Trainer Tom Button, who is now based at Caloundra, had two winners at Rockhampton’s TAB race meeting on Friday.
Trainer Tom Button, who is now based at Caloundra, had two winners at Rockhampton’s TAB race meeting on Friday.

Training in the blood of this new generation

HORSE RACING: The dynamics of Rockhampton racing have made significant changes in the past few decades but none more so than the domination of the new breed of horse trainers who race at Callaghan Park.

If ever the saying “it’s in their blood” was applicable, the results from last Friday’s Rockhampton Jockey Club race meeting was confirmation enough.

All but one race on the eight-race TAB card was won by sons of former Rockhampton or CQ trainers.

Dual Rockhampton premiership trainer Tom Button, a son of the late Emerald mentor Tony Button, brought two winners up from his new Caloundra base in Rollinwiththeflow and Flying Crackerjak.

Ricky Vale, whose father David trained successfully in Rockhampton before his premature passing some years back, led in a double with Fun Tickets and Stubai.

Probably the youngest of the “young guns” was Chris Attard, son of relocated Rocky trainer Mick Attard (now Hawkesbury based) and he came up a winner as well with Kefalonia.

Then there was the latest newcomer to call Rockhampton home in Clinton Taylor who made it three straight victories with Nailed it Nan.

Clinton’s father is multiple premier Rockhampton trainer Garnett Taylor who now trains out of the Sunshine Coast and ”Dad” could only land placegetters at Callaghan Park last Friday.

Not forgetting Shane Sigvart and his very talented winner Chezblack.

As far as horse trainers go, Shane is “bred in the purple” as his late father Viv was a trainer, as were his uncles Jacko and Kelly.

Shane’s maternal “grand sire” (if you will excuse a racing terminology) was none other than the deceased and a leading Rockhampton trainer of his era in Bing Crough.

The future of any industry and in this case horse racing in Rockhampton is dependent on the young and in this sense the hub here is indeed fortunate.

As well as last Friday’s winning trainers, there are numerous others who are following successfully in the footsteps of their racing industry involved parents and grandparents before them.

Other trainers represented with starters at Callaghan Park last Friday who were “sired” into the ranks include Jared Wehlow, Tom Smith, Stephen O’Shea, Stephen Rundle, Clint Garland and Tim Cook.

The “fillies” were also represented with retired premier trainer Dave Balham’s daughter Leanne Applewaite preparing a runner-up while former top trainer Jack Garland’s daughter Angela Stephens had starters as well.

As well, there are other young trainers working out of Callaghan Park including Nick Walsh, Craig Russell and Darry Johnston and the chances are I have missed naming some as well - apologies.

Once the domain of far more elderly horse trainers, Callaghan Park racecourse is anything but that now as the training ranks are dominated by youngsters and those in their 40s.

Meanwhile, Tom Button will start Rockhampton-owned, the in-form The Tax Accountant as TAB 2 in Race 4, a very suitable $35K BM 75 (1400m) at Eagle Farm today.

Darry Johnston has speedy Lingalonga Lass entered for the BM 54 (950m) at the Cairns TAB races on Friday.



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