Rain delays Rockets

Torrential rain washed out racing up and down the eastern seaboard this week and the Mackay meeting on Tuesday was no exception.

Local trainer John Manzelmann was confident his Shovhog gelding Rocket On By could win the Class 3 at Mackay until the big wet arrived and there was no respite when the another downpour hit the tourist town on Wednesday.

Manzelmann had won a QTIS 600 bonus with Rocket On By’s younger brother Rocket To Glory at Townsville last Sunday and his immediate program is also in limbo while connections wait for a break in the weather.

“I had to send Rocket To Glory up to the Tablelands where it’s a lot drier,” Manzelmann said on Friday.  “I’ll give him a month off up there and bring him back in the New Year for some more QTIS races.”

Rocket To Glory was a $20,000 buy from the Raheen Stud draft at the 2010 Magic Millions QTIS 600 yearlings sale and a bonus helped the youngster repay connections in full last Sunday.  Manzelmann owns the colt with his wife Stacey and several partners from Longreach.  Radio 4TAB “Bush Beat” host Rob Luck is another member of the syndicate.

“He crossed the field and set up a big lead at Townsville,” Manzelmann said.  “It was good to see him break through because there were excuses in his first two starts at Rockhampton and Doomben.”

Rocket To Glory was on the wrong ended of a few bumps on debut at Rocky and he was put on notice by stewards after finishing last in town on November 6.  “He was a handful at Doomben but it wasn’t all his fault,” Manzelmann claimed.  “There were a couple of green ones on his inside and they kept drifting wide and putting him off balance.”

The brothers are by Danehill sire Shovhog from the unraced Dodge mare English Summer.  She has now foaled three winners from three foals by the former Widden and Raheen sire who died in November 2009.

Raheen studmaster Basil Nolan jnr reports English Summer has been tested in foal to the stud’s second-season sire Publishing after being empty for the past two years.  That’s good news for Manzelmann who will been keen to get his hands on her latest foal.

Publishing is by Testa Rossa and he was a G3 winner of the VRC Standish Hcp at Flemington before joining the Raheen roster last year.  Manzelmann is a big fan of Testa Rossa after training his gelding Flying Test to the Mackay and Townsville Cup double last year.

Meanwhile, Manzelmann has nominated Rocket On By for Rockhampton this Thursday but the meeting is already in extreme doubt.  Callaghan Park racecourse is situated on the banks of the Fitzroy River and it’s predicted to reach the minor flood level of seven metres by the end of the week.