300m) when trained by Murphy before winning the Cairns Newmarket (1400m).
Button will be aiming Peacock for a similar course hoping to win one other pin of the Northern Crown Series as three wins in designated NCS races incurs a $150,000 bonus.
"I floated Astoria back here over the weekend and he will kick-off in the Rocky Cup (1600m - July 6) before heading north for the longer distance Cups at Mackay; Townsville and Cairns. He would nearly have won the Eye Liner had he not drawn 17 gate and it was a huge run for second. I have had Peacock for over a week,” Button said.
The trainer said his getting the horses stemmed back to an association with SEQ based owner of the pair Jack Pakis.
"I used to ride some horses owned by Jack track work in Brisbane about 20 years ago before I went into into the army. I ran into him in Townsville last year and it has come about from there. I am really excited and very happy to have both horses as it is always good to work with nice horses,” Button explained.
Peacock (br g 5 Lonhro - Iridescente), the winner of six races for $386,730, will launch his raid on the Northern circuit premier sprints by firstly contesting the Tatts Sprint (1200m) at Callaghan Park on Friday.
Although only the winner of two races - Warwick Farm (2YO-1100m) and the Newcastle GR 3 Spring Stakes (1600m), Astoria (b g 4 Medaglia D'Oro-Segue), has won $545,575 in stakes.
He was third in the $1.5 million 2017 Victoria Derby (2500m) behind Ace High while runner-up to Levendi in the 2018 Rosehill GR 2 Tulloch Stakes (2000m).
The Rockhampton Jockey Club received a total of 205 entries for the two days Tatts races this coming Friday and Sunday with more likely by extension deadline at 9am today.
These include a bumper 32 nominations for Sunday's $31K QTIS 2 & 3YO Maiden (1050m).
"I have contacted Racing Queensland and they will divide this race if acceptances stand in numbers. The noms are excellent for both days so it should be mighty racing again,” RJC CEO Tony Fenlon said.
Entries of note from visiting trainers for the Tatts Sprint include Hingus Rose (Stuart Kendrick); Kievann (Lauren Herne) and Drumbeats Choice (Tom Bourke).
Garnett "Bold” Taylor has lone Queensland visitor Bold Assassin entered for Sunday's Tatts Cup with the NSW accomplished miler Unbiased, now with Jared Wehlow the only other newcomer to Callaghan Park among the 11 entries.
The courageous grey Lota Creek Gold at his third start over 1600 metres or beyond within 17 days was a gutsy fourth at Ipswich last Saturday.
He is due to reunite with Rocky trainer Kevin Hansen within the next week to commence his quest for the Northern Crown Cups Series starting off in the Rockhampton Cup.
The John O'Sing trained Marway, the brilliant winner of five of his last seven starts will contest Friday's $19K Class 6 Plate (1100m).