Big Richie Callander’s weekend happenings



Trouble is brewing between RacingNSW and the NSW trainers association with plans afoot to stop Canberra trainers from competing in the TAB Highway races on Saturday race meetings in Sydney.

The TAB Highway races have been a huge hit for country trainers and their owners with many occasions the trophy and money heading to the nation’s capital with the Matthew Dale stable winning their fair share.

Dale last week was selected by Inglis to represent them in the $10 million Everest with his top sprinter Fell Swoop.

It seems unless the NSW Trainers Association that Canberra based trainer Nick Olive is a country representative and director of can change the mind of RacingNSW it seems the likes of Dale, Olive, Barbara Joseph, Gratz Vella, Neil Osborne, John Nisbet, Mick Miladinovic, Trevor McIIrick, Peter Wiggins, Rob Potter, Luke Pepper, Gary Kirkup, Norm Gardner and Keith Dryden won’t be welcome come the new racing season.




If there was a standout sprinter worldwide wishing to come to Sydney I could fully understand one of the Everest slot owners locking it in as their runner but I like many have been amazed at the urgency of slot owners to do a deal this far out from the $10million race.

The Star, Sydney’s casino has gone about business differently locking in the Hayes, Hayes and Dabernig stable with the chosen runner to be announced closer to acceptance time.

I assume The Star would then have to do a further deal with the owners of the runner the stable decides is their top pick.

Then again like the others what happens if a better proposition pops up in coming weeks or months and they are already locked in?

Interesting that Sydney’s casino decided to do a deal with a Victorian based stable.

One thing for sure there seems to be a new story popping up every day about the 1200m dash for $10 million.




The much awaited Dale Monteith report into the dramas at Eagle Farm is due out this week and it has several people a little nervous.

I have no inside information but I assume Monteith and his team would have spoken to every person or party involved in every part of the track, surrounds and club in general.

There is no doubt there would have been many conflicting versions of what happened and where things went wrong.

Whatever the outcome I’d be surprised if there aren’t big changes coming for the Brisbane Racing Club.




On Saturday after booting home his second winner aboard Liapari Hugh Bowman was reminded by SKY interviewer Lizzie Jelfs about a few years back when he seemed to have an unassailable lead in the premiership only for Nash Rawiller to grab him on the line.

“How can I forget” was Bowman’s response.

This year’s race isn’t over but with Bowman only 1 ½ wins behind Brenton Avdulla and with him set to miss two meetings due to suspension many believe the hunt is as good as done.

No doubt by Bowman’s response on Saturday the final month of the 2012/13 season are still raw and more than likely has played an important role this year as he set out to chase down Avdulla.

If Bowman snares his fourth title in three weeks expect the same drive that inspired him to do the same to Brenton ‘gun’ Avdulla.




It’s easy to bag a ride and there were plenty out and about on Saturday having their say about the steering job of Nick Heywood aboard Collateral who finished fourth to favourite Sayed at Warwick Farm.

The question has always gotta be after watching the replay, what should he have done different?

Sometimes races just aren’t run to suit and the horse is a victim of circumstances.

Whether the horse would have won isn’t really part of the discussion but for the record I don’t think he would have finished any better than where he did but perhaps the margin may have been a half length closer.

First point and that is, staying races at Warwick farm are often dominated by those up or near the speed and Collateral is a get back horse at this stage of his career and often for those horses their chances are determined by what happens up front and the speed of race.

The biggest whine from punters in that he was easy in the betting and it seems the stewards are of similar thought as they have adjourned an inquiry into the ride and race.

I will never bag stewards from asking questions because as I mentioned last week too many races go through to the keeper when a question or two should be sort and answered to at least appease the punters.

I imagine the stewards will go through the form of Collateral and at this stage there isn’t much depth with only Get On The Grange winning a walking race with every favour at Doomben on Saturday.

Epsom Hill tailed off yesterday after running second to Collateral prior but before that its form in Melbourne was average while Saturdays winner Sayed’s form was outstanding.

Good on the stewards for asking questions but after viewing the replay where Epsom Hill was being pulled up or he was in restricted room as I said I don’t think the young man did much wrong.




Corey Brown was left fuming when handed a seven meeting suspension when found guilty for failing to ride out his mount La Chica Bella in the fourth race at Warwick Farm on Saturday.

La Chica Bella was nabbed on the line for second by Aquatic who unlike Brown’s mount had a full head of steam and was charging at the post.

It doesn’t say it in the stewards report but by handing a senior rider such as Brown a two week suspension who according to the stewards has a ‘good record in respect to like matters’ in my opinion believe it cost La Chica Bella second placing.

I’m not one for standing up for jockeys but to my eye it seems very harsh.





Congrats to James Cummings as he commenced his tenure as Godolphin Australia’s head trainer with Manicure saluting in the opening race at Warwick Farm.

“I was nervous this morning,”

“It’s great to be back doing what I love and I couldn’t have wished for a better start.” Cummings told the gathered media.

I’m not going the early crow but in a decade, it wouldn’t surprise if James was Sheikh Mohammed’s number one trainer worldwide.


JOCKEYS WALKING KOKODA that’s the website you can go to play your role in helping the National Jockeys Trust and the Mark Hughes Foundation.

Later this month Meyer Ambassador Kris Smith and jockeys Kathy O’Hara, Hugh Bowman, Stephen Baster and Corey Brown will be trekking throw the mountains of Papua New Guinea effectively known as ‘KOKODA’ hoping their deeds can make a difference to others.


“When I found out that of the 1,600 Australians diagnosed with brain cancer each year, that only 400 survive, it shocked and deeply saddened me.  If I can help increase the awareness for this awful disease and raise money for the wonderful work the Mark Hughes Foundation does, then I’ll do what it takes. No-one, especially little kids should have their life end early and I am training hard to walk the Kokoda trek for those who can’t,” says Walking2Help Ambassador, Kris Smith said.


And with the other charity partner being the National Jockeys Trust I just had to be part of the walk. I love racing and I want to show my support for the jockeys who put their lives on the line every ride so people like me can enjoy the sport,” Mr Smith.

“So I am asking everyone to head to the website and donate as much as they can”. Smith added.


Horse Racing Offers and Promotions

Stay up to date with the latest racing news
Follow our social accounts to get exclusive content and all the latest racing news!