Royal Gamble’s win at Tamworth Paceway, in the Roadwork Industries Dash For Cash, was the result of a strong combination between the horse and a family connection.
Royal Gamble, a four-year-old gelding trained by Mark Callaghan at Morisett, covered the 1230-metre event in a mile rate of 1min 54.3sec, and provided Jack Callaghan, Mark’s son, with a feature race to add to his winning tally as a reinsman.
“He did that comfortably. He is a pretty quick horse and he can carry the speed for a fair way, so this race was always going to suit him,” Jack, 17, said.
Young Callaghan came out of the three barrier with Royal Gamble and knew his main opposition would be inside him, with Alabama Shakes (Tom Ison) from the Roy Roots Jnr stables in the two-barrier position.
“Alabama Shakes has been going good of late but I think my horse is in a different class,” Jack said.
Royal Gamble claimed career win seven, and his second win this season from four starts.
“It wasn’t too bad, as I thought Alabama Shakes would lead and I would be sitting outside him,” Jack said.
The two pacers raced stride for stride from the outset in the sprint race, with Royal Gamble increasing the tempo out of the back straight on the final occasion, to come away for an 8.8m win over a fast-finishing Burmach from the Dean Chapple stables. Alabama Shakes was a neck away in third.
Although Jack has already achieved 15 career wins in his short career, the 1230m race distance was a first for him.
“First time I have driven over that distance and it was plenty of fun and good to get a feature race, my first feature race in my career,” he said.
It was not the first time that the Callaghan name has appeared on the list of winners for the Dash For Cash, with Culinary Delight currently holding the track record (1.53.6), which was set in 2016. Mark Callaghan was the trainer and driver on that occasion.
“Dad is one of the best, I reckon,” Jack said. “He does a really good job with the team, and it is just a pleasure to be able to drive some nice horses.”
Royal Gamble came into the Roadwork Industries Dash For Cash after a win in the Club Menangle Country Series Final on November 24, with the Bettors Delight-Citylight gelding recording a mile rate of 1.52.4 for 1609m.
Jack was also awarded drive of the night for his win behind Royal Gamble.
Local trainer Ernie Mabbott picked up a training double on Thursday, with the wins of Joey Tee and Hedges Avenue. The stablemates were driven by Mitch Faulkner.