Three-year-olds get poor scheduling deal
THAT "old chestnut" - poor race programming that continually goes to seed and is deep rooted in Central Queensland racing - is the catalyst for Our Neddy Boy having to trek to Brisbane to race on Saturday.
"The programming for three-year-old races here in Rocky is very poor and there is nothing on for him for weeks," frustrated trainer Jared Wehlow said. "I may as well take him down for Saturday's race at Doomben if it is just for experience. At least that way he will have had a start and keep ticking over.
"Sure I could start him in a Class 4 race against all ages here, but there will be time for that next season when he matures. There just should be more races programmed for these three-year-olds against their own age in Rocky. That's what it's all about as they are still babies."
Our Neddy Boy, a first-up winner of a Rocky 3YO QTIS Handicap (1100m) on October 18, will run in Saturday's $100,000 QTIS 3YO Handicap (1100m) at Doomben.
In a rarity for a visiting horse, Our Neddy Boy has overcome the odds and not drawn widely (visitors' draw) but actually the rails barrier.
Long-shot king, jockey Jason Taylor, will ride Our Neddy Boy, which will indeed be a long shot.
The horse's regular rider, Rockhampton's Tracy O'Hara, who has ridden Our Neddy Boy in all his six starts to date for four wins, has family commitments on Saturday but will be keenly watching.
Rather astonishingly, it appears the only other open 3YO QTIS Handicap programmed after Our Neddy Boy's win on October 18 was another on October 26 at Rockhampton with no other there until Thursday, December 4.
Seemingly, that break of seven weeks without a race programmed at Callaghan Park for arguably the best crop of Rockhampton three-years-olds in years defies belief.
Racing Queensland, which oversees the programming of racing for clubs through
out Queensland, particularly TAB clubs such as Rockhampton, is responsible for this situation.
Wehlow and other trainers also affected are hopeful the Rockhampton Jockey Club will take the matter up with RQ as such a situation does little to promote racing for young horses in Capricornia.
In all fairness RQ, which seems blissfully unaware of the tyranny of distance besetting trainers in centres such as Rockhampton, will argue there is a QTIS 3YO Handicap programmed at Mackay on November 23.
Even so that is a void of a month since the previous one in Rockhampton.
Another trainer affected by the sparsity of suitable 3YO races, Jamie McConachy, is accordingly forced to take on all-comers with his brilliant graduate Helarocity (which is pronounced as one word not three as Hel-arow-city).
"I'll have to run him in the Racing Queensland Summer Provincial Series which is a MB 75 as there are no races for his age. He is a very good horse," McConachy enthused.
The McConachy stable star Vandalised is likely to contest his next race in a Rockhampton Open over 1300m on November 27.