New racing season opens with a celebration

Jockeys will be commemorated at race meetings on August 1

Horses
HONOURABLE TIME: The contribution of jockeys to Thoroughbred racing will be honoured at meetings throughout Australia on August 1.

HONOURABLE TIME: The contribution of jockeys to Thoroughbred racing will be honoured at meetings throughout Australia on August 1.

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The numerous jockeys will feature on racetracks each week - and those who have passed away - will be remembered on August 1.

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The 16th National Jockey Celebration Day will be recognised at meetings in regional and city centres on August 1.

Jockeys past and present will be honoured in Atherton, Charleville, Mount Isa, Nanango and Toowoomba as well as Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

The day celebrates the contribution of jockeys to the Thoroughbred racing industry and commemorates riders who lost their life on the track.

It is traditionally held on the first Saturday in August and is an initiative of the National Jockeys Trust and the Australian Jockeys Association.

Since 2004, the Trust has provided more than $4.5 million in assistance to more than 400 jockeys and families of jockeys who lost their life.

Former jockey Pam O'Neill hopes the industry supports the objectives of the celebration day.

"The day is all about celebrating the achievements of former and current jockeys, as well as those who have lost their lives," she said.

"It's also about raising awareness for the National Jockey Trust.

"I think it's vitally important to have organisations like the Australian Jockey Association and National Jockeys Trust there to support today's riders.

"We are always trying to support our jockeys, whether it's higher riding fees or better conditions for them.

"Approximately 200 riders are injured each year on Australian racetracks, with something like 500 falls annually."

Julia Creek trainer Tanya Parry has the numbers on her side to dominate the Mount Isa card.

Of the 54 acceptors, Parry has 24 of them - five of eight in the National Jockeys Celebration Day Handicap (1450m), five of 12 in the Maiden Plate (900m), four of six in the Benchmark 65 (900m), six of the 16 in the two divisions of the 0-55 Handicap (1000m), three of seven in the 0-60 Handicap (1200m) and one of five in the Open Plate (1200m).

The Parry-trained Charlie Cat (Old Deuteronomy USA-Enseejam), topweight in the Open Plate, will chase a fourth Isa win since June 20 when he captured a Benchmark 60.

Further wins followed on July 4 and 18 before a last start Cloncurry second on July 26.

He will be ridden by Terrence Hill, replacing Jeffrey Felix who has been aboard Charlie Cat in its past four assignments.

Mareeba five-year-old Cool Attitude (Longhorn-Cool Edition) and rider Bonnie Thomson will team again in the Benchmark 60 Handicap (1200m) at Atherton.

They shared a last start Innisfail fourth on July 5 when resuming from a summer and autumn break.

All conquering owner Tom Hedley and his partners may need luck if The Frontier (I Am Invincible-Thirty Rock) is to feature in the Benchmark 45 Handicap (1100m).

The Frontier, trained by Fred Weiland and to be ridden by Nor Yadi, rises sharply in the handicaps to a topweight of 63.5kg and has not won since October, 2019.

His only run in 2020 ended in a second placing over 1000m at Atherton on July 18.

Apprentice rider Dan McGillivray, Roma trainer Craig Smith and natty sprinter Third Rock (Changeintheweather USA-Love Laughing) seek a hat trick in the 0-65 Handicap (1200m) at Charleville.

Third Rock scored in successive starts on March 14 and 21 at Charleville and Emerald, respectively, before going for a spell. He is yet to when resuming.

Four kilo claiming apprentice Ty Wheeler will be a new rider for topweight Hard Stride in the JA Lee Memorial Open (1000m) in Nanango.

Wheeler's allowance will trim Hard Stride's impost to 62.5kg, matching the weight the Glenn Richardson-trained Eight Over will carry.

Hard Stride (Street Sense USA-Hard Rider NZ) was a Chinchilla winner for Isabella Rabjones on July 4 before Taylor Marshall rode him when outclassed in the Eye Liner Stakes at Ipswich on July 18.

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