Mike Hill’s Qld regional roundup
\”IT was a fantastic day,\” says Rockhampton\’s Darren Taylor.
The Bouldercombe-based trainer was referring to his winning treble at Bundaberg last month that included success in the $5250 Young Guns Final (460m).
Taylor produced the white and black sprinter Cosmic Colin (Keybow-Cosmic Capers) for an impressive victory in the $3500-to-the-winner Young Guns feature, Jack Of Hearts won the Dan Saville Memorial (550m), while Barcia Bullet was too good in the Sky Racing FFA (550m).
The Rocky conditioner has been putting the polish on Cosmic Colin ever since owner John Kuhn transferred the sprinter to Team Taylor last November.
\”It was through my son Jordan, who is going with Micaela Kuhn, John and his wife Yvonne\’s daughter, that Cosmic Colin came into our kennels,\” Taylor said.
\”He\’s a nice type and has good box speed.
\”Although I don\’t think he\’ll get 500m just yet, he\’s a nice sprinter and there are more wins to come.\”
Taylor said he\’d kept Cosmic Colin fresh, more so than usual, for the feature final.
\”He\’s not a strong dog and I felt it was important for him to hold the lead from the start,\” he said.
\”There was some speed in the race.\”
Taylor\’s thinking proved to be spot-on.
His talented sprinter – the $2.70 favourite – jumped well and led the field around the first corner, opening up a three-length advantage down the back straight.
Cosmic Colin still had a length or so advantage entering the straight and managed to hold off the fast-finishing Adam McIntosh-trained Pixie My Love ($17) by half-a-length with the David Plummer-prepared Fogelberg ($7) a length away third.
Since joining Taylor\’s kennels, the sprinter has been a model of consistency with 10 wins and seven placings from just 25 starts.
Sandwiched among the wins are two impressive successes over 395m at Albion Park.
Cosmic Colin\’s overall record now stands at 36: 12-3-6.
Meanwhile, Taylor said he had been thrilled to win the Dan Saville Memorial (550m) with former Victorian sprinter Jack Of Hearts.
It\’s a race that means a lot to him.
For many years, he was a \’private\’ trainer for Saville, a leading Central Queensland owner and former race-caller at both the Rockhampton and Bundaberg tracks.
\”Dan loved his dogs and he loved racing at Bundy,\” the trainer said.
Following Saville\’s sad passing five years ago, Taylor decided to honour him with the memorial race.
\”I provide the rug and trophy and put some money on the bar,\” he said.
\”It keeps everyone happy and the club gets something out of it.
\”Dan, who was passionate about his dogs, loved to have a drink when racing at Bundy.\”
Taylor said the brilliant sprinter Cosmic Waters was \’by far the best dog\’ he ever trained for Saville.
The black bitch (Cosmic Chief-Naval Juice) finished her career in late 2015 with a wonderful record of 28 wins and 30 placings from 95 starts and she still holds the Rocky 510m track record of 28.94s.
\”She lives with us now as our house pet,\” Taylor said.
STAR North Queensland sprinter Stratford continued his domination with a highly impressive win in last month\’s $7875 Grand Prix Final (498m) at Townsville.
The victory took his current winning run to nine straight and has given owner-trainer Rhonda Essery a dilemma as she maps out the sprinter\’s upcoming campaign.
Before the final Essery said her husband Steve wanted her to take the sprinter to Brisbane for the Nationals while she was more inclined to stay at home.
Stratford, a raging $1.65 favourite in the Grand Prix, was always in control, beating the Robert Lound-prepared No Regrets ($9.50) by two-and-three-quarter lengths with Michael Hickmott\’s Diva Valentine ($6) third.
The win took the talented sprinter\’s overall record to 29 wins and 13 placings from 56 starts with prizemoney just under $69,000.
Stratford has been in super form since winning the Country Cup (520m) at Albion Park earlier in the year.
At the time Essery said the sprinter had matured enormously from the trip south. Since then Stratford has produced 18 wins and two placings from his past 24 starts.
Meanwhile, highly promising sprinter Redemption Day clocked a stunning 21.42s to equal the Townsville 380m record held jointly by his litter brother Excuse Me Jack and Tipsy Four.
A MASSIVE redevelopment program planned for later this year will make Bundaberg a fantastic racing venue, says club boss Ricky Hassall.
The club, one of the last in Australia to race on grass, will take on a new look with major works to the track complex as well as the introduction of several new racing distances.
The project will include widening the track to seven metres, a new running rail and lure drive system, returfing the track and the installation of a new control tower.
Work is expected to start sometime in the second half of the year.
An excited Hassall said the club could possibly be racing over three new distances once work was completed.
\”We\’ll have a new 315m start, the 550m distance will be reduced to 531m and we\’re in talks with Racing Queensland about the possibility of racing over 720m,\” he said.
\”The track will be given a full refurbishment which should ensure top quality racing for many years to come.
\”We could be out of action for at least eight to 12 weeks but it\’s going to be pretty exciting once all the work is finished.
\”I\’m really hopeful we can lock in the 720-metre trip.
\”It won\’t be a distance we use every week but would be ideal to couple with the Bundaberg Cup which we\’re looking to transfer to next March.\”
A RQ spokesman confirmed last month that Bundaberg would forego a Cup series this year.
The Cup has been pushed back a few months to early next year, the spokesman said.
Hassall said the club had agreed to swap Cup dates with Capalaba.
Capalaba will now take the October slot for its Cup series with Bundaberg moving back to its original March-April spot.
Bundaberg staged two Cup series last year – one in April, the other in October.
The RQ spokesman said a special open class feature with heats and final would now be programmed for Bundaberg later in the year in place of the Cup.
GRAND campaigner Are Jay Lochie is about to begin his final preparation before retirement.
Owner-trainer Darren Taylor said the champion country chaser has been a wonderful performer since first hitting the track in May 2018.
Two runs shy of his 100th race start, the black son of Sulzanti and the Lochinvar Marlow bitch Ledaro Didi has prizemoney just over $101,000.
It comes from an outstanding record of 37 wins and 29 placings (98 starts), mostly on provincial tracks.
\”Not many country dogs can claim that,\” Taylor said.
At the height of his powers, Are Jay Lochie was almost unbeatable over the Rockhampton 510m journey, he won the Rocky GOTY award in 2019, finished third to Regal Recall in the 2019 Rockhampton Cup and holds the Townsville 643m record of 37.35s.
\”He\’s been a huge part of our family,\” said Taylor.
\”Originally he was mum\’s dog before her passing last year and he\’s given us great memories.\”
\”I\’ve registered him for stud duty,\” the trainer said.
\”He won\’t be a commercial sire, but I\’ll have straws available for anyone who would like one.
\”I\’m doing it more for me.
\”It\’s my little experiment and Lochie deserves a girlfriend.
\”I like his breeding and I will breed from him if I can find the right bitch.\”
NORTH Queensland trainer Heath Ardle landed a special trifecta at Townsville last month when three litter mates filled the placings in a 380m maiden.
Winning is hard enough, rugging up all three placegetters rare but doing it with members of the same litter an amazing achievement.
The tri, in finishing order, Mali\’s Gonzales ($1.50 fav), Mali\’s Cookie ($5) and Mali\’s Here Blue ($11) are extremely well bred by champion sire Fernando Bale from the wonderful Group performer Outside Pass.
The litter hasn\’t set the world on fire but Ardle, who has all seven members in his kennels, is hoping for more wins to come.