Callow abandons road trip and his form blossoms
THE penny dropped for enigmatic heavy weight jockey Noel Callow three weeks ago that his three-month trial move to New South Wales wasn't for him.
He had driven to Muswellbrook but after two rides he was suffering from dehydration and had to go to hospital for treatment.
"I got into trouble at Muswellbrook and thought that will do here," Callow said.
Callow had planned to stay until the middle of May in Sydney but he couldn't be happier he short circuited the stay by six weeks.
Since Callow has returned to Victoria, and in just 2½ weeks, he's ridden 15 winners with a strike rate at 24 per cent from his last 50 rides.
In six weeks in Sydney, he rode 12 country winners.
His biggest win since coming back home was on two-year-old filly Thrillster to win the $300,000 VOBIS Sires (2YO, 1200m) at Caulfield on Saturday.
It was his second win on the filly as she also won the Bendigo Gold Dash on her.
During his northern tenure, Callow developed a healthy respect for what Sydney jockeys do and a greater appreciation of how lucky Victorian jockeys are with their travel requirements.
"There's too much travel in Sydney. I didn't realise these guys like Jeff Penza and Grant Buckley, they just sit in a car," he said.
"Twelve hours in a car to Dubbo, six hours both ways, that nearly topped me off."
Callow though praised Racing New South Wales for their support of country racing in terms of prizemoney.
"On a provincial Saturday I was riding where the minimum prizemoney was $30,000 and the last race, for the eight weeks of the Country Championship, was $150,000," he said.
Callow said compared to what was on offer at Bairnsdale last Saturday, it was so much better.
Bairnsdale had seven races consisting of three $22,000 events, one $20,000 race and three $18,000 events.
Callow was at his best on Thrillster, keeping the main danger Golden Script pocketed on his inside before exposing his filly.
Callow said Thrillster's win stamped her as an exciting filly and he was looking forward to riding her in the spring.
"I thought she was really good as I thought she was a bit lucky at Bendigo as there were some super runs behind me."
"I came here thinking she'd get a good run from the gate but I was just a bit iffy on the form."