Stage set for mammoth Rocky Cup race meeting
HORSE RACING: There will be a sense of great anticipation in the Callaghan Park offices of the Rockhampton Jockey Club today with the deadline set to close for entries for Friday’s Rockhampton Cup race meeting.
A huge nine-race TAB program offering prizemoney and bonuses in excess of $350K is set for decision at Callaghan Park where regrettably only 300 patrons will be allowed to attend.
This has been brought about through protocols introduced in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions whereby only 100 patrons per extensive room are permitted on course.
RJC CEO Tony Fenlon said Callaghan Park racecourse had three such venues, thereby patrons were restricted to 300.
“Dining and drink packages have been advertised for some weeks and there are still some tickets available but I suggest would-be attendees get in touch with our offices very quickly,” he said.
There are three feature races on Friday’s card being the Rockhampton Cup, Newmarket and a new race, the Magic Millions Capricorn 3YO Guineas.
The Rockhampton Cup (1600m) offers prize money of $85k plus QTIS bonuses of $10K to the race winner or a $20K QTIS sales voucher providing the winner is QTIS registered.
It is identical to the QTIS bonus packages for the Rockhampton Newmarket winner with this feature sprint valued at $65K in prize money.
This year the Newmarket is run over 1200m as opposed to the traditional 1300m.
A new feature race as part of a northern regional club’s winter carnival series in the $53K Magic Millions Capricorn 3YO Guineas (1600m) has been added to Cup Day.
The winner of the Capricorn should it win either the Mackay or Townsville Guines will receive a $25K QTIS Sales Voucher.
The RJC is expecting widespread interest in Friday’s mammoth program with a large contingent of southern metropolitan horses expected to take part on the day.
Local stables have high hopes in both the Rockhampton Cup and Newmarket with the likes of Absolut Artie, Balboa Rocks and Barachiel to be among the Cup nominations.
As well Master Jamie and Inquiry, both trained at Callaghan Park, will be top contenders for the Newmarket.
One top sprinter who will be home in his Callaghan Park racecourse stable on Friday will be the Mark Lehmann-trained Bat A Kat.
Last Tuesday the brilliant five year old resumed after an 18-month layoff and multiple surgical procedures to win the Open Handicap (1200m) under 58.5kg.
That courageous and emotion charged win brought Bat A Kat’s record to six wins and five seconds from 13 starts for $216,250 in prize money.
His primary carer and part-owner Kerry Lehmann admitted she was overcome by the win.
“I was among five strappers in the stand and we all had a runner in the race. Near the finish the other four were cheering for Bat A Kat. It was so surreal and such a lovely thing of them to do,” Lehmann said.
“Everyone loves a game racehorse. He is so special and last Tuesday’s win makes it that worthwhile and that’s the reason all of us in racing do what we do with the horses.”
She said husband and trainer Mark Lehmann was considering his options with Bat A Kat.
“He may go on to the Mackay Newmarket in a couple of weeks,” she said.
The Mackay Newmarket carries $65K in prize money and bonuses and is run over 1300m on Friday, July 31.