Hawke’s Bay trainer John Bary is hoping to upset the applecart once again on Saturday when Callsign Mav contests the Group 1 Windsor Park Plate (1600m) on his home track at Hastings. The Atlante four-year-old was a surprise $81 winner of the Group 1 Tarzino Trophy (1400m) a fortnight ago but despite the impressive victory, punters have again neglected the four-win galloper who is rated a $31 prospect as he steps up to a mile.
“I think he is overlooked in the market,” Bary said. “He showed last season he was up with the best of them, he raced with the best of them and beat some of the best of them. It showed two weeks ago. “Yes, he got a fantastic 10 out of 10 ride from Jonathan Riddell but he was fit and well and ready to rumble. “He has improved, and I was very happy with his gallop on Saturday over 1500m at home. “He has got a tricky gate (12) but that is Jonathan’s problem now. It might have to be an 11 out of 10 ride.”
Callsign Mav clearly enjoys racing at his local track, boasting four wins and a runner-up finish to Catalyst from six starts at Hastings. “His home track form is great,” Bary said. “He is a horse that has taken time to mentally and physically mature. He has just got better and better and he certainly knows he won the other day. “He has been a very happy horse and his head’s out of the box all the time and he wants everyone to talk to him and pat him and tell him how good he is. The win has done his confidence the world of good.”
Callsign Mav has won four of 11 starts and been placed on a further three occasions but has failed at his two attempts at 1600m, albeit in Group 1 company, however Bary said he raced like a tired horse on both occasions.
The Hawke’s Bay horseman will be absent from the track on Saturday as he continues to recover from a back operation. “I won’t be there, but my back is on the mend after the second operation,” he said. “I just have to take the rehab a bit slower this time. “Being a professional polo player, then farming and crutching and shearing, it’s just wear and tear.”
Bary will have five runners at Hastings and rates Cinzento his best chance on the day. The four-year-old mare ran well behind Rum when second on the opening day of the Hawke’s Bay Spring Carnival. “I think she is better if she is ridden cold,” Bary said. “She has seriously got some ability but if you go forward, she has a tendency to blow out. She is another one that is still learning but has untold ability. “I think she is probably my best chance of the day.”
Bary’s other runners on the day include Motivation, who is on trial for a tilt at the Group 3 Red Badge Sprint (1400m) on the final day of the carnival, while talented gallopers Serena and Bucky are both resuming.