By Ian Mill, CEO of Rockhampton Jockey Club
Hello again readers.
Well, the Christmas season is well and truly in the air and as a result, a whole host of holiday and Christmas parties are on the way.
Well here at Callaghan Park the RJC thinks we have something new to offer in this department.
What does a casino night look like?
Yes, that’s right, we have a casino night planned for the Members’ Lounge overlooking the floodlit racetrack on Saturday evening, December 10.
Fear not, there is no illegal gambling, just “play money” with no money or prizes for the winners.
“It’s a game night and the responsibility lies in fun, entertainment and laughter. We will have professional casino tables and croupiers. They arrive from Brisbane for the night. It’s going to be a really fun event and I assure everyone it will look authentic and take on a casino feel,” said our functions organizer, Katie Langford.
Katie said the casino night was attracting considerable interest and the first bookings were coming in.
“If you’ve been a little late planning your Christmas party, we invite you to take advantage of this casino night,” Katie recommended.
For people looking for something completely different in Rockhampton, this event will pay the bill.
If you’ve never been to a casino or soaked up its atmosphere, this night at just five weeks gives you that opportunity and best of all, you can’t lose.
Katie has put together an engaging itinerary that includes a food, beer and wine package from 6pm.
Music will be in the form of the popular Dawn and Sax and naturally all play money and other necessary props will be provided.
The package costs $150 for RJC members and $160 for non-members.
Really, I think it’s a great way to share a year-end social evening with family and friends.
If you’ve never attended a reception at The Members at Callaghan Park racecourse before a night out, I can assure you that it has a unique atmosphere taking into account all the effects of an outdoor open setting lit by natural spotlights.
Plus, there’s free parking galore.
The members of Callaghan Park are a very popular venue for all sorts of social occasions and are no longer a well-kept secret.
I’m happy to say that we’re pretty well filled in the functions department leading up to Christmas.
All the more reason why I would have thought to take advantage of Casino Night.
Remember though that there will be no prizes or money to be exchanged for hands at the event – it’s all about the fun.
So there you have it, something to think about and you can get more information by contacting Katie at the RJC offices at 49.374000.
Speaking of The Members, this will also be the location to host the RJC Awards Ceremony from 6.30pm to 9.30pm next Thursday after the races at Callaghan Park.
The occasion will recognize the achievements of racing and horse industry players from the 2021-22 racing season led by the Rockhampton Jockey Club.
Again, get all relevant information from the Callaghan Park team.
I learned something this week while looking through a report sent to Jeff Leaver by Arion Pedigrees Horse tracker regarding Capricornia Yearling Sales graduates.
He listed the great sprinter Rothfire (Rothesay-Huss on Fire) ‘passed’ by his breeder Gleeson Thoroughbreds at the 2019 Capricornia Yearling Sale.
No past charges were mentioned, but the fact that the big horse was among the catalog of bids for this 2019 sale at Rockhampton adds even more significance to the sale’s record.
Rothfire became a racehorse to earn over $1.6 million in stakes.
Last Saturday at Flemington, the same Rothfire finished 1.2 lengths eighth behind Roch’n’Horse in the $3M Champion Sprint (1200m).
For his eighth place finish, Rothfire Connections took home $60,000.
You just don’t know what will happen at the Capricornia yearling sale as GR 1 Stradbroke winner River Lad also took part in a sale at Rockhampton.
As I have previously informed you readers, preparations are progressing well for CYS 2023 at the Robert Schwarten Pavilion at Rockhampton Showgrounds on Sunday April 2.
A yearling that will certainly catch the eye at CYS 2023 will be a Sidestep by mare Pins Rachine (NZ).
This makes him a half-brother to last Friday’s very strong Callaghan Park winner Divide The Sea.
Trained by Ricky Vale at Callaghan Park, Divide The Sea have now won both of their starts for the stable.
As a young horse when racing in Perth he ran in GR races and performed very well.
It is certainly a horse to follow the readers in the weeks to come.
No doubt the half-brother in the Rockhampton sale next April will be one of the main attractions and will be in high demand with potential buyers.
The first of the RJC races for the two-year-olds took place at Callaghan Park last Friday.
The two winners Shamedy, a son of Better Than Ready and I’M Pinker a daughter of Dracarys won well for local trainers Graeme Green and Clinton Taylor.
Both youngsters were purchased at the Magic Millions March Yearling sales earlier this year.
Magic Millions is the selling agent for the Capricornia Yearling Sale.
I can suggest to you readers that the two aforementioned winners of the Breeders Plate rounds are well above average.
I’M Pinker cost owner Shane Mills $35,000 while Shamedy cost Graeme Green Racing $90,000.
Shamedy is a party owned by former RJC Vice President Ron White a few years ago.
I saw a very nice type of gray in the Fly For Yulong (IRE) win at Callaghan Park last Friday as well.
He is trained by Jared Wehlow at Callaghan Park and has raced in partnership with him and Mark Withers and his family from Stanwell.
The Irish gelding, now a 9-year-old, hails from the Dermot Weld yard (of Vintage Crop Melbourne Cup fame) there.
Unfortunately, the gray has had a few setbacks and had been absent from the racing scene for about 16 months before last Friday’s first win.
He was well ridden in the lead by a young lady, apprentice jockey Olivia Kendal from Ipswich and you will hear a lot about his readers.
Don’t be afraid to bet on a horse that Olivia is signed up to because she looks like a very promising rider.
Back to Jared Wehlow.
I compiled this week’s column ahead of Thursday’s TAB races at Mackay where Jared had six runners to run.
Prior to that, Wehlow had formed nine winners from his previous 14 starters since for the record on Oct. 21, which is a memorable and rare achievement at that.
The latest of those winners came at the Townsville races on Tuesday of this week in Soaring Spirit.
Jared is the son of the very astute former racehorse trainer Greg Wehlow who assists him in his training operation at Callaghan Park Stables Racecourse.
Keep up the great work Jared.
Also, at last week’s Non-TAB’s, Rocky’s trainers and jockeys did very well.
At the big Moranbah Cup races last Saturday, Jared Wehlow and Callaghan Park resident jockey Ash Butler picked up two winners.
They did the exact same thing at Mackay on Melbourne Cup day last week.
Natalea Summers, a jockey from Rockhampton, completed a winning double at the Melbourne Cup Day races at Gladstone.
The other winners were trainers Alan Jones, Craig Russell and apprentice Brooke Johnson.
We’re heading back out to run at Callaghan Park for a big TAB race day next Thursday, November 17th.
Don’t forget now, readers, to book early at the Casino (AKA Callaghan Park) for the fun night out on Saturday 10th December.
Yours in the Race – Ian Mill.