After two unlucky runs during the Queensland Winter Carnival, accomplished Kiwi-bred gelding Ucalledit has returned to New South Wales and turned his form around in Saturday’s Listed Drinkwise Civic Stakes (1400m) at Randwick.
Queensland was a happy hunting ground for the son of Zacinto earlier in the season, winning four of his five starts between October and December including the Listed Lough Neagh Stakes (1400m) on December 17. He also finished a close third in the A$300,000 The Buffering (1350m) two weeks later.
But it was a very different story when the five-year-old returned to the Sunshine State in May, finding no luck in the running and finishing 10th in the Listed Australian Turf Club Trophy (1200m) at the Sunshine Coast and 10th in the Gr.3 BRC Sprint (1350m) at Doomben.
Newcastle trainer Kris Lees changed tack and brought him back to New South Wales, and the move paid dividends. Ucalledit was right back at the peak of his powers on Saturday, scoring an impressive win in the hands of Danny Beasley.
Ucalledit jumped well from gate five and took up a handy spot in fifth along the rail. Beasley brought him out to lodge his bid at the top of the Randwick straight, and Ucalledit worked through his gears and loomed up on the outside of the leaders.
Ucalledit surged to the lead with 100m remaining and kicked clear, scoring by three-quarters of a length.
It was the ninth win of a 24-start career for Ucalledit, who has earned A$439,110 in prize-money, having won four races in New Zealand for Kevin Myers before his purchase by syndicators Australian Bloodstock.
“That was a very satisfying win,” Lees said. “He had a really good summer in Queensland, but since he came back he’s been a bit luckless all preparation – albeit probably in a stronger grade in Queensland.
“We brought him back to New South Wales the other day, and his first run back here was better than it looked. With a soft gate today, he was given a lovely ride by Danny, stalking the speed, and he let down really well in the straight.
“It was not a huge surprise to me that he improved today. He was going better than his form guide reads, and he just needed a few things to go right.
“He rushed through his grades last preparation, with his rating getting up quite quickly. Now he’s got to be able to maintain that type of form, and he’s found it today.
“He’s done a great job. He was a really good purchase by the boys, who bought him from New Zealand. He’s really put some nice wins together.”
Bred by Bill Lawton, Ucalledit is one of eight stakes winners by Zacinto and is out of the unraced Al Maher mare Special Bay. He was purchased as a Karaka yearling by Kevin Myers from the draft of Grangewilliam Stud for $15,000.