Rewarding day for McCarroll

Jason Waddell returning to scale on Calligraphy, the second of his three winners at Ellerslie yesterday.

Jason Waddell returning to scale on Calligraphy, the second of his three winners at Ellerslie yesterday.

Cambridge trainer Ross McCarroll enjoyed a 100 per cent strike rate at Ellerslie yesterday, but it didn’t pan out as he imagined.

McCarroll was represented by Chicane and Calligraphy and on their lead-up work he believed both would be winning chances, an opinion shared by punters who back Chicane into a $4.20 favourite in the second event and thumped Calligraphy into $1.70 in the following race.

Chicane lived up to expectations when winning the Westbury Club 1200 by a length and three-quarters from the Shaune Ritchie-trained Ruby Bloom, but Calligraphy just scraped home in the Barfoot & Thompson Twilight Cup, scoring by a mere nose from Deluxe Edition.

“I thought she (Calligraphy) would win like the other one (Chicane),” said McCarroll after Jason Waddell completed a double on the stablemates.

“I was a bit worried and to be fair she didn’t win as good as I thought she would. Maybe she needs a break.

“She’s a very game mare. The connections (the Mayne family) have had so much bad luck I’m rapt for them to finally get one.”

Calligraphy has now won three of her 10 starts and been placed on four occasions, but her record should be even better. She was relegated from first to second behind Keely Be at Te Rapa on December 10, a relegation which stunned McCarroll.

Normally a good beginner, Calligraphy surprised her supporters and connections when settling second-last today.

“Nothing went to plan,” said Waddell. “I think she’s just about at the end of her campaign.

“She jumped out of the gates and all the intentions were to go forward and be in the first two or three, but she had no real urgency and from then I was always going to ride for luck.”

Calligraphy was back on the inside in second-last placing to the home turn then held up early in the run home. Fortunately she secured a run inside between rivals and Waddell drove her through to get up in the last stride.

“They tried to hold me in and I just tried to edge my way out gently and to her credit she really knuckled down,” said Waddell, who went on to win half the Ellerslie card when successful in the last race aboard Sidestep for Ruakaka trainers Donna Logan and Chris Gibbs.

“She’s a tired horse now but deserved to win.”

Raced and bred by Derek, Karty and Maureen Mayne, Calligraphy is a four-year-old daughter of Perfectly Ready and Donaquillo, a Don Eduardo mare who was trials placed but unraced.

Yesterday was the second time this season McCarroll has won a double on the same programme and each time Chicane has been involved. The earlier occasion was at Avondale last October when Chicane cleared maiden ranks and Mo Chara was also successful.

McCarroll’s stable has now won seven races this term from 22 runners and established an excellent strike rate of 3.14.