She is the ‘real deal’: Divine Purpose shines at Callaghan Park
Published 10 January 2023
As if scripted, outstanding prospect Divine Purpose treated her older rivals with contempt with an audacious all-the-way win at Rockhampton’s Callaghan Park races on Tuesday.
Ridden in a new role as leader from the jump, Divine Purpose (Justin Stanley, $1.45) extended her stride over the last 300 metres, racing well clear and leaving little doubt that she is the “real deal”.
After Stanley controlled the race tempo leading narrowing into the long straight, Divine Purpose came home racing away a 4.75 lengths winner while not being fully pushed out.
Stanley, conservative with words and often staid in his comments regarding his mount’s achievements was uncustomary overawed with the 3YO filly’s performance.
As soon as hitting the ground from dismounting he told trainer Clinton Taylor – “She is good, very good. She surprised me with that winning performance” before repeating “she is good”.
Stanley, with around 1500 winners to his credit knows what he is talking about and it was further endorsement of Divine Purpose’s potential.
It was just the 3YO filly’s fourth race start, with three from three this preparation over 1200m then 1400m and now 1500m.
Winning trainer Clinton Taylor jested to this writer after the win “You put the pressure on me Tone” in reference to a glowing race preview story on this Facebook Page and in the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin.
Hold no doubts, the win on Tuesday was indeed meritorious as Divine Purpose was sweating up noticeably pre-race in the very muggy conditions, a trait which often goes against fillies in their races.
However, good horses overcome obstacles and as Justin Stanley said what I, Taylor and others close to his stable already know “Divine Purpose is a good horse”.
Interestingly, at the Rockhampton Jockey Club premiership function at Callaghan Park on November 17, Clinton Taylor quietly but openly disclosed the potential Divine Purpose was exhibiting.
This was during the period that Clinton and his outstanding sprinting 3YO filly Chinny Boom were riding a crest of a winning wave.
Handed the microphone after accepting his trophy as premier trainer for the RJC 2021-22 season, he had this to say that night.
“I have to thank my wife Erin, my staff and trackwork rider Mark Lehmann. Mark rides that filly Divine Purpose which won here today (Nov 17, 2022) and he reckons she will be the second-best horse I will ever train”, Clinton said.
Just like Justin Stanley 41, Mark Lehmann with 1061 winners to his name before retiring at 37 is and always was an outstanding judge of a horse and racing in general.
His opinion of Divine Purpose back then given her two subsequent wins in my mind is already “proof in the pudding”.
Yes, Divine Purpose is good and very good – don’t say I didn’t tell you.