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Callmethebreeze primed for biggest test

Callmethebreeze is ticking all the boxes ahead of Friday's TAB Trot. - PHOTO: Pacepix/Club Menangle
Callmethebreeze is ticking all the boxes ahead of Friday's TAB Trot.

PHOTO: Pacepix/Club Menangle

Trainer Anton Golino says brilliant European import Callmethebreeze is as good as he’s had him since joining his stable as he prepares for Friday night’s $600,000 TAB Trot at Cambridge.

Callmethebreeze, a multiple European Group One winner, has raced five times “Down Under” for three wins and a second.

And he’s thrived since arriving in NZ about a week ago.

“He’s really well. He’s handled the trip well, no hiccups, and has settled in nicely,” said Golino, the head trainer for the giant Yabby Dams operation.

“He’s had a few runs for us now and we’ve got a good handle on him. Nathan (Jack, driver) was really pleased with how he drove and settled when he won at Menangle last start.

“He only had that one disappointing run and that was sort of my fault because I changed his gear and he over raced, but we’ll keep him in the open bridle like Sydney where Nathan said he drove great and was a bit lazy if anything.”

The big question everyone is asking is whether Jack will “push the button” and try to lead from gate four on Friday.

“I’ll honestly leave that to Nathan. If I go down that path, I’ll over analyse it and do my head in,” Golino said.

“There are so many scenarios and Pat (Driscoll, owner) and I have already had one conversation after the draw where we ran through so many possibilities.

“Yes, he’s quick out, but so too is Queen Elida. I’m sure Just Believe will be getting out as quick as he can, as will Arcee Phoenix.

“Four looks good on paper, but it’s actually a tricky draw.

“It’s a big decision what to do at the start because it could be suicide if he comes out hard and doesn’t get across.”

Despite Just Believe being beaten in two of his recent races, once by Callmethebreeze and last-start by Arcee Phoenix, Golino still rates the Aussie champ as the one to beat.

“Both his beaten runs were fantastic. Even sitting parked in 1min53sec last start,” he said. “He’s still the benchmark,” he said.

“It’s a hell of a race and great to be part of it. It’s a fantastic concept and really important for our stable and our whole team that we’re part of something like this.”

Golino, who spent long stints working for trainers in Europe and the US before taking on his Yabby Dams’ role, said the field was world class.

And he is hugely respectful of the two Kiwi big guns.

“Oscar (Bonavena) is going to get a cold sit, probably three pegs, and he’s fast. He’ll be dangerous late,” he said.

“Muscle Mountain is the benchmark over here and his past two wins have been huge, but he’ll need luck from the (wide) draw.”

Aside from Callmethebreeze’s obvious talent, Golino thinks his other weapon is his driver.

“Nathan’s brilliant and a great fit for this horse,” he said. “He’s one of the best tactical drivers going around and I’ll happily leave all the driving decisions to him.” – Adam Hamilton


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