Trainer Ricky Vale with winning jockey Ryan Wiggins unsaddling Rocky Cup winner Absolut Artie earlier this year. Picture: Tony McMahon.
Trainer Ricky Vale with winning jockey Ryan Wiggins unsaddling Rocky Cup winner Absolut Artie earlier this year. Picture: Tony McMahon.

Vale continues impressive winning trend

Continuing a winning trend that could result in a personal best this season, Rockhampton trainer Ricky Vale came very close to annexing a winning treble at Callaghan Park races on Tuesday.

Vale produced tough Drumbeats seven-years-old gelding Meatball (Elly Smith, $3.60) for a last stride nose win over Electrified (Ryan Wiggins, $2.60) as his first winner in the BM 72 (1600m).

It was Meatball’s sixth race win in a 31 starts career under three trainers.

Testimony to Vale’s training prowess, Meatball has won all his races (6) under the care of the Rocky mentor and never finished further back than fourth in 20 starts for the trainer.

Just 75 minutes after Meatball’s fighting win, the Vale trained newcomer Carlin Trend, which

undoubtedly would be the biggest horse in training at Callaghan Park, won impressively.

Ridden by Ryan Wiggins and starting a well backed favourite at $3.00, Carlin Trend (Medaglia d’Oro (USA)-Wordplay x Fastnet Rock) dwarfed his 14 rivals winning the Maiden (1400m).

Once again it was a superb training effort by Vale as Carlin Trend was having his first start for him having not raced since July 20 when second at Hawkesbury for Sydney trainer Anthony Cummings.

Wiggins and Vale have forged a strong combination in Rockhampton racing capped by taking out the Rockhampton Cup (1600m) with Absolut Artie last July.

Brisbane’s Wiggins is currently enjoying his best season having already winning 51 races since August 1 as opposed to 60 for the entire 12 months of the 2019/20 season.

So too is Vale for that matter as he has so far led in 18 winners in the first five months of the

2020/21 racing season.

It was almost 19 when Ornate (Elly Smith, $2.60) loomed up to win the race named in her honour but the Kevin Miller trained Ask Nino (Nigel Seymour, $5.00) kicked back to win by three quarters of a length in the BM 58 (1400m).

For the gifted Seymour who recently made a determined comeback to race riding it was the second leg of a double after hotpot Hidden Joy ($1.16) gave his backers a fright before winning the QTIS 2YO Mdn (1050m).

Hidden Joy raced greenly in the straight but under Seymour’s experienced guidance the Nick Walsh trained Hidden Dragon filly had sufficient natural ability to still win by 1.25 lengths.

It was a winning double also for Elly Smith as she guided the Alan Jones trained Belzu ($10.00) to a resounding win in the BM 70 (1050m).

Jones was elated by the win which came to fruition after he investigated a breathing issue with Belzu after the Bel Esprit 5YO had disappointed recently at Rockhampton and Gladstone.

“I decided to have him scoped but as it turned out that wasn’t the issue but he was breathing

abnormally from a trait he developed thereby affecting him. I changed his bridle and some other gear and since then he has worked much stronger like a different horse,” the jubilant trainer said.

The race favourite, the heavily backed Aleysa’s Miracle ($2.70), lost all chance when attempting to buck in the early stages thus being tailed off.

To make up so much ground finishing 6.25 lengths away sixth indicates just how much ability she has while legitimately raising the likely scenario that Aleysa’s Miracle would have been right in the finish only for her misbehaviour.

On a day when local trainers won six of the seven races Lyle Wright contributed to those figures winning with Mystery Element (Nathan Day, $9.00) in the Class 4 (1200m).

Roma trainer Craig Smith’s Persaga (Brooke Richardson, $7.50) deprived a clean sweep of the

program for Callaghan Park trainers beating Rob Bowen’s Wide Load (Justin Stanley, $3.80) narrowly in the BM 0-55 Handicap (1100m).

The first race meeting for 2021 for the Rockhampton Jockey Club will be run next Wednesday, January 6, with 96 horses entered for the nine-race program.