Back-to-Back Tarzino Triumphs for Callsign Mav (NZ)

20 September 2021

Callsign Mav (NZ) claims back-to-back victories in the Group One Trazino Trophy (1400m). Photo: Race Images.

Four years after selling for $3,000 at the 2017 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale at Karaka, home-town hero Callsign Mav (NZ) (Atlante) earned his place in Hawke’s Bay racing history with a defence of his $220,000 Group One Tarzino Trophy (1400m) crown at Hastings on Saturday. 

The high-class gelding became just the fourth horse to score back-to-back wins in the spring showpiece, following on from Seachange (NZ) (Cape Cross), Kawi (NZ) (Savabeel) and Melody Belle (NZ) (Commands). Trained and part-owned by John Bary, Callsign Mav has now had 18 starts for six wins, eight placings and $439,550 in stakes – almost 150 times his purchase price.

Saturday’s second Tarzino triumph was hard-earned. Going forward from his wide gate, Callsign Mav had to work hard for the lead through a frenetic first 300 metres.

Callsign Mav and Jonathan Riddell finally had some breathing space as they made their way down the side of the track, and then they threw down the gauntlet to the rest of the field with a powerful kick at the top of the straight.

But Callsign Mav’s work was nowhere near over, as Spring Tide (NZ) (Darci Brahma) suddenly sprouted wings, soared out of the pack and rushed up alongside him. Just as it looked like Spring Tide would sprint straight past, Callsign Mav lifted again and turned back the challenge by a desperate head. Runner-up Spring Tide finished more than four lengths ahead of the rest of the field.

“They all made me work, and I just had to keep going to get the lead,” Riddell said. “In the back of my mind I thought it might be his undoing, but we got it cheap around the corner and then he really found late. It’s just amazing.

“Last year he really matured and showed that he was up with the big boys, and now he’s one of the big boys.”

Bary was delighted with Saturday’s performance and now has one eye on a shot at the Group One Cox Plate (2040m) in Melbourne on October 23.

“He worked overtime to get to the lead, and they never made it easy for him,” the Hastings trainer said. “They never left him alone and he had to do it at both ends of the race. He’s a different horse now though, bigger and stronger, and he got the job done.

“It’s a big thank you to the owners, who let me do what I wanted to do with this horse last season, and to the staff at home. It’s a big team effort.

“We’ll be back here in two more weeks for the next Group One (the Windsor Park Plate over 1600m), and then hopefully he can keep moving forward and head into the Cox Plate later in October.”

Vendor Windsor Park Stud
Purchaser Ms EL Holmes (Manawatu)
Breeding Atlante – Raadisi
Sale Lot 233, 2017 National Weanling, Broodmare & Mixed Bloodstock Sale, $3,000
Bred by Windsor Park Stud