‘Best ever’ field for the 3 & 4YO Classic at Callaghan Park
Published 31 March 2023
It is not always an enviable predicament to deal with when the support act goes very close to upstaging the main act.
Well in a roundabout way that’s the scenario that some see in the making at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park racecourse on Saturday.
Undoubtedly, the $150,000 plus bonuses DVL Finance Capricornia Yearling Sales 2YO Classic Plate (1200m) to be run at 2.59pm, carries top billing.
However, the “support act” the $100,000 Ulton Capricornia Yearling Sale 3&4YO Classic (1300m), which will be staged 40 minutes earlier would be the banner race on any other given occasion.
The Ulton has drawn the best field ever assembled for the 3&4YO Classic since it was first instigated some years ago at Callaghan Park.
A dozen starters will contest it having won 37 races between them and amassing overall $1,037,800 in prize money.
Impressive indeed with the commonality being all are previous graduates of Rockhampton’s Capricornia Yearling Sales.
While the Olivia Cairns now Beaudesert trained Fire King tops the listings with eight wins and a stash of $284,675 in stakes, it is two of the least experienced in the field that will vie for favouritism.
They being Nick Walsh’s Just Super a winner of four of his only seven starts and never out of the prizemoney and Clinton Taylor’s exciting filly Divine Purpose with three wins from just four starts.
In this season’s current local training rankings, the pair of trainers are involved in a “Battle of the Young Titans”.
According to Racing and Sports, Walsh has a 2022/23 winning strike rate of 51.1% from 29 winners from 56 starters.
Taylor running a much bigger operation has trained 43 winners from 138 starters since August 1, 2022 for the winning rate of 31.2%.
Both stables have super wraps about the favoured pair and rightly so.
The very experienced horseman Mark Lehmann, a right-hand man to Taylor and a gifted trackwork rider declared to the trainer before Divine Purpose ever raced just what an opinion, he had of her.
“I told Clinton that Divine Purpose would either be the best or second-best horse he has ever trained”, Lehman said.
Mark made the qualifying distinction as Taylor’s star Chinny Boom came to the fore at about the same time.
You don’t need me to rave on about the credentials of both Just Super and Divine Purpose whose trainers have taken them into the Ulton with vastly different preparations.
Just Super steps out as the winner of two recent races from a spell.
Conversely, Divine Purpose has not race started since making it three wins on end on January 10 at Callaghan Park.
However, the Divine Prophet 3YO filly Divine Purpose, to quote a trendy term looked “awesome” with a contemptible barrier trial win there over 900m metres on March 8.
It is arguably folly to declare the Ulton a two-horse affair and sheer madness if to be so bold to say it is a one-horse-race.
Often, I have been described as being a madman so to prove that point beyond doubt I’ll declare Divine Purpose the winner 24 hours out from the race.
Follow my tip at your own peril in what is going to be one hell of a race.
HOOFNOTES: Just Super by Super One sold from Basil Nolan’s Raheen Stud draft in 2021 for $24K and has returned $72,150 in stakes to date.
Raheen Stud will offer a draft of 10 yearlings at Sunday’s Capricornia Yearling Sale.
Divine Purpose fetched $55,000 on account of Kenmore Lodge at the 2021 CYS.
Kenmore Lodge offers five yearlings on Sunday.
Clinton Taylor has three runners in the Ulton with Montana Night and Seductive Spur also representing the stable.