Richie Callander’s weekend happenings

Richie Callander’s weekend happenings



Brenton Avdulla stayed put in Sydney last weekend attempting to increase his margin of 11.5 wins over Hugh Bowman in the Sydney jockey’s premiership but Saturday turned into a nightmare at Rosehill for the former Victorian as he chases his maiden premiership.

Avdulla kick started the day like he’d just walked under a ladder having no luck aboard Intrinsic ($4.4) when narrowly beaten in the day’s opener.

It didn’t get any better as he missed a place aboard the previously unbeaten 3yo in Australia New Universe ($2.25) and Dagny (2.80) in the following two races. Punters were screaming from the roof top that the pressure was getting to Avdulla and he was making the wrong calls and over playing his hands.

I don’t agree with that but you could see the frustration was building only curable by booting home a winner.

Unfortunately, a winner seemed a long way away.

The following two races he filled third with Cliff ($9) and Walk The Streets ($5.5) and he couldn’t have done any more except get off and carry them.

The problem was we were five races down and still no winners and let me tell you my spies tell me Bowman was watching every Sydney race closely from the jockeys’ room at Doomben.

Girl Sunday ($5) ran fifth, So Willie ($4) fifth, Shiraz ($15) fifth and Springbok Flyer ($21) fourth didn’t do anything to lift the spirits of Avdulla as the day finished a lot different to how he was expecting as he arrived on track.

Seventeen meetings remain in the season and with an 11.5 win lead Avdulla is clear favourite at $1.2 but one thing you can write in stone Bowman loves the chase and pressure brings out his best so don’t think the race is over just yet.




Prizemoney in racing comes from wagering and when something holds up that process the industry loses tens of thousands of dollars each and every minute.

The managing owner of Arbeitsam last weekend lodged an objection when the horse was beaten by Test The World at Rosehill in what can best described as a ridiculous objection.

Luckily the stewards realised that very quickly and threw it out with a stern warning about wasting time.

Punters who had backed the winner were not able to reinvest as their money was tired up as was their time and concentration while those on the second horse weren’t interested in moving on to the next race as they held a misguided level of hope.

After watching the race vision, it was NO surprise the jockey and trainer of Arbeitsam wanted nothing to do with the protest.


Kathy O’Hara with Nick Oliver after Saturday’s win. Photo courtesy Ross Stevenson.



Until the end of time there will always be punters that won’t back a female rider or believe they can match it with their male counterparts so next time you run across one these punters show them a replay of last Saturdays group 2 P J O’Shea Stakes.

Kathy O’Hara turned in a perfect steering job aboard the winner Single Gaze to out point her four male riders.

I think everyone expected Kathy to lead on Single Gaze but when Hugh Bowman began well on Preferment and wanted to roll along Kathy quickly showed her class by switching to plan B and getting her mare to switch off and relax.

That quick thinking won Single Gaze the feature race.

While on Preferment I think it’s about time he heads off to stud and start doing what he’s been doing to us punters of late.




I love how many racetrack experts are out walking amongst us.

Everywhere I turn I seem to run into someone who knows how to fix Eagle Farm, who’s fault the debacle is and what the problem is and how it occurred?

Firstly, let me say I don’t how to fix the track but I’m assured the experts are all in agreement that ripping the top off the track and discarding a black layer will go a long way to getting the track back heading in the right direction.

Sometimes saying nothing is the hardest thing to do and with so much mud being slung over the Eagle Farm track issue I know one party involved are keeping ‘mum’ but in time I think they may be looking for a few apologies.





The comparisons over the past 48 hours between Egg Tart and her superstar stablemate Winx maybe a little premature but one thing for sure Egg Tart is one tough bloody girl.

For an old seasoned racehorse travelling between states regularly can be difficult while expected to race at your best but for a relatively young immature 3yo filly to win in Sydney on 5 April before getting the cash at Flemington on 25 April then Morphettville May 6 and Doomben on Saturday is incredible.

Chris Waller sends the filly out for a well deserved break with the Epsom Handicap her main spring campaign.