Day At The Track

Royal Gamble to lead way in return to Menangle

10:10 PM 12 Jun 2020 NZST
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Mark Callaghan, harness racing
Mark Callaghan

Morisset trainer Mark Callaghan will look to Menangle specialist Royal Gamble to lead the way for his team when regional harness racing trainers and drivers return to the city track on Saturday night.

The meeting is the first at Menangle since regional restrictions in place since March for COVID-19 were lifted. Callaghan has Royal Gamble, Laceys Lad and Glenn Ford in heats for a $30,000 final the following week. Callaghan's son, Jack, will drive the trio.

Royal Gamble has gate four in heat six and looks one of the top hopes after three runner-up efforts at Newcastle behind Roy Roots jnr-trained The Black Prince and Pitch Perfect. Royal Gamble has five victories and nine placings across 20 starts at Menangle.

"He's a good chance," Callaghan said. "He's been racing terrific and he always seems to go better at Menangle than at Newcastle."

Laceys Lad has gate two in heat seven. He had two wins at Newcastle in April before three luckless runs.

"The only time Pitch Perfect has been beaten its last five starts was by him," Callaghan said. "He's got good gate speed and he'll be up there, but obviously Pitch Perfect is the one to beat."

The trainer said he was "testing the waters" with Glenn Ford in heat eight.

"I probably wouldn't be taking him down if I wasn't taking the other two, but there were no suitable races at Newcastle, so I thought I'd test the waters with him," he said.

"He hasn't raced down there in a while and he's definitely improved since he did."

By Craig Kerry

Reprinted with permission of the Newcastle Herald

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