Divine Calling will be freshened up for another crack at a Group 1 in the Coolmore Stud Stakes (1200m) on the first day of the Flemington Cup Carnival.
Trainer Gai Waterhouse decided on Tuesday to keep the grey in work after a tip-top second to Long John in the G1 Caulfield Guineas (1600m) on Saturday. “Gai wanted to wait a couple of days before making a definite call,” assistant racing manager Emma Pearce said. “He had to steady off heels and got shuffled back in the Guineas and it was a big thrill to see him make a challenge at the furlong.”
Divine Calling will revert back to sprinting down the straight-six while Darley has set Long John for the Cox Plate (2040m) at Moonee Valley on October 26.
Waterhouse trains him for a partnership that includes her daughter Kate, daughter-in-law Hoda, Gerry Harvey and Western Australian owners Alan and Sue Olive. “We met Gai a couple of years ago and kept in contact,” Sue Olive said. “We went into five yearlings with her – including Divine Calling – at the 2012 Magic Millions on the Gold Coast.”
The Coolmore Stud Stakes is a stallion making race, however, the fact Divine Calling is a gelding didn’t influence his spring program. “After winning the Stutt Stakes, Damien (Oliver) came back and said he’s got a really good turn of foot,” Sue added. “He just relaxes and conserves all his energy.”
Divine Calling is by Stratum (Redoute’s Choice) and the Olives have installed Slater (Redoute’s Choice) as foundation stallion at Gold Front Thoroughbreds. The stud is situated on the Brand Highway between Bullsbrook and Gingin.
Slater was a brilliant debut winner at Canterbury and then doubled up at Rosehill before going amiss. He is standing for a $5,500 (inc gst) service fee.
Broodmares owners can contact Sue Olive for further information on Slater at 0417 937 606
– Karl Patterson
FLEMINGTON IN SIGHT
Divine Calling ranges up to Long John in the Caulfield Guineas
Photo / Vin Lowe