Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Top Hoop Set to Saddle Up; Melbourne Cup Winner Michael Rodd Will Ride Today

Newspaper article The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, Australia)

Top Hoop Set to Saddle Up; Melbourne Cup Winner Michael Rodd Will Ride Today

Article excerpt

Byline: Tony McMahon tmbsport@capnews.com.au

RACING: While the Rockhampton Cup is the signature race at Callaghan Park today, a late surprise riding appearance by Melbourne Cup winning jockey Michael Rodd in the co-feature race the QTIS 600 2YO Plate will prove a huge draw card for the Rockhampton Jockey Club.

Rodd has cut short a family holiday by answering an SOS from his Rockhampton based father-in-law, the bookmaker and form analyst Vince Aspinall, to ride Shtarker who he part-owns in the $150,000 Plate (1300m) run at 2.59pm.

Rodd's feature race wins are prolific in Group 1 races, through the likes of Melbourne Cup and Victoria Derby winner Efficient, Cox Plate winner Maldivian and more recently he has maintained the momentum with champion filly Atlantic Dream.

Rodd, married to Vince and Judy Aspinall's daughter Cara, is best remembered in Rockhampton for his superb winning ride on Kootoomootoo in the 2004 Newmarket.

Meanwhile, former Rockhampton jockey now turned Townsville trainer Bill Kenning will be trying to create a new chapter of Rockhampton racing history when he saddles-up Alotta Spur for the $100,000 Sleepy's, The Mattress Experts Rockhampton Cup (1600m).

A lot of heavy betting support will be riding alongside jockey Tony Pattillo when he takes Alotta Spur into the starting gates for the Cup at 4.09pm.

Kenning, who rode the 1997 Rockhampton Cup winner Only Chance (NZ) would become the only trainer in the modern era, if at all, to both ride and later train the winner of Rockhampton's most illustrious horse race should Alotta Spur win.

For the enthusiastic Gold Coast based Pattillo, a win by Alotta Spur would provide him with a trio of Rockhampton Cup winners, after his halcyon riding days at Callaghan Park winning in 1998 on Gene's interest and in 2000 on Director's Special.

Just like Rodd, Pattillo also has a close bond with Rockhampton as he married Rocky girl Terri Martin, whose mother-in-law Ruth Martin was the secretarial backbone of the RJC for over 20 years. …

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