Trainer, jockey to turn back clock at Callaghan Park
Rockhampton trainer Jamie McConachy and visiting New South Wales jockey Bobby El-lssa will turn the clock back four years when they band together at Wednesday’s Rockhampton TAB races.
El-lssa, 42, and McConachy will combine with likely favourite Lady Lowburn (Race 3 - TAB 14) in the $30.5K QTIS 3YO Maiden (1200m) run at 1.09pm.
Last Wednesday at Callaghan Park the filly went within a half-head of toppling hotpot Back When ($1.40) in an identical race for the class and distance.
Lady Lowburn’s assignment on Wednesday looks much easier and from barrier six and with only 54.5kg, she looks the horse to beat.
El-lssa, somewhat a charismatic character among the jockeying ranks, has stayed on in Queensland for the summer racing carnivals after a planned hit and run visit on December 19 when he won on Let’s Party Marty.
Since then, he has been in dynamic form, riding another six winners including doubles at Eagle Farm and Beaudesert.
His services have been in keen demand and even on Tuesday he rode at Gatton.
Trainer McConachy and El-lssa, a former two-time premier Sydney apprentice winning jockey, are not strangers.
Back in 2017 they combined to win the Townsville Cup with Chivadahli which is almost as widely travelled as El-lssa.
El-lssa is indeed one of racing’s great survivors as back in 2016 he overcame a rare cancer which saw his weight plummet to 35kg.
On the Rockhampton eight-race program he has also been booked for Golden Groove (R 1 -TAB 6); Ella A Walking (R4 -TAB 6); Pretty Mama (NZ) (R 5 – Tab 7) and Wide Load (R 8 – TAB 6).
Originally the races for this Wednesday, January 13, were scheduled for Mackay but it was only early last week that the race meeting was transferred to Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park racecourse.
It is testimony to the popularity all things racing at Callaghan Park that an eight-race card, which has attracted 90 acceptances, could be drawn-up at such short notice.
In the main, likely winners seem well concealed but it won’t be any surprise if the Ricky Vale-trained Rockhampton Cup (1600m) winner from last season in Absolut Artie races boldly.
While only having his first start back from a spell, Absolut Artie (R 4 -TAB 1) stands head and shoulders above his rivals on prior form and present ratings in the Open (1300m).
Admittedly, “Artie” is burdened with 62.5kg from his BM 87 rating which is eight points above his nearest in the rankings in Best Guess which has 57.5kg on a 79 BM.
With the engagement of Ashley Butler, bold front-running Absolut Artie will have little dead weight on his back.
Butler has been the rider of choice from Vale on Absolut Artie, winning on him five times and only being replaced by Brisbane’s Ryan Wiggins when the former could not get down to the handicap weight.
This occurred last winter when Wiggins enjoyed multiple successes on Absolut Artie including the coveted Rockhampton Cup.
Racing commences at Callaghan Park on Wednesday at 11.56am and concludes at 4.04pm.
The Rockhampton Jockey Club’s next race meetings are scheduled for Saturday, January 23, and Friday, January 29.