Trainer Kevin Hansen with Casino Thoughts, which ran second in the Coral Coast Lightning (1000m) in Townsville on Saturday.
Trainer Kevin Hansen with Casino Thoughts, which ran second in the Coral Coast Lightning (1000m) in Townsville on Saturday.

Strong finish almost gets Rocky home in race for Shield

ROCKHAMPTON has finished second to Townsville in the inaugural running of the Coral Coast Shield series of races involving Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and of course Rockhampton race clubs.

In a thrilling sequel to the three final races each worth $50K at Townsville’s Cluden racecourse on Saturday, Rockhampton-trained horses went within a half a length of nearly taking out the series.

However, the Townsville Turf Club prevailed, accruing 62 points to Rockhampton’s 53 whereby in the finals double points were allocated.

The Kevin Hansen-trained Casino Thoughts (Sonja Wiseman, $19.00) was beaten a nose by favourite, Mackay trainer Wayne Pomfrett’s Moreno (NZ), in the Coral Coast Lightning (1000m).

Callaghan Park, Rockhampton, trainer Jared Wehlow’s Bold Ethos (Ryan Wiggins, $2.15) put Rockhampton right back in the picture by winning the Queen Of The Coast (1400m) with a runaway 4.3 lengths victory.

Then in the Coral Coast Cup (1609m), Wehlow’s Fly For Yulong (IRE) (Chris Whiteley, $3.40) led until within the shadows of the winning post before finishing 0.4 lengths third to Townsville’s Bullion Wolf.

By its win, the Townsville Turf Club received $25K for a racecourse project while its nominated charity, Riding For The Disabled, won $10K.

Rockhampton didn’t entirely miss out, as the series conditions ensure that the Jockey Club’s nominated charity, The Caves Lions Club, collected $5K.

RJC CEO Tony Fenlon said it was a great initiative of Racing Queensland to introduce such a boosted prize money series as the Coral Coast for horses of different classes and run at different distances.

“Our trainers and their horses did Rocky proud and it was very exciting,” he said.

Rockhampton trainers won three races on the boosted eight-race TAB program at Townsville.

Kevin Hansen produced a brilliant Real Saga debutante filly named Sweet Dolly which blitzed the QTIS 2YO Maiden (1000m) field, winning by 5.75 lengths and running exceptional time of 57.43 seconds.

Ridden by Justin Stanley, punters were well informed about Sweet Dolly after a brilliant Callaghan Park trial win earlier this week and she looks the standard bearer for her age group in Rocky to date.

Jared Wehlow not only won with Bold Ethos, but also with Spill The Beans youngster Courtesy Bus ($2.80), which nabbed Clinton Taylor’s Brigalow Boy and beat it by 0.2l in the QTIS 3YO (1300m).

As an aside, it was a huge day for Spill The Beans as his progeny won another four races – Little Miss Pixie (Toowoomba); Shezabeans (Gold Coast); Tabloid Star (Wagga) and Tellall in a Listed Race at Ellerslie.

Back at Townsville, Callaghan Park trainer Shane Sigvart went within a length of causing the biggest upset of the day when Do It For Viv, named in honour of his late father, finished second at $31.00 in the Maiden.

Saturday’s profitable results for Rockhampton trainers continued at Thangool when Chris Attard’s Regal Reece (Cody Collis) won the $10K Cup there on the weekend.

Those outstanding efforts capped a big week for the Rocky horses as they won half the eight-race TAB card at Mackay races last Thursday.

Ricky Vale took winning honours with Stubai and Russian Weapon, while Attard won with Trackman (NZ) and Juliieann Lancaster with Or Else.

In total, from the three race meetings at Mackay, Townsville and Thangool withing 48 hours, Rockhampton-trained horses won seven races and recorded 14 placings, collecting $167,350 for their connections.



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