Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Lack of Horses Is Alarming; Numbers Just Aren't There at Callaghan Park and Other Local Tracks

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Lack of Horses Is Alarming; Numbers Just Aren't There at Callaghan Park and Other Local Tracks

Article excerpt

RACING: At the risk of sounding negative, alarm bells should be ringing within athe towers of powera about the current horse population that is trying to currently service racing at Callaghan Park, Rockhampton and at other Capricornia tracks.

In particular at Callaghan Park where of a morning at trackwork sessions, to coin a phrase, you could fire the proverbial cannon and not hit anyone.

I don't care who comes up with what figures, take it from me, horse numbers are down.

Of course non-believers among administrative ranks will trot out the old excuse that is always the case at this time of the year a well it is not.

Put succinctly, the horse numbers just aren't there.

It is not only at the track at training sessions but alarmingly it has progressed to the ranks of races for two-year-olds and right through to open class races.

Now while I accede to the fact that in the main figures don't lie, I also acknowledge that they can be conveniently manipulated to support a cause.

However, just as an example for instance, the $30,000 QTIS 2YO Handicap (1050m) at Callaghan Park yesterday only had five starters who incidentally were all of Craiglea ilk and trained by Peter Fleming at Gympie.

Admittedly there was another horse engaged, Lyle Rowe-trained One For Me who went feral in the barriers and was a late scratching.

Now something is dreadfully wrong if only six starters and five from an outside Gympie stable can only be mustered-up for a $30,000 2YO race in Rockhampton.

Good luck to my old mate Stan Johnston for having the whole field and if I had the resources in horse numbers I would do likewise.

Regardless, such an occurrence sends a clear message that something is very, very wrong.

Once again simply as an example, in the corresponding race with the same prize money on December 2, 2010, at Callaghan Park, some 11 youngsters started and just for the record six of them bore the prefix aCraigleaa.

Sensing that some bright spark with a poison pen will immediately counter attack and produce the program from that meeting, I shall be first in with the punch. …

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