Johnston chalks up 100th winner

Johnston trains 100 wins


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Phillip Bate analyses news from the Queensland racing scene.

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CALOUNDRA trainer Krystle Johnston has chalked up win number 100 since taking out a trainer’s licence in March 2014 as head trainer at her father Stan Johnston’s Craiglea racing stables.

Her first win was at Mackay in April, 2014 with 2YO filly Craiglea Dansal (Royal Harlequin/Craiglea Queen) and the century came at the recent inaugural twilight New Year's Eve race meeting at Emerald’s Pioneer Park.

Johnston took out the Benchmark 50 hcp (1300m) with 4YO mare Craiglea Ceon (Warhead/Teldawn), who led from the barriers after being set alight by jockey Jason Missen in a daring 'catch me if you can' display. All up, Johnston trained horses have now earned more than $3.4 million in just under four years.

The Emerald Jockey Club took their racing product to the next level and streamed the 5-race program via Matty Peters' On the Bit Facebook page, which included a full raceday coverage from Leon Roberts and racecallers Scott Powers and Andrew Watts. 

Racing Queensland webnews reports that, on a sadder note, a day earlier in nearby Capella, Emerald Jockey Club Patron, life member, race horse owner and racing fanatic, Deidre Milne, who served many years as the secretary of the Emerald Jockey Club, was laid to rest at 87 years of age. Jockeys wore black armbands in her honour at Sunday's NYE meeting. 

Deidre was the matriarch of the Milne family who have had a long association with racing in the Central Highlands. Deidre's late husband Herb Milne served as the President of the Emerald Jockey Club for many years. Deirdre kept a keen interest in racing right up to the last days and her last runner as an owner was the well performed Ninette Khan, which sadly broke down in late 2016. 

The next race meet  in the Central Highlands is on February 17 at Pioneer Park.

Dream over for MM glory

BRISBANE trainer Steve O’dea’s long held wish of giving North Queensland owner Joe Rapisarda a taste of Magic Millions glory will have to wait for another day.

The pair were hoping half-sisters Katy’s Daughter and Dream Kisses would be starters in the MM 2YO Classic (1200m) and 3YO Guineas (1400m) respectively at the Gold Coast this Saturday, January 13.

Katy’s Daughter was injured after winning at the Gold Coast on December 23 while Dream Kisses did not accept in the Guineas after placing second in a QTIS 3YO handicap (1200m) at the Gold Coast last Saturday, January 6. 

Racing Queensland webnews reports Burdekin cane and cattle producer Joe Rapisarda was one of the driving forces behind O’dea’s decision to move to Brisbane to further his training career in 2009. "Joe has been a great supporter of mine since I started training up north and I’d love to win a Magic Millions for him,” O’dea said.

Rapisarda and O’dea’s best Magic Millions day performance was with Candika who ran third to Capitalist in the 2016 Magic Millions Classic.

Dream Kisses and Katy’s Daughter are both daughters of O’dea’s former star Kiss Me Katy who helped put the trainer on the map when he first arrived in Brisbane. Dream  Kisses is by elite European sprinter Dream Ahead (USA) while Katy’s Daughter is by Commands’ dual Group 1 winning son Epaulette

Kiss Me Katy (Mull Of Kintyre (USA)/St Covet Girl) was O’dea’s first Brisbane winner and first Stakes winner after she claimed the Listed Sir Douglas Wadley Stakes in 2009. She finished her career with four wins from 14 starts including a Group 3 placing in the San Domenico Stakes at Randwick.

Martin calls on Plumptre

DENISE Martin of Star Thoroughbreds has enlisted the expertise of internationally respected bloodstock industry figure Henry Plumptre as she attends her 25th Magic Millions Gold Coast Yearling Sale this week, reports ANZ Bloodstock News.

Henry Plumptre is working with Denise Martin of Star Thoroughbreds.

Henry Plumptre is working with Denise Martin of Star Thoroughbreds.

"The Magic Millions has traditionally been my main sale and it has been a very important sale for Star Thoroughbreds," Martin said. "This year at the sales I am working in conjunction with Henry Plumptre." Martin added: "He has already been up in the Hunter looking at the yearlings and came up to the Gold Coast last week to look at those horses for the second time and the horses that we haven’t seen before."

Plumptre, the former managing director of Godolphin Australia, is set to begin his new role as Chief Executive of New Zealand-based Cambridge Stud in April.

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