iskander

Gelding to defy his name


Lucky Ken Callander isn’t a race caller.

The Darren Smith-trained Callandersnitemare, who lines up at Taree tomorrow, is named after the Sydney based multi media racing personality.
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The three-year-old Mossman gelding is out of the mare Sassy Soda.

Callander’s pronunciation of the letter S is legendary in racing circles, comedian Billy Birmingham featuring him in the Twelfth Man album and Sky Channel’s Greg Radley another to impersonate Callander featuring his unusual elocution.

“Part-owner Ralph Portaro, who lives in Melbourne, came up with the name based on the mare Sassy Soda,” Smith said.

“It’s just a bit of good natured humour. I’m sure Kenny would understand and hopefully have a laugh.”

Callandersnitemare tackles the Manning River Hotel Taree Maiden Plate (1267m) with champion hoop Robert Thompson in the saddle.

The gelding made his debut when an unlucky 2-1/2 lengths fifth to Cajun Waltz in a 900m maiden at Cessnock on July 6.

Callandersnitemare failed to have clear running in the straight.

Purchased for $25,000 at the Classic yearling sale in Sydney, Smith, just back from a three week holiday in Dubai, Turkey and the Greek Isles, believes the gelding has the makings of a handy horse.

“While he’s always shown he can gallop, he’s taken a bit of time to mature,” Smith said.

“When the penny fully drops he’ll be okay, capable of winning more races.

“He’s still a baby particularly mentally but he’s getting better all the time.

“I was away when he debuted but the boys said the run was good.

“The 900 metres isn’t his go but he kept finding the line good and stepping up to 1200 metres at Taree should be in his favour.

“He’s a strong worker on the track and has improved since his first run.

“I’ve just kept him ticking over, he’s going good.

“With Robert (Thompson) aboard I think he’ll run very well tomorrow.”

Callandersnitemare has drawn barrier seven.