IT'S been said there's never been a journalist who could resist the temptation to edit someone else's copy.
Last week I was listening to Radio TAB's Bush Beat segment when hosts Tony Clements and Longreach-based Rob Luck mentioned a story posted by Roma trainer Craig Smith on his Facebook page Smith Racing Stables concerning the win by Rooi Roe in the Pam O'Neill Open Handicap at Emerald on March 9.
When I subsequently contacted Craig to get further details he was happy to help and commented "Queensland racing certainly needs some good news stories."
I don't intend to re-invent the wheel. Instead please read his post.
"Words cannot explain how the stable is feeling after Rooi Roe made a return to racing today, and to find the winner's stall was the cherry on top. Rooi, you could say, has been to hell and back but her toughness and will to fight for life was shown over the last six months as she succumbed to colic surgeries from a perforated bowel after getting home from Birdsville last September.
"That night Will Nason from the Roma Veterinary Clinic got Rooi prepared and set up with IV fluids and sedation to make her comfortable for Craig to be able to transport her to Toowoomba praying that she would survive the trip as she was so weak and sick. This has seen her living at the Darling Downs Vets for quite some time while the procedures began, which was touch and go with her for a bit, so a big thank you to Steve Rayner and his team for their role in keeping her alive.
"Next step was the rehabilitation program under the care of Jake Capewell and Jay Louise Davies at Ivanhoe Spelling and Agistment where much dedication and care was provided for Rooi so a massive thank you for your role. Then the return to stable life was like she never left for those of you who know what antics she can get up to!!
"Rooi and her trackwork rider Cameron Dixon began the special bond they share and her work regime began. Stable staff were constantly checking on her to make sure she didn't relapse and with everyone's involvement she stepped out today first up and a winner.
"Congratulations to the Brook family for an amazing adventure with this mare who has now won eight races, seven seconds and a third from 21 starts for $104,525."
Roma Picnics' $500 nod to trainers
ROMA Picnic Race Club is offering an exciting new incentive for local trainers at its annual race day at Bassett Park on Saturday, March 30.
For the first time, the club will present the Trainer of the Day with a $500 Commerce Roma gift card. Sponsored by Synergy Accountants, the Trainer of the Day aims to recognise and reward the efforts of country trainers.
Roma Picnic Race Club president Scott Arthur said it was a small step in promoting a healthy racing industry across the Maranoa. "We've been pretty passionate about trying to increase our prize money in recent years and we now race for close to $70,000. The Synergy Accountants Trainer of the Day award is just one way to support the racing industry and acknowledge the efforts of a trainer who stands out on the day. Last year that would have been an easy pick with Bevan Johnson winning three of the five races," he said.
Trainer of the Day will be awarded at the end of the racing program and the winner can spend the $500 voucher at a large range of local businesses. "We thought that by giving them a Commerce Roma gift card we could be sure the money was spent locally as a lot of these businesses generously support our event each year," Mr Arthur said.
The Roma Picnic Races will begin with the Black Toyota Black Tie Ball on Friday March 29 followed by a full day of racing, fashion and live music on Saturday.
"We've had a lot of interest in the races this year and although our Black Tie Ball is sold out, we still have an online special available for gate tickets on the Saturday. Anyone can jump online and buy a gate ticket for $20 now - all tickets on the day will be $25," Mr Arthur said.
For more information and tickets visit http://www.romaraces.org.au
The Odyssey is jewel for Better Than Ready
LYNDHURST Stud based sire sensation Better Than Ready returned to the top of the Leading First Season Sire table on earnings when exceptional juvenile The Odyssey cruised to victory in the $500,000 Aquis 2YO Jewel at the Gold Coast on Saturday, March 16.
The success of progeny from the first crop of Better Than Ready has been sensational with no fewer than 14 individual winners - nine more than his nearest freshman rivals. Trained by Brisbane-based Kelly Schweida - who also trained Better Than Ready to eight wins - the colt is owned by a group of women including Schweida's wife, Vera.
The Odyssey has led the way this season. Already a stakes winner, the quality youngster swept to victory in the rich feature boosting his earnings past $550,000. A $30,000 purchase at the 2018 March Magic Millions yearling sale on the Gold Coast, The Odyssey is from the lightly raced Snitzel mare Jessica's Hope. Unfortunately for long-term Darling Downs breeders Tony and Ruth Thomas, the 9YO mare died in January last year in foal to Widden-based stallion Star Turn.
Another youngster by Better Than Ready, Ready To Roam ran a strong third in the 2YO Jewel and those earnings helped propel the outstanding young stallion above Brazen Beau as the leading first season sire on earnings.
Allround Glory for Rockhampton galloper
RACING patrons at Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Rockhampton in north and central Queensland have all had the opportunity to witness 10 wins by Rockhampton-based sprinter Allround Glory. Last Saturday, March 16, it was south Queensland's turn when the 4YO gelding scored a gritty win at the Aquis Jewel race day at the Gold Coast.
Allround Glory was selected by Rockhampton trainer Lyle Wright as the travelling companion for his smart 3YO filly Cyclone Topgirl entered in the Aquis 3YO Jewel. The Racing Queensland website reports Wright was born in Mackay and trained for many years in the sugar city before relocating to Rockhampton last year.
Allround Glory did his bit by winning Race 3 - a 900m No Metro win handicap - however Cyclone Topgirl will have to wait another week to 'strut her stuff'. With steady rain downgrading the track to a heavy 10 after race six, stewards made the decision to abandon the final three races on the card - including the Aquis 3YO Jewel - due to visibility concerns. The Aquis 3YO Jewel has been rescheduled to Brisbane's Eagle Farm racetrack next Saturday, March 23.
Both horses are bred and raced by the Milner family, Palm View Stud, Rockhampton, and have been frequent travel companions - most recently two weeks ago when they travelled north to Bowen where they ran the quinella with the 3YO filly taking the honours in the 1000m Open Handicap. In addition to his 11 wins, Allround Glory also has 11 placings including runner-up in the 2016 Capricornia 2YO Colts and Geldings Breeders Plate (1050m) at Rockhampton's Callaghan Park.
Allround Glory is one of nine winners sired by Central Queensland-based stallion Carrara while his dam is the winning Mossman mare Mossman Annie. A $200,000 purchase at the 2008 Inglis Melbourne Premier yearling sale, Carrara was an outstanding performer with 21 of his 25 starts being at the elite black-type level.
A winner of the Group 2 Bill Stutt Stakes for 3YOs at Moonee Valley and three Listed races in Melbourne and Brisbane, Carrara was also placed in nine black type races - most notably runner-up to Starspangledbanner in the Group 1 Caulfield Guineas and third to Shoot Out (Group 2 BRC Sires' Produce Stakes) and Black Caviar (Listed MRC Blue Sapphire Stakes).
For Bruce Watts - proprietor of Riverside Thoroughbreds, Alton Downs where Carrara stands - his pedigree even surpasses his performances. His sire Elvstroem was an international performer with five Group 1 wins in Australia and Dubai while his dam Crystal Sprite (Hurricane Sky/Crystal Snip) is a winning half-sister to four stakes winners including Group 1 Golden Slipper winner Crystal Lilly.
Sidestep sires first black type winner
A GROUP 3 winner in their first racing crop is always an excellent advertisement for a 'freshman' sire - even better if the sire now stands in Queensland.
That's the good news story concerning Sidestep whose daughter Kiamichi scored an impressive win in the 1200m Group 3 Magic Night Stakes for 2YO fillies at Rosehill, Sydney, on Saturday, March 16.
In an historic arrangement with Godolphin Australia (which races Kiamichi), multiple Group 2-winning sprinter and Group 1 Golden Slipper runner-up Sidestep became the highest-rated son of Exceed And Excel standing in Queensland. Prior to his arrival at Telemon Thoroughbreds, Innisplain, last season, Sidestep completed his third shuttle trip to France for the northern hemisphere season having spent his first three season on the Darley roster.
Sidestep is one of three Group 1 performers produced from the Group 2 winning Quest For Fame (GB) mare Dextrous - the others being Champagne Stakes winner Skilled and Epsom Handicap runner-up Ambidexter. Dextrous, Skilled and Sidestep were all 2YO black type winners and Kiamichi from his first racing crop has added her name to the honour board.
Telemon and Godolphin committed to make Sidestep available to Queensland breeders for a minimum of the next two seasons and in a deliberate marketing ploy, Sidestep stood his first Queensland season at a $7700 service fee - a 30 percent drop from his $11,000 fee for his three seasons at Darley.
One of the 136 mares covered by Sidestep at his first season at Darley (the breeding arm of Godolphin) was the Canny Lad mare Ouachita - an unraced sibling to three stakes winners including Group 1 winners Denman (ARC Golden Rose) and Preserve (VRC Sires' Produce). With two wins and a placing from four start, Kiamichi becomes her dam's sixth individual winner.