Callaghan to partner Don't Stop Dreaming at Menangle
By Adam Hamilton
Exciting young Kiwi pacer Don’t Stop Dreaming will have a new driver at Menangle on Saturday night.
Co-trainer Mark Purdon opted to run the four-year-old again this week after he came through a slashing second to Leap To Fame in the Hunter Cup in good order.
“Brooke (Wilkins) said he travelled well up to Sydney (from Melbourne),” Purdon said.
“I was absolutely thrilled with his Hunter Cup run. It was a big effort to come wide and make up the ground he did on a horse as good as Leap To Fame.”
With Purdon back home, NSW young gun Jack Callaghan will be stand-in driver in Saturday night’s $50,000 Hondo Grattan (1609m) at Menangle.
It’s a big gig as Don’t Stop Dreaming will be favourite for the race which is a qualifier for his next big target, the $200,000 Group 1 Chariots Of Fire (1609m) at Menangle on March 2.
While Don’t Stop Dreaming will dominate betting and is drawn quite well in gate six, he faces some strong and fascinating rivals.
One of the key ones is fellow Kiwi entire Sooner The Bettor, but has to contend with a wide draw (nine).
The emerging Captains Knock, who ran a good third to Frankie Ferocious in the 4YO Bonanza at Melton last Saturday, draws to use his gate speed and a be a big player from gate three.
Last year’s star NSW three-year-old Better Be The Best, who boasts 16 wins from just 22 starts, returns from a spell in gate four. His talented stablemate On Deadline is next door (five).
Talented former Victorian pacer Our Vinnie has gate two at his first run for Jason Grimson and has impressed at the trials.
Another classy former Victorian, Dougs Platter, has been sold to US interests and resumes from a spell for new trainer Kevin Pizzuto of Tiger Tara fame. He has gate 10.
Later in the night, former Victoria Cup and Len Smith Mile winner Rock N Roll Doo returns from a freshen-up for trainer-driver Mick Stanley in a 2300m free-for-all.
The six-year-old turned plenty of heads with a blazing Melton trial win where Stanley cut him loose in front and beat champion mare Ladies In Red by more than 30m last Wednesday.