Image credit: Caught In The Act Photography CQ
By Tony McMahon
Racegoers - who must pre-register their intent to attend - are assured of first-class racing on Thursday when the Rockhampton Jockey Club heads to Keppel Park, Yeppoon.
Unquestionably, each of the eight races on the TAB card is very open which will guarantee keen betting interest, and whilst some of the races are not strong on numbers, that is compensated by quality.
Furthermore, that situation is enhanced by the presence of a classy brigade of fly-in jockeys from the south.
These include Matthew McGillivray, Adam Sewell, Ryan Wiggins, Nathan Day, Chris Whiteley, and Beau-Dene Appo.
The valuable three kilograms claiming allowance of talented apprentice Marnu Potgieter has been recognised by his engagements, for four well credentialled topweights during the afternoon.
These are Chris Attard’s Regal Reece in race three, Jim O’Shea’s Barachiel in the fourth event, Adrian Coome’s Alsaurusfirst in the sixth, and Nick Walsh’s Allround Glory in the penultimate race.
Potgieter will also ride the Walsh trained Disco Mon in the final event on the card, presenting another excellent winning opportunity for him.
In recent weeks, Potgieter has been widely travelled riding at Gatton, Nanango, Toowoomba, Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Sunshine Coast, Gold Coast, Cairns and Townsville.
Just over a fortnight ago, he won on Barachiel at Keppel Park and despite the big weight of 60.5kg - which includes his allowance being taken into consideration - the pair will go close to winning again on Thursday.
Barachiel and his stablemate Sporing Creek could quite easily fight out the finish of the 1400-metre City Printing Works Open Handicap.
The stablemates have been abundant money earners for the Jim O’Shea stable and members of his family, who race the pair on lease from family friend Peter Bell.
Between them, the pair have contested 88 races under O’Shea’s guidance, registering 22 wins and 32 placings for a return of $377,800 in prize money.
However, the lease on both horses expires later this year when they will be put up for sale - presumably via online auction.
“They have been great horses and while they are getting hard to place now, I will definitely bid to purchase them if they are not too expensive,” O’Shea said.
Finally, the $68,000 1300-metre Capricornia Yearling Sales 4 & 5YO Championship run at Callaghan Park on October 17 received a timely boost in Toowoomba last weekend.
This came about through the ultra-impressive win of the Tom Button-trained The Tax Accountant.
The son of Love Conquers All romped home the easiest of winners in a $75,000 Benchmark 80 over 1300 metres.