Call Me Royal a plan-changer

Lisa Allpress returning to scale on Call Me Royal at Te Rapa yesterday.

Lisa Allpress returning to scale on Call Me Royal at Te Rapa yesterday.

After discarding the idea of a Queensland winter campaign, Cambridge trainer Tarissa Mitchell was content to see stable star Call Me Royal spend a few weeks in a lush paddock as reward for a solid summer season.

However, that plan went out the window fairly quickly as the four-year-old Civics entire began tearing around his paddock barely a week into the planned winter hiatus.

“Once we couldn’t see much on offer for him in Queensland we decided to give him a break and then bring him back for the spring,” said Mitchell.

“He’d only been out just over a week and he was bucking and tearing around like a mad thing so I thought it was safer to have him back in the stable in case he hurt himself.”

That meant Mitchell had to quickly look for a target and she found the rating 85 event at Te Rapa yesterday.

Though not having raced since a gallant second in open grade at Riccarton in early May, Call Me Royal was sent out a warm favourite and didn’t let his backers down as he ground out a narrow but impressive victory in the 2100-metre contest.

“I was pretty confident he could win as he was in good shape, despite not having raced for over a month,” said Mitchell.

“My only worry was the track as he doesn’t really like it too wet. I scratched my other runner, Irish Call, as he does need a good track so I was pleased that we could get away with this one.”

Mitchell will now pick and choose her options over the coming months as she eyes up some of the late spring features for her charge.

“I think he has the class to win one of those nice spring Cup races so that’s what we will plan for,” said Mitchell.

“I will just tick him over through the winter and look for wherever we can get a semi decent track. I know the Kiwifruit Cup at Tauranga is coming up and that would only be an option if the track wasn’t too deep.

“I would love to think he could get back to Riccarton during New Zealand Cup Week as he just thrived down there last time.

“I also haven’t given up on taking him to Australia but that won’t be until next year.”

– NZ Racing Desk