Jenny - Clean


THE countdown for Cluden has begun and the big guns will arrive this week from all over for what is generally considered North Queensland’s biggest day of racing.

The iconic Cleveland Bay has attracted an entry of 29, including the best sprinters in the region plus a couple of southerners, and the time-honoured Townsville Cup will close the curtain on an eventful, topsy-turvy season for the TTC.

But it’s not just the horses that will parade at Cluden on Saturday.

Peter Moody, perhaps the best known trainer in the country (or the most talked about) will lead a team of big names at the Calcutta on Friday and races on Saturday.

He will be accompanied  by former Townsville trainer, Steven O’Dea, who has  excelled in his profession  since leaving Wulguru just a few years back, and the irrepressible Malcolm Johnston, who will no doubt tell everyone again how he really didn’t slaughter Kingston Town  in THAT Melbourne Cup!

But the glamour and the glitz doesn’t end there.

Little bird perched in George Street tells me the Premier will also make the trip north for her first visit to Cluden. She will be accompanied by our somewhat ineffectual Racing Minister Grace Grace, who is also expected to attend the Calcutta.

Yes, there must be an election looming, but neither should attempt to pontificate on their performance on State racing matters because they have both been totally inept.  Just ask Alan Jones!

And then there is the RQ CEO Dr Eliot Forbes who will make his first race day appearance at Cluden.

Not sure who will make the announcement but my little spy says a commitment will be made to spend another $250,000 on track repairs or renovations to Cluden.

It should be remembered here that RQ actually signed off on the $6 million track against the will and protestations of the then TTC Committee because of uncompleted drainage work.

The blame game continues but when all the facts are revealed and the documentation between the TTC, RQ and the contractor is produced – there might be some embarrassment.

In other words this new work might not have been required if the original construction of the track had been completed according to the contract – and to sign-off early was RQ’s decision,  or so I am told.

The club paid out more than $200,000 to have the track and new running rail ready for opening day. Maybe this announcement is to repay that debt?

Then again, others might have hope this extra $250,000 would be used for urgently needed on-course stabling. There is an acute shortage of stables in Townsville as evidenced by the demand from visiting trainers for this year’s carnival.

Rockhampton trainer, Tim Cook, unable to get stalls, said he was forced to ferry his horses between Townsville and Mackay where his father delivered those coming north to race and took home to Rocky those that had already competed.

Hardly satisfactory!

And besides, everyone knows that if Rocky and Cairns did not have on-course stabling- there would be a severe scarcity of horses at both venues.



VICTORIA’S top jockey and Australia’s leading female jockey, Linda Meech, is the first late scratching from the carnival.

She had already been booked for mounts in the Cleveland Bay and Cup but copped a 10-day suspension at Bendigo on Sunday which ended her hopes of riding here and catching up with her former riding mate Bonnie Thompson, with whom she rode and worked at the stables of Bill Mitchell and later Peter Moody when they trained out of Eagle Farm.

Top Rockhampton jockey Adrian Coome has snapped up the ride on certain Cup topweight Flying Light which is on the way from Barry Baldwin’s stable to contest the race. He is highly credentialed being Group placed and the winner of two Stakes races over 2000m at Flemington in January last year.

Flying Light has had a couple of starts for Baldwin in Brisbane in recent weeks and is expected to be cherry ripe.

He will race in the very familiar black and white colours of Ingham’s best known son, Tom Sheehan, who, among others, raced the brilliant Burdekin Blues a few years back.

Punters will note that Coome is the usual rider of Fastnet Flyer, the recent Mackay Cup winner. So his quick acceptance of the Flying Light mount will be construed as a pretty good pointer.



QUEENSLAND Racing Integrity Commission stewards have disqualified last year’s Rockhampton Cup runner-up Binalong Road which 12 months ago reportedly returned a positive to arsenic.

A year later!

Trainer Mac Griffith, based at Mudgee in NSW, took Binalong Road to Rocky for the Cup on June 25 last year and a post-race urine sample taken from the gelding was found to contain  arsenic.

The trainer claimed the horse must have been eating wood shavings in the boxes he had used at Goondiwindi or Rockhampton.

Analysis of the wood shavings at Rockhampton confirmed the presence of arsenic and given the reported level was quite low, it could not be safely excluded on the evidence before the panel that such result was not the outcome of the horse consuming the shavings over the period whilst it was at the stables in Rockhampton.

No action was taken against the trainer but the horse was disqualified. The amended placings are: 1st RULING FORCE, 2nd HARADA BAY, 3rd OGGIE, 4th COLOUR CHARGE, 5th EMERALD CITY.



Join Us on Facebook

Racing News

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Getaway & Go Racing &
Day at the Races FREE Ratings
BN: 55127167

Login Form