SOME 40 years ago I went to Randwick races, Sydney, on New Year’s Day and saw Good Times Coming (Wilkes (Fr)/Sovereign) win the Tatt’s New Year Gift for trainer T.J.(Tommy) Smith.
Later that year I was at Blackall and saw the same horse, now trained by Gordon Prow and ridden by his brother Charlie Prow, win by virtually the length of the straight. Now Charlie Prow joins TJ Smith as an inaugural Hall of Fame inductee. Smith was inducted into the Australian Racing Hall of Fame in 2001 and elevated to Legend status in 2012. Last Saturday, February 16, 2019 at Emerald, Charlie Prow was deservedly named Queensland’s inaugural Country Racing Hall of Fame winner at an awards ceremony organised by country racing Facebook live streaming page On the Bit, and sponsored by Racing Queensland.
That day at Blackall back in 1978 was the first time I became aware of Charlie Prow – now best known for training and riding Miss Petty, who held the Australian record at one point with 22 consecutive wins. Charlie raced Miss Petty in association with Dick Banks and Fred Giltrow and family and the same connections also raced her son Acceleratic who Charlie trained to win 27 races.
The Prows and Dick Banks bought Good Times Coming as a sire to stand at Idalia, Blackall and also won several races in central Queensland including the Rockhampton Amateurs Bracelet – a race Charlie won seven times as a jockey.
Dick’s first association with the Prows was approximately 50 years ago when they raced Fine James (by James) and Alauna by (Aloe). They later had success with several progeny by Good Times Coming including 1986 Birdsville Cup winner Good Aloe and Good Hunting. That year Charlie trained and rode six winners over the two day carnival. My QCL colleague Helen Walker, who attended the awards, has written an excellent, comprehensive report – including all the different award winners – so I don’t intend to reinvent the wheel.
Instead, let me expand on Helen’s report. Racing Queensland statistics show that since 2000 – almost a 20 year period – Charlie has trained 3268 starters for 1354 winners and place-getters – a creditable 40 per cent win/place record. But that’s barely half the story: considering that Charlie began his racing career some 40 years earlier as a 15 year old jockey. Add in his list of winners as a jockey and then as a dual-registered trainer/jockey at a time when records at bush races were far harder to tabulate and it’s an imposing record over 60 years of nearly 2000 winning rides and around 1000 winners as a trainer.
Such ‘prowess’ made Charlie a popular pick as the inaugural Country Racing Hall of Fame inductee.
Training Assistance Fund established to support racing participants
A NEW Training Assistance Fund has been launched by the Queensland Government to support racing participants in flood-impacted areas across the north of the state. Racing Minister Stirling Hinchliffe announced the measure to assist trainers who have encountered additional animal welfare, care and transportation costs due to the catastrophic rainfall event that has inundated the area.
“Queensland’s devastating floods have impacted thousands of people, and this includes racing participants and trainers. Many of them need financial assistance to ensure the welfare of their animals, and that’s what this fund will provide,” he said.
It’s estimated more than 100 trainers across thoroughbreds and greyhounds have faced additional costs for transport, food, forage and bedding for animals, directly related to the recent floods.
To begin the fundraising Racing Queensland has donated $20,000, with the organisation’s exclusive on-course wagering partner, TAB, contributing a further $25,000. TAB has also provided $20,000 to GIVIT – a not-for-profit organisation connecting those in need –taking their overall contribution to $45,000. Ladbrokes, the only corporate wagering operator headquartered in the state, has also recognised the need to assist the North Queensland industry with a $20,000 donation.
“We’re extremely grateful to TAB and Ladbrokes, who have made significant contributions to commence our fundraising endeavours,” Mr Parnell said.
“The recent floods have had a profound impact on the North Queensland community and the racing industry has not been quarantined from this event. While there are presently tales of incredible community spirit, the weeks and months ahead will be difficult as the rebuild continues and that includes the prospect of financial and emotional hardship for our industry participants. We would encourage anyone who has the capacity to donate to do so,” he said.
The fund will provide an opening round of payments to eligible trainers of $350 or $700 depending on their respective activity levels. Impacted trainers, who have had racing activity in the last four months, are invited to apply from the following local government areas: Burdekin, Charters Towers, Cloncurry, Hinchinbrook, McKinlay, Richmond and Townsville.
RQ officials will oversee and administer the fund to ensure that the pressure is alleviated on affected participants as quickly as possible. RQ is also working with clubs to ensure normal racing operation is restored as soon as possible with races rescheduled or relocated where possible. Full details on how to apply for funding at racingqueensland.com.au. Impacted participants may also be entitled to personal financial assistance through the federal government disaster recovery payment and the disaster recovery allowance.
Brazen Beau progeny red hot at Classic
DUAL Group1-winning Darley stallion Brazen Beau (I Am Invincible/Sansadee) had a field day at the 2019 Inglis Classic Yearling Sale at Warwick Farm, Sydney, on the fourth and final Book 1 session on Tuesday, February 12 when two of his yearlings sold for more than $1 million between them. Already the sire of high profile juveniles Tassort, Accession, First Dawn and Pretty Brazen, Brazen Beau had just nine representatives in the Inglis Classic catalogue and ended the sale as leading sire by average ($247,857).
Setting a new Classic record of $550,000 on Tuesday was a Brazen Beau/Pouter colt consigned by Murrulla Stud, Wingham (as agent), NSW. If the colt was in-demand before the weekend, he became even hotter property when his promising half-sister Rock Dove scored a comfortable win for Godolphin in the Listed Strutt Stakes in Hobart two days earlier. The colt was bought Bruce Perry Bloodstock.
Murulla Stud, operated by Tim and Celie Nolan, scored a unique double when they also prepared the top priced yearling in the inaugural Book 2 Highway session. Peter Twomey’s Wattle Bloodstock was the winning bidder paying $85,000 for an Unencumbered/Malbun colt on behalf of Thomas Loke’s Tivic Stable in Singapore. The colt was a successful pinhook result for owner Leon Bradbery, who bought him as a weanling for $14,000 from last year’s Inglis Australian Broodmare and Weanling Sale.
Later on during the final Book 1 session, another colt by Brazen Beau was sold for $480,000. Consigned by Aquis Farm’s NSW Operations, Murrurundi, he’s out of a half-sister to Wattle Brae Stud’s ill-fated Group 1-placed and multiple Group winning sire Court Command. Aquis Farm, Canungra, was also a major buyer selecting six lots.
Several Queensland vendors had successful sales. Canning Downs Stud, Warwick sold a Not A Single Doubt/Infinito colt for $250,000 – a price matched by Glenlogan Park, Innisplain for an Exosphere/Casilda filly respectively. Kenmore Lodge, Wyreema, sold a Hinchinbrook/Jive Lady colt for $220,000 while Eureka Stud, Cambooya, sold a Spirit Of Boom/Kinka Rhode colt for $200,000.
Queensland-based buyers also made their presence felt. Brisbane bloodstock agent John Foote, often in conjunction with clients, bought at least eight horses paying up to $220,000 while Epsom Lodge, Beaudesert, operated by Ben Ahrens, was a bulk buyer spending $589,5000 on 11 lots.
Lots sold: 588
Clearance Rate: 81 percent
Average Price: $76,701
Median Price: $55,000
Top Price: $550,000
Townsville racing return pushed back to April
A RETURN to racing at Townsville Turf Club (TTC) on Thursday, February 21 is set to be postponed, allowing for track rehabilitation work at Cluden Park. Future race meetings may also be delayed – contingent on results - until early April.
TTC, in conjunction with Racing Queensland, inspected the course following the recent floods and located root growth issues, along with weed, seed and insect infestation. The inspection also highlighted the need for further tests relating to soil contamination, with samples to be sent to southern laboratories in the near future. Accordingly, TTC will immediately start a spray program to control weeds and grubs that have been observed.
TTC president Malcolm Petrofski said that after the flood waters cleared the track surface appeared to be in great condition, however the last few days of sunshine revealed evidence of weed infestation. “A racing surface takes an incredible amount of fine-tuning to make it safe for our equine athletes; so any evidence of problems need to be nipped in the bud. We are absolutely focused on nursing the track through this process carefully so that our Winter Carnival can continue as normal,” he said.