THOROUGHBRED racing and breeding purists might snort and be appalled that painted palominos should grace the hallowed turf – but there was considerable interest in two such colourful steeds that made their racing debut at Cluden last week.

As the photograph by ‘Dominique Wilcox Pics’ illustrates so well, the aptly-named Mr Palomino (stable name Pally) and his inseparable mate Ready to Rocket (Brandy) added considerable more colour to an otherwise dull day of racing in extreme temperatures.

Not that the weather worried either of the John Manzelmann-trained pair. They were as laid back as could be and typical of their breed totally unfazed by the race day buzz.

Both are sired by the US import Gold Bold and Rich who stands at a Bundaberg thoroughbred stud. Like his two colourful sons, the sire is registered as chestnut – though there is no mistake they carry the colours of a dinky di Palomino which according to Manzelmann is a throwback to a great, great, great dam or relative that possibly “jumped a fence” and went roaming in Wyoming many decades ago.

Manzelmann’s partner Jade Doolan (daughter of the sadly departed and legendary Cairns trainer George) is the devoted ring mistress of the two handsome colts. Actually John bought them as babies for Jade as a pick-me-up after she was seriously injured in a stable mishap several months ago. And both horses and their devoted groom have been virtually inseparable from day one.

“They are just so beautiful. They might not be very fast but they do everything right – and try their heart out,” exclaimed Jade as she dolled up the duo for their Cluden debut.

She wasn’t expecting prizemoney – not this time – but she was none the less pleased with their performance.

“They will win one. You see,” declared Jade displaying all of her trademark effervescence.

“And then we will put them to stud”

Those who knew him, might wonder just what would father George think of his daughter’s dalliance with the playful pair of palominos?

“Don’t go there,” was the prompt but cheery response.




HE certainly didn’t make the trip from Melbourne to Rockhampton for the weather – but early last Monday morning leading jockey Dwayne Dunn strolled onto Callaghan Park in his riding kit.

To say that track regulars were stunned is an understatement. “You could have heard a pin drop,” recalls trainer Tony McMahon who was the only one not surprised by the attendance of the leading southern jockey.

For Dunn was there to gallop McMahon’s unbeaten two-year-old Paradis Imperial  which he duly did and delivered a glowing report.

But the filly didn’t completely pass the stringent after-gallop tests performed by a Melbourne vet who accompanied Dunn on his trip north.

So Paradis Imperial will remain in the McMahon colours and may venture to Sydney this weekend for the Silver Slipper. Or the top earning QTIS filly ($120,000) will head back to Brisbane where she annihilated a smart field at her last appearance.

And the name? It just happens to be the name of arguably the best cognac in the world – or at least the most expensive Hennessey brand. And no doubt will be sniffed and quaffed in great volume if she can retain her unbeaten record at either venue on Saturday.



THERE is talk of a change of dates for the 2018 northern Winter Racing carnival.

Under the plan, proposed by Mackay TC, the Rockhampton Tattersall’s will kick off the carnival in mid-June followed by the Black Memorial and Lightning in Mackay.

The following weekend it will be Newmarket and Rocky Cup, followed by the Newmarket and Mackay Cup. The Cleveland Bay and Townsville Cup will be held the following weekend with a two-week break to Cairns.

“We propose a two month circuit with major races at the main venues every weekend, said a MTC spokesman.

We’ll see!

The only certainty is that there will be a change of Government by then.

So, who knows what will happen apart from another change of the RQ Board and hopefully a VicTAB-controlled UBET.

Could we be so lucky?


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