Aussie option being considered by Mitchell

Call Me Royal winning decisively in the hands of Lisa Allpress at Riccarton last Saturday.

Call Me Royal winning decisively in the hands of Lisa Allpress at Riccarton last Saturday.

Tarissa Mitchell may be travelling further than Riccarton with her stable star Call Me Royal if all goes well in his next start.

The Cambridge trainer trekked south last week with both members of her team, Call Me Royal and Irish Call, and enjoyed instant success when Call Me Royal led throughout to comfortably win over 2000 metres in the Speight’s Mid Ale Rating 75 for rider Lisa Allpress.

Call Me Royal had also won the previous start, over 2200 metres at Te Aroha, and his main mission on the southern trip is the $40,000 NZI Great Autumn Stakes, an open handicap over 2500 metres at Riccarton on May 7. On the same day Irish Call will make his South Island debut in one of the two Rating 65 events, over 1200 or 1600.

Mitchell is in her first season of training and Call Me Royal credited her with her first win in the role when scoring at Tauranga last September on a heavy track over 1400 metres.

Call Me Royal, whom Mitchell races with her mother, Robyne, has now won four times, with her second win being over 2100 at Ellerslie last January. His staying talent has had Mitchell considering a trip to Queensland with the four-year-old son of Civics.

She contacted long-time family friend, Graeme Boyd, who has a small team in work at his Gold Coast stables, to discuss the prospect of Call Me Royal racing in Queensland.

“I spoke to Graeme before this one to see if he thought he was good enough to take to Brisbane,” said Mitchell. “He told me to wait until the carnival is over.

“There will be plenty of opportunities for him over there. They can race every Saturday for $60,000. I’ll just see what he does next start then decide.”

Mitchell was a regular trackwork rider on Boyd’s best galloper, Ginga Dude, who won 15 races and over $A1.1 million in prizemoney.

Ginga Dude’s 11 New Zealand wins included Tauranga’s Gr. 2 Japan – NZ International Trophy and the Gr. 2 Avondale Cup and when first taken to Australia by Boyd he won the Gr. 3 Coongy Handicap first-up then finished third to So You Think in the Gr. 1 MacKinnon Stakes and ran fourth in the Gr. 2 Sandown Classic.

Ginga Dude returned to New Zealand to finish third in the Gr. 1 Zabeel Classic then Boyd stayed in Australia with him, recording four more wins capped by the Gr. 3 Tattersall’s Cup in Queensland.

Mitchell (42) was brought up in the racing industry with her late father, Bruce, being a noted horse-breaker who hailed from Gisborne and later enjoyed success as a trainer in Cambridge. She rode in the 1990s and kicked home 83 winners before retiring from raceriding in 1999.

She has been associated with many top horses over the years, one of the most recent being Addictive Habit during her time working for Cambridge trainer Lee Somervell.

“I brought Addictive Habit down here to Riccarton two years ago when he won the Coupland’s Mile,” said Mitchell. “It’s good to come back and win a race with a horse of my own.”

Mitchell says Call Me Royal has come through last Saturday’s race in good order.

“He didn’t leave a crumb of his feed on Saturday night,” she said. “I might take him and Irish Call out to the beach for a few days later this week just for a change.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how he goes next start. Lisa said he was really trucking along on Saturday and won it easily.”