Day At The Track

Caldow shows class with five of the best

10:31 AM 28 Apr 2019 NZST
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John and Maree Caldow
John and Maree Caldow with trotter Meziah
Shepparton HRC Photo

When star Victorian harness racing reinsman John Caldow set off up the highway to the Shepparton meeting on Friday night, he was entitled to believe he had a few nice drives.

“I must admit that on paper I really did think I could do okay - but I have to be honest and say I wasn’t counting on landing five winners!” a jubilant Caldow said.

“It was just one of those nights where you think this might happen, or that could be the case, and then it just all goes to plan and falls into place,” he said.

“Absolutely amazing, but hell it was heaps of fun.”

The quintet of wins was a first for the freelance reinsman, who, with wife Maree, has a training complex at Melton.

“I did get five in total once before, but I couldn’t count it as such – one winner at Maryborough in the afternoon and then four that night at a Melton fixture,” he said.

“I have actually had four a fair few times. But the prospect of five at one meeting has probably never entered my head.”

The popular reinsman said Shepparton had been something of a happy hunting ground for him in recent seasons.

“I’ve been getting heaps of support from trainers up that way and I really enjoy driving on the track. Besides I have lots of friends in the area so it’s great to get up there and see them as well.”

The Caldow winning run started with Keith Cotchin four-year-old Karlos (Sportwriter-Kept For Pleasure (Safely Kept).

To watch the video replay of Karlos click here.

Then it was an all-the-way win with Sheer Modern (Shadyshark Hanover-Modern Society (Modern Art) for Brent Thomson.

To watch the video replay of Sheer Modern click here.

After being runner-up in the next, Caldow bounced back for wife Maree when successful with Meziah (Bettors Delight-Mesmerizing (Our Sir Vancelot).

To watch the video replay of Meziah click here.

He then scored a surprise win with $28 long shot Jackson Square (Bacardi Lindy-Front And Square (Yentls Image) in the Trotters Cup, landing the prize for Mick Blackmore.

To watch the video replay of Jackson Square click here.

Caldow’s fifth winner kept it an enjoyable family night, providing Maree with a training double courtesy of impressive 2YO colt Andover Sun (Andover Hall-Solar Flash (Sundon USA) in the Abrahams Trotters Classic.

To watch the video replay of Andover Sun click here.

And for Caldow followers wondering the outcome for a $10 all up bet on Caldow’s five winners?  A handsome $42,077 would have been the result .

Landing winners is certainly nothing new for Caldow, who is up there with the best of them. He has driven more than 100 winners in a season on 20 occasions.

And no-one would begrudge him his success (despite perhaps the one flaw in his make-up, some may say, of being a fanatical Collingwood supporter in the AFL!).

After a horrific road accident in the 1980s claimed the life of his older brother Peter and severely injured his father Jack at Boundary Bend in Victoria’s far north west, John was given the task of running the stables, then located at Echuca.

“I was only 13 years old at the time and I now sometimes look back on it and wonder how I did it,” he said.

“Mum had to get special leave from the Education Department so I could quit school and takeover the stable duties of preparing a team of 12 horses.

“But I couldn’t have done it without the help of a lot of people.  Probably the one who stood out was Russ Thomson, who had a set-up near Moama at the time, but many others gave us a hand.

“I can remember having a team of 20 in work when I was 16 years old as that’s when I applied to get a trots driver’s licence.”

The Caldow family relocated to Melton in early 2000 and John has continued to cement himself as one of the true success stories of the industry.

Caldow said he was certain to remember his quintet of winners in years to come.

“It was actually a huge two days as I went to the football the previous night at the MCG with Glenn Douglas, Mick Stanley and some other diehard Collingwood fans and we got a win over the Bombers,” he said.

“You could say I’m on a bit of a roll…!”

Terry Gange

NewsAlert PR Mildura

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