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Isis Carmella settles back into home surrounds in Rockhampton

18 May 2022

Photo credit: Caught in the Act Photography CQ

By Jordan Gerrans

Kevin Miller has been informed Isis Carmella is a metropolitan level filly on talent but the promising youngster just loves her home surrounds too much in Central Queensland.

The daughter of Bel Esprit will start as one of the favoured runners in Friday afternoon’s QTIS Northern Jewel for three-year-olds over 1300 metres.

A six-time winner from just 10 career starts, Isis Carmella was transferred from Rockhampton to the in-form stable of Steven O'Dea and Matthew Hoysted earlier this year for a crack at higher honours in South East Queensland.

She had developed an impressive resume before making the move south but under the eye of Miller, she was trained on his farm and did as she pleased.

As Miller explains, the bay filly can get a bit of an attitude and is often grumpy as she likes her own space and does not appreciate being in loud areas.

And, if she is stirred up, she is known to have a nibble and a kick on anything nearby.


In her two runs with O'Dea and Hoysted, she won a three-year-old Benchmark 65 Handicap on a Sunday afternoon at Caloundra before she had one start in the city.

But, her time was cut short in Brisbane.

“They thought she would definitely win a race in Brisbane, that is what they said to me and Ben Thompson, who rode her, thought the same,” Miller said.

“She just got really cranky on them and played up on the walker one day, taking a heap of skin off herself.

“They thought she hated it at the stable and started to resent them so we brought her home. She just likes her home environment.”

With the decision made to end her time at Eagle Farm, Isis Carmella headed to the paddock with an eye to prepared for the $105,000 northern feature for juveniles at Townsville’s Cluden Park.


She has enjoyed two 900-metre trials around Callaghan Park to prepare for her first-up assignment on Friday afternoon, where she has drawn barrier four.

“This has always been the plan to get back to the north to get to this race,” he said.

“She is really well at the moment and I am really happy with her. She has been good from the get-go.”

The speedy filly was bred by Isis Park Thoroughbreds – which is run by Leo Ricciardi – who the stable have had success with over the journey.

The team raced Isis Brumby from 2019 until 2021 – winning four from seven, as well as three other minor placings – before being sold to Hong Kong for $200,000.

“Isis Carmella could have towed Isis Brumby,” he said with a laugh.

Ricciardi leases Isis Carmella to Miller and his connections, while remaining in the galloper's ownership group.


The Miller-trained filly is one of three in the field to be allotted 61kgs for the feature event, with former city level hoop Ric McMahon booked for the race.

The Northern Jewel is a non-claiming race for apprentice riders, which ruled out local emerging jockey Tahlia Fenlon, who has a close association with the barn and had ridden the filly in her two recent trials.

The Archer-winning hoop Ash Butler was also considered for the heavyweight ride but he is facing a stint on the sidelines with injury.

Miller believes Isis Carmella is the best young horse he has ever prepared but still thinks Avonaco, who retired in 2020 following 10 victories, is the leading galloper he has ever had in his barn.

“It is a big weight for a filly but she is almost 17 hands and I think she should be able to carry it,” Miller said.

“With Ric riding her, he might ride at 59kgs, which will make the weight a bit better being a heavyweight rider.

“It is the best three-year-old horses in North Queensland in this race and I think she will be hard to beat.

“Her trials have been really good and she always races way better than she trials.

“Her fitness is right where it needs to be and we have no excuses going into Friday.”

Miller has been training for around a decade and works as a boilermaker on the side, which he describes as a good mental break away from the gallopers.

Isis Carmella
Kevin Miller Next Racing
Steven O'Dea & Matthew Hoysted Next Racing