By Chris Scholtz
Journeyman jockey Noel Callow will renew a rare association with Gai Waterhouse when he rides the topweight Supply and Demand in Friday’s $180,000 Commercial Club Albury Gold Cup.
It will be the first time Callow has ridden for Waterhouse in two years, his last ride for the trainer being in the 2016 Tasmanian Oaks in Hobart where he finished second aboard Sweet Redemption.
Callow has had less than 10 rides for Waterhouse in the last 15 years but she has always had a high opinion of the much-travelled jockey since he won the Group 1 Australian Guineas for her stable on Al Maher in 2005.
The Australian Guineas is among the five Australian Gr 1 races won by Callow, a figure that would be much higher if he had not spent much of the last decade riding in Singapore where he ruled the premiership.
The Victorian jockey recently made the decision to relocate to Sydney and focus on riding at provincial and major country meetings, a decision that has led to his booking for Supply And Demand in the Albury Cup (2000m).
Waterhouse and her co-trainer Adrian Bott decided on Tuesday to tackle the Albury Cup with Supply And Demand despite his big handicap of 62kg. The classy 5YO is the only horse weighted above the limit of 54kg in the Albury Cup and Waterhouse and Bott wanted a heavyweight jockey for the stayer.
They snapped up Callow’s services when alerted that he would be riding at the Albury Cup meeting for the first time in more 15 years. Callow, who rarely rides below 55kg, made the move to Sydney last month and has already ridden 12 winners at provincial and country meetings.
Waterhouse has been trying to win an Albury Cup for more than 10 years but her best finish has been a third placing with Hippopus in 2016. Her Grafton Cup winner Queenstown was fourth in 2015 and Bonfire, another Grafton Cup winner, could manage only ninth in a high-class field last year.
Supply And Demand also won the 2016 Grafton Cup (2350m) last July at the end of a four-race winning streak that included the Caloundra Cup (2400m) in Queensland.
The honest gelding hasn’t won in eight starts since resuming in October but has been placed five times over distances from 1400m to 1900m and will find the Albury Cup more suitable than his last start when he finished 11th in the Gr 1 Australian Cup (2000m) under weight-for-age conditions at Flemington on March 10.
Waterhouse and Bott are also sending the promising three-year-old Angel’s Boy to Albury on Friday for the $80,000 Jayco Albury Guineas (1400m). Waterhouse is chasing her third win in the Albury Guineas after previous victories with Fat Al (2012) and Ryker (2014).