TIPS: Macca previews what will be a super day of racing

IN CONTENTION: Rockhampton's Petite Elle, ridden by Pietro Romeo, edges out Calliope-trained Salty's Boy, ridden by Mark Barnham, in race two last Saturday in Gladstone.
IN CONTENTION: Rockhampton's Petite Elle, ridden by Pietro Romeo, edges out Calliope-trained Salty's Boy, ridden by Mark Barnham, in race two last Saturday in Gladstone. Matt Taylor GLA161217HORSE

ONE of Central Queensland's oldest race clubs, the Calliope Jockey Club has an "embarrassment of riches" for its 106th annual Cup race meeting today.

To say club officials were delighted is an understatement when nominations totalled 63 horses were received today.

Horses from a wide cross-section of CQ are among the entries for the five-race card, which boasts $50,000 in prize-money.


e8d1eea2-3c3f-41b1-aefc-da7288821f7e Contributed GLA211217FIELDS


Renown for the magnificent trophies, which are an added extra to race winners, Calliope is prepared for one of its best Boxing Day event in years.

Club president Jim Neill-Ballantine said the track was in good order and race starter and track curator, the former top jockey Bob Lisle, has put in many hours to ensure it was so.

"Everything is coming along nicely and the township is preparing for another top day of racing. It is an annual affair down here and everybody looks forward to Boxing Day," Neill-Ballantine said.

He also said the timely rain in the months leading up to December had played its part in assisting grass growth for the track to present well.

No fewer than 19 horses have been entered for the feature race, the $10,000 Calliope Rural Traders BM 55 Gold Cup (1608m).

Locally owned horse Salty's Boy raced by Ian Seeds is assured of being one of the top chances in the $14,500 Ulton QTIS Maiden Plate (1000m).

Salty's Boy is prepared by Ryan Ibbotson, a name synonymous with horses racing in Calliope.

The Calliope racecourse is one of the most picturesque in Queensland and camping facilities are available on-course for racegoers and holidaymakers who want to go the extra mile today.

However, the club strictly enforces a "no eskies" policy as a bar will be in operation on the track as well as adequate food facilities.

A courtesy bus will be running to and from the township conveying and returning racegoers throughout Boxing Day.

In-form apprentice Lachlan Dodds will be missing on Boxing Day as he is travelling to the Albury region for Christmas celebrations with family.

Callaghan Park trainer Jamie McConachy produced a very smart juvenile youngster by the name of Brook's Pleasure at last Wednesday's barrier trials in Rockhampton.

McConachy produced another likely winner in Bel's Impact who looked well above average in winning another 900m heat.

Meanwhile, the Tim Cook trained Conca Del Sogno has reportedly overcome a slight stable injury incurred last weekend, which cost it a Sunshine Coast start nine days ago.

Cook said the horse reared in its stable and struck its head and while it was a minor injury he did not want to risk Conca Del Sogno enduring a long float trip to Caloundra under the circumstances.


Topics:  calliope jockey club horse racing industry horse racing queensland

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