Big Richie Callander’s weekend overview…. Including an apology from Big Richie???

Big Richie Callander’s weekend overview…. Including an apology from Big Richie???

Hugh Bowman gets the ride of the day aboard Dawn Wall. Photo courtesy Ross Stevenson.

Hugh Bowman gets the ride of the day aboard Dawn Wall. Photo courtesy Ross Stevenson.

First of all, I have to start by apologising to horse trainers for always believing they were bad judges as they often only know the form of their own horses but Danny O’Brien has made a believer out of me.

On Saturday morning on Eon Sports Radio’s racing and punting program the ‘Hour Of Power’ O’Brien declared two horses as unbeatable, that’s right unbeatable and guess what?

First of all, De Little Engine won the second at Flemington easily and not long after Second Bullet destroyed his rivals at Morphettville forcing me to now rethink a lifelong held rule of punting.


Henry Plumptre, boss of Godolphin Australia started the weekend by saying they have no one in mind to take over fulltime from John O’Shea although Darren Beadman will take the reins on an interim basis. I am still standing by my opinion that James Cummings will be appointed their head trainer prior to the spring carnival. Stay tuned.

Godolphin was able to put the week of dramas behind them to produce a smart 2yo colt Viridine who debuted in good fashion winning the day’s opener. Look out Queensland.

Black On Gold put his Queensland Derby claims back on track coming from well back to defeat a handy bunch of 3yos and look like the extra trip will be right up his alley. Don’t rush in though as his form on rain affected ground is well below that on firm surfaces and the Queensland winter carnival can throw up a wet track or two.

The biggest go at Rosehill as punters lined up to bet was New Universe, a former Kiwi 3yo having his first Aussie start for Chris Waller. He didn’t let anyone down coming from well back to run over his opposition and land some big bets. Waller hasn’t set New Universe’s campaign in concrete but I’d be surprised if he wins next start that he doesn’t find himself in the Stradbroke Handicap on June10. He is certainly an exciting prospect.


Divine Quality was the standard out highlight on the Flemington card as the daughter of Sepoy blew her rivals away to record her second win from as many starts. Coming off a strong win at Bendigo three weeks ago she jumped in grade and handled it with ease as she cruised away for a 3 ¼ length win. Mark her down, she’s very smart.

I love distance races so I have to include the win of De Little Engine in the Vintage Crop Handicap 2800m who rounded his rivals up quickly approaching turn and won as he liked.

Gold Coast

The Sydney stables dominated with Chris Waller snaring two wins while the Snowden’s and O’Shea chimed in for a win each. The money heading south from the Gold Coast wasn’t limited to trainers with Sydney’s leading hoop Hugh Bowman collecting three wins and Tye Angland one. It’s Somewhat showed his class and that the Doncaster Mile was no fluke winning the days feature the group 2 Hollindale Stakes but he needed to dig deep as Single Gaze put the pressure on early.

Waller’s consistent galloper Religify was heavily backed starting $2.6 but looked in trouble several times before showing his class advantage in the final 50m to win narrowly from Siegfried. Hugh Bowman turned in the ride of the day on the Gold Coast and maybe around the country aboard Dawn Wall in the Gold Coast Bracelet. After drawing deep Bowman had the other lads asking where he went as he rushed the filly forward to land the plum spot one out one back. The pair got going coming to the bend and was strong on the line for a good win and now they head to the Queensland Oaks and possibly a group one win.


Johnny Allen had a great week winning seven races at the Warrnambool carnival including the Grand Annual Steeplechase but perhaps his best ride over the week finished with a defeat. Allen’s steering job aboard Kenedna in the group 1 Schweppes Oaks was perfect he could not have done anymore it was simply the fact Egg Tart was too good on the day. Mind you Kerrin McEvoy’s ride on Egg Tart was only a half head behind as they came from well back weaving a passage to victory in the home straight.

If you thought the visitors took the spoils on the Gold Coast they ripped the guts out of the locals at Morphettville on the weekend as Sydney and Melbourne trainers won five races and the jockeys won seven of the eight races.