By Tony McMahon
The integral role that the Capricornia Yearling Sales plays with Rockhampton racing can never be sufficiently over-stated.
For example, at today’s Rockhampton Jockey Club TAB meeting, some 35.7% of the 70 race acceptors originated from the CYS in recent years.
Those figures say it all and little wonder the RJC is highly active in promoting the upcoming CYS at the Rockhampton Showgrounds on Sunday, April 5.
However, it is not only Rockhampton that gets the benefit of horses sourced from the CYS.
In the five days including last Sunday, 43 horses will have raced at Cairns, Mackay, Sunshine Coast, Armidale, Colac and Mudgee that were sold from the Rockhampton Showgrounds.
Another gelding by Eavesdropper sold by Tullyard for $15,000 at the 2017 CYS and racing as Happy Tango (AUS) was to race in Hong Kong yesterday.
Apart from a yearling sale which takes place in Scone NSW, it is believed that Rockhampton is the only other regional centre in Australia that boasts its own such sale.
To further emphasise the importance of what is termed “the local sale”, no fewer than 10 of the juveniles starting in the two divisions of the 2YO Handicap (1200m) at Callaghan Park this afternoon was sold at the 2019 CYS.
This group will be desperately trying to engage prizemoney so as to be assured of a start in the sales only $130K -plus CYS 2YO Classic (1200m) at Callaghan Park on Saturday, April 4.
RJC CEO Tony Fenlon natural placed considerable emphasis on the worth of the CYS to the local industry.
“It is our very own nursery for racing,” Fenlon said.
“Really apart from the starter numbers you can’t put a monetary figure on what the sale generates for the Rockhampton racing industry and the regional economy itself. With the big two days of racing associated with the sale on April 3 and 4 at Callaghan Park offering almost $500K in prize money which includes bonuses it is tremendous for a regional centre.
“Those two meetings bring owners, trainers, jockeys strappers from all over Queensland and they spend money somewhere in the Rocky region while here.
“On top of that the CYS with about 100 yearlings from regional and South-East Queensland arriving for up to three days with their travelling staff of grooms, breeders, stud masters and buyers all have to stay somewhere in Rocky and eat out here as well. On it goes. So, it is not only the racing industry that benefits but the Rockhampton economy as well.
“I could go on as the flow on effect is enormous for the hospitality industry, taxis, airlines and so on.”
Fenlon himself is a participant and part-owns Girl On Top (br/gr f Top Echelon-Quello Corsa x Sequalo), a Fred Smith trained youngster which cost $15,000 at last year’s CYS.
Naturally, as the name would suggest, Girl On Top (race 5, number 5) will be ridden by Ellie Smith and has trialled promisingly leading into the $35K QTIS 2YO Fillies Maiden (1200m).
Like the owners of the other 10 CYS hopefuls engaged in the two races for the babies today, Fenlon is hoping and dreaming that his filly can forge her way into next month’s 2YO Classic.
Mid-afternoon yesterday the Callaghan Park track was rated a Good 4 but it could be downgraded a shade if more rain has fallen since.
Racing commences at 2.20pm with the last of seven events to be run at 5.50PM.
Click here for more information on today’s Rockhampton meeting.