WHEN Brisbane racing enthusiast Helen Yeates bought a weanling filly for $3250 at the 2001 Magic Millions weanling sale, she not only struck gold with 10 foals to race (nine winners) earning almost $746,000, she also had a lightning strike when one of those progeny - 6YO gelding Desert Cowboy - won the 950m Cairns Lightning Handicap last Saturday.
Trained locally at Cairns by Trevor Rowe, Desert Cowboy is by English Group 1 winning juvenile Hayil (USA) and now has eight wins and eight placings from 31 starts. He's also become a Cairns sprint specialist with three wins and a second from five starts at the 950m distance. His five earlier wins were in south-east Queensland when trained by David Vandyke (1), Lindsay Hatch (3) and Darryl Hansen (1).
What began as a hobby 22 years ago for Helen - when her three children Kim, Nicholas and Mathew had all left school - has now morphed into countless hours spent studying pedigrees finding suitable sires to nick with up to 16 mares she runs on a property at Highfields near Toowoomba.
Believing her horses' pedigrees are not high profile enough to sell as yearlings, Helen has opted to race all her horses with satisfying results. For example, in addition to Desert Cowboy, three horses from different dams - Desert Digby (half-brother to Desert Cowboy), Kim Alicia and Kaoru King - all won races at Ipswich, Doomben and the Sunshine Coast respectively in June and July this year.
Helen picked Desert Desire as a weanling because she was by Desert Sun (GB) - sire of the magnificent mare Sunline (13 Group 1 wins) plus other Group 1 winning mares Egyptian Raine and La Bella Dama. Although unraced through injury she proved a bargain buy with her 10 foals to race all earning prizemoney with her 11th foal being an unraced 2YO by Collate. Unfortunately, she died in September last year at the age of 18 after a colic attack. "She was a beautiful mare - always covered in dapples - but time wearied her. I treasure what she did for me," Helen said.
Cowboy trained by former farrier
DESERT Cowboy is one of several horses Trevor Rowe has trained for Helen Yeates. The association began through Trevor's nephew Terrence Rowe who has done contract work for Helen for many years educating foals, shoeing and breaking-in (including Desert Cowboy). Consequently, Trevor was a 'natural fit' for any horses Helen wanted to send north.
Trevor also began shoeing horses when he was a teenager and just went on from there. Racing Queensland webnews reported last year that Trevor took out a trainer's licence 10 years ago with his son Peter and had been fortunate enough to kick a few goals since then. "I'm a butcher by trade and when I turned 50 I decided to try something new. Some people have affairs, some people buy Harley Davidsons and I started training horses," Trevor said.
Desert Cowboy's winning jockey in the Lightning was former Rockhampton apprentice Quayde Krogh, 27, who recently completed his apprenticeship in July after a 12 months contract with the prestigious Gai Waterhouse/Adrian Bott training partnership in Sydney.
A tribute posted by Australian Racing Hall of Fame trainer Gai Waterhouse on her website on July 2 reads: "A warm congratulations to Quayde Krogh, who yesterday completed his apprenticeship and is now a fully-fledged jockey. Quayde is a dedicated and hard-working individual, who has played an integral part of our day-to-day operations over the past year as one of our main gallop riders. Quayde, 27, has ridden 176 winners in his career to date including our very own Penske (Sebring/Princess Natural) to victory in the Mudgee Cup last year."
'Full steam a-hedley' at Cairns
IT was 'full steam a-hedley' at the Cairns Cup meeting last Saturday, when Hedley syndicate horses won four of the eight races on the program including the 2100m Cairns Cup.
It was almost a case of deja-vu from the two-day Townsville Cup/Cleveland Bay Handicap meetings two weeks earlier when 19 Hedley horses started in 16 races for three wins, three seconds and a third to earn $144,400 in prizemoney with The Harrovian trained by Stephen Massingham (Cairns) winning the feature Townsville Cup and Hardern (Michael Geaney) third.
In fact, the three Townsville winners, The Harrovian, Cedarwood and Love Is Blind, replicated their wins at Cairns and were joined by Ready For Love to complete the winning quartet. Jockey club president Tom Hedley provided 18 of the 81 starters at Cairns to be rewarded with four wins, two seconds and two thirds to earn $173,500. Again the flag-bearer was The Harrovian who won the Cairns Cup to maintain a perfect record of four starts for four wins at the Cairns track. Hedley also had the satisfaction of owning the Cup quinella with Follow Suit running second after leading for much of the race.
By Fastnet Rock from the winning Dehere (USA) mare Harrow, The Harrovian now has nine wins and four placings from 22 starts. Runner-up Follow Suit is a New Zealand-bred son of top class Australia-bred racehorse and sire Show A Heart from the Bachelor Duke (USA) mare Royal Green (NZ) and sold for $28,000 at the 2015 New Zealand Select yearling sale.
A winner of two races as a 3YO in New Zealand before crossing the Tasman, he was then a four-time winner up to 2200m for Sydney-based Chris Waller before being on-sold to Tom Hedley in June who placed him with Brisbane trainer Lauren Abbott for his past four starts in North Queensland.
Having provided veteran Australian Racing Hall of Fame jockey Robert Thompson with his second Townsville Cup, The Harrovian gave Thompson his sixth Cairns Cup win - the first on Stage Shaker in 2009 and the past three in succession with Chivadahllii in 2017 and We Just Love It in 2018. He was also the third leg of a winning treble for Thompson beginning with Mister Magnusifent trained by Sharlee D'Avila (Tolga) followed by Via Balciano trained by Rodney Miller (Cairns).
2019 QTIS Premiers announced
FOR the first time in the 10-year history of the QTIS Premiership Awards, the same trainer has won both the 2YO and 3YO trainers' premierships.
Toowoomba-based Tony Sears secured both victories after a tremendous season with his juveniles. Sears had eight 2YO QTIS winners and picked up $125,650 in QTIS bonus prizemoney for the season to finish ahead of Michael Nolan (Toowoomba) who banked $118,150 with five QTIS 2YO winners and Toby Edmonds (Gold Coast) who had three QTIS 2YO winners for $111,050 in bonus prizemoney.
Edmonds trained the leading 2YO runner (on earnings) for the 2018-19 season, with Champagne Jet (by Jet Spur) topping the table after earning $64,800 in QTIS bonus prizemoney. Champagne Jet soared to victory in the last month to just pip Gem of Scotland at the post, after the Rothesay youngster led the standings for most of the season to finish on $62,250.
It was an interesting battle in the 3YO premiership on earnings, with Spirit's Choice and Hold the Line chopping and changing in the top positions for most of the season. The Spirit of Boom filly was leading heading into the final month, however Hold the Line (Your Song) prevailed after earning $36,750 in QTIS bonus prizemoney in July to finish the season with $122,550.
Sears' win in the 3YO Trainer's Premiership wasn't quite as cut-throat. He dominated the table for most of the season to finish with 11 3YO winners and $190,700 in QTIS bonus prizemoney, ahead of David Vandyke (Sunshine Coast) on $187,850 and Tony Gollan (Brisbane) who banked $179,650.
This is the second season Sears has won a QTIS Trainer's Premiership, after taking out the 3YO award in 2015/16. Sears has won two complimentary entries into the 2020-21 Magic Millions Series for any two yearlings that he buys at one of the 2020 Magic Millions Sales.
Thanking Magic Millions for their ongoing support of the QTIS Premiership, Thoroughbred Breeders Queensland Association chairman Basil Nolan said the awards had become highly sought-after titles and prizes. "It's fantastic to see that everyone who supports the Queensland industry can reap the rewards and be recognised for their efforts," Mr Nolan said.
Frankie Dettori confirmed for 2020 Magic Millions
FRANKIE Dettori - the biggest name in world racing - is heading to the Gold Coast in January 2020 to take part in The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Carnival.
Current Longines World Jockey of the Year, Dettori will be in the thick of the action from the outset. His schedule will include:
- Captaining Team Ferrari in his polo debut against rival jockey Hugh Bowman at Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo on Sunday, January 5.
- Riding along Surfers Paradise beach at dawn for The Star Gold Coast Barrier Draw Beach Run on Tuesday, January 7.
- Securing rides for the $10 Million The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions Raceday on Saturday, January 11.
The announcement comes off the back of 48-year-old Dettori starring at 'Glorious Goodwood' - one of Britain's leading race meets - and recent wins on superstars Enable and Stradivarius.
Magic Millions co-owner Katie Page Harvey said Frankie Dettori was the best, most in-demand jockey in the world. "If you race in the northern hemisphere and you want to win, you want Frankie. But Frankie is more than his 500 Group 1 wins. He embodies racing - ultimate athlete, extraordinary horseman with a world-renowned sense of fun," she said.
"Christmas and early January is his time to lie on a beach and take a well-earned break. But I had other ideas. My request was simple: I can offer you the best beaches in the world; the time of your life playing the Pacific Fair Magic Millions Polo alongside Nacho Figueras, Zara Tindall, Delfina Blaquier, Hugh Bowman and the prospect of riding for $2 million prizemoney in The Star Gold Coast Magic Millions 2YO Classic. Frankie said yes!"