Mitchell on way home with the loot

Irish Call (Sam Wynne) winning on the first day of the NZ Cup carnival.

Irish Call (Sam Wynne) winning on the first day of the NZ Cup carnival.

Cambridge horsewoman Tarissa Mitchell is finally on her way back from a highly successful South Island trip.

The talented trainer took two horses, Irish Call and Wagner, south and between the pair they earned $62,485 in prizemoney, making the trip highly profitable.

“It started out that I would be away for three or four weeks and it turned into seven weeks,” said Mitchell, who is scheduled to arrive back by the weekend with her two horses.

”It’s all worked out so well and it’ll be good to get home. I couldn’t have done it without the help of my family and Denise Venn looking after things back home.

“My sister Janenne (Dalley) has been looking after Call Me Royal for me, and Denise has been looking after my other horses.

“I can’t wait to see my daughter, Tayla, and my dog and horses. It’ll be good to be back home, but it’s been a great trip.”

In Mitchell’s absence, Tayla has been showing her skill in the saddle, enjoying success at the shows. Just yesterday she had a win at the Woodhill Equestrian Park. “Catherine Cameron has done an amazing job teaching Tayla,” said Mitchell.

Mitchell’s southern campaign began at Riccarton on October 22 when Irish Call started a winning streak when scoring fresh-up over 1200 metres. Wagner lined up eight days later and, in his first start for Mitchell, he ran second at Motukarara.

Wagner went on to finish ninth after being trapped wide at the NZ Cup meeting then completed his innings with a creditable third at Cromwell yesterday.

Meanwhile, Irish Call has been Mitchell’s star, completing a Riccarton double with a 1400-metre win on November 5 then maintaining his unbeaten Riccarton record with a hard-fought win over 1800 metres on NZ Cup day, November 12.

The North Canterbury earthquake ruled out an immediate return home for Mitchell and her two horses after the New Zealand Cup meeting and resulted in adding yesterday’s Cromwell meeting to their programme.

Irish Call was freshened after his hat trick of wins and dropped from 1800 to 1220 metres at Cromwell and ran a top race for second behind Opihi Ranger under 59kg.

“Things didn’t go as planned but I was still happy with his run,” said Mitchell. “The speed was right on – they went so quick – and he couldn’t get to the front, but he got home well. I was proud of him.”

Irish Call earned almost $60,000 on the trip and he is heading home for a well-earned rest, but already Mitchell has Christmas plans for him.

“There’s a $50,000 Rating 85 1400 metres at Ellerslie on Boxing Day that could suit him,” she said.

Mitchell is also considering the Gr.3 $70,000 Tui Anniversary Handicap (1600m) at Trentham on January 14 with the main goal being the Gr. 1 $200,000 Harcourts Thorndon Mile on the same track a fortnight later.

“He likes 1600 so I’d like to aim at the Thorndon,” said Mitchell.

Irish Call is the winner of five of his 12 starts and placed on four occasions. He has earned over $85,000 for Mitchell and her mother, Robyne Macdonald, who race the son of Civics in partnership.