Caulfield trainer Mick Price unearthed another rising talent when NZ bred Callanish extended his unbeaten record to five at Sandown on Wednesday.
Callanish (NZ) settled on the rails just off the pace before powering away in the straight to win the Ahern’s At Highways Hcp (1600m) by a more than a length. “We’ve taken our time with this horse to put as little stress on him as possible,” Price revealed. “We will look to give him one more race at restricted level or in a Saturday handicap before stepping him up to black-type.”
Callanish (4h Fastnet Rock – Dancing Doll by Dance Floor) is a half-brother to G3 winner Hofmeister and was a $320,000 buy from Gordon Cunningham’s Curraghmore Stud at the 2010 NZ Bloodstock Karaka Premier Sale.
“We love coming to the Karaka Sales and purchasing horses,” Price added. “New Zealand is one of the best countries in the world for buying horses and the people are great. We had to pay a little bit for Callanish as he was a nice colt and he is giving his owners a good ride.
“We have managed to get him into a pattern of stress-free racing which has been important for his development and, as long as he keeps learning and remains settled in his racing, I think he will take the step up to 2000 metres very well which gives us plenty of options.”
Price has enjoyed success with Karaka graduates in the past such as Pre Eminence (Encosta de Lago) who was purchased from Curraghmore Stud at the 2007 Karaka Premier Sale for $320,000. Pre Eminence more than paid his way with victories in the G2 Alister Clark Stakes, G3 Norman Robinson Stakes and was placed in the G1 VRC Derby.
A three-quarter sister to Callanish by Duke of Marmalade was purchased by Rosehill trainer Tim Martin from Curraghmore Stud for $40,000 at the 2012 Karaka Premier Sale.