By Tony McMahon
Rockhampton’s record-breaking Capricornia Yearling Sale Carnival blasts into ignition at 12.57pm tomorrow FRIDAY with an extended eight race TAB card featuring 118 horses at Callaghan Park racecourse.
Testimony to the strength of juvenile racing in Rockhampton, 31 two-year-olds accepted to run in the $31,000 QTIS 2YO Maiden (1050m) and Racing Queensland reacted positively splitting the race and providing full prize money for each division.
That proactive approach adds further confidence for buyers of yearlings at Sunday’s CYS at the Rockhampton Showground to know only too well their purchasers will be accommodated by a continued availability of races.
As many as 16 visiting riders from Brisbane; the Gold Coast and other Queensland provincial centres will be joined from Sydney by Bobby El-lssa and apprentice Quayde Krogh riding at tomorrow’s FRIDAY races.
The much publicised Hygain 2019 Country Cup (1500m) drew a capacity field of 16 runners from throughout Queensland with country kings, Mackay’s John Manzelmann having four starters and Miles’ Bevan Johnson (2).
With near capacity fields in all eight races, betting turnover is certain to me mammoth and with the Friday race program offering in excess of $200K in purses, it will be a fitting appetiser for Saturday’s CYS 2YO Classic race meeting.
The barrier draw held yesterday WEDNESDAY unravelled a few surprise omissions from the $125,000 Classic (1200m), namely Tom Button’s highly qualified Pound For Pound and Peter Fleming’s Boss Baby.
Regardless, the Classic first run in 1988, will be the strongest on record with seven individual winners as well as another five individual placegetters in the 16-horse field.
The barrier draw fell disadvantageously for likely favourite, Natalie McCall’s The Sinner (13); Fred Smith’s Tycoon Flyer (17); Craig Smith’s Hezhome (10); Tom Button’s The Stockbroker (16) and Tony Gollan’s Pull Anchor (14).
The latter will be ridden by “big race” jockey, Bobby El-lssa who is flying in from Sydney primarily for the feature race ride.
Other riding engagements of significance include the Gold Coast’s Daniel Griffin (Hezhome); Brisbane’s Ron Stewart (The Sinner) and Justin Stanley and Brad Pengelly for Toowoomba trainer Ben Currie’s Jelviss and Good Humour respectively.
Brad Pengelly’s declaration as rider for Good Humour with 55kg suggests he has a big opinion of the filly as he rarely rides under 56kg.
He has also been declared the rider on the John O’Sing trained Marway who is ideally placed on the minimum of 54kg in the $75,000 CYS QTIS 3 & 4YO Classic (1300m) on Saturday.
It is likely to take a spartan existence and extra special effort from Pengelly over the next few days to make the 54kg that Marway has been allocated.
Marway, although drawn at barrier 9, looks the likely pace setter given his luxury lightweight.
The 3 & 4YO co-feature race on Saturday’s card drew 10 finalists headed by last year’s 3YO Classic winner, the David Vandyke Caloundra trained Emsie Is A Star (Nathan Day – 58kg).
The surprise acceptor was Tom Button’s talented The Tax Accountant twice Brisbane placed at his past two outings.
Tolga based North Queensland jockey Stephen Wilson will partner Roy Chillemi trained Bank Teller in the race in which the interesting runner is John Wigginton trained Diamond Account (Ron Stewart).
Yearlings were starting to arrive at the Rockhampton Showgrounds yesterday WEDNESDAY in preparation for Sunday’s CYS.
Interest in this year’s sale has been buoyed by the record success rate from last year’s counterpart which to date has produced an unprecedented 12 individual race winners.