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 New Zealand Gallops News 
Wednesday, April 18 2018

Talented jockey Andrew Calder has returned to New Zealand and will be out to make an immediate impression at Pukekohe on Saturday. 

 

Mr. Li Chi Keung (right), Managing Director of Macau Jockey Club, presents the trophy to Andrew Calder, jockey of the Macau Hong Kong Trophy winner Best Of Luck.  - Hong Kong Jockey Club

After a lengthy stint in Macau, Calder arrived in New Zealand on Monday and will be back in raceday action with the mount on Time Lord for his father-in-law, trainer Richard Collett, in the Gr.2 Valachi Downs Champion Stakes (2100m).

“Tash and the twins moved back last week, but I had to stay on in Macau to ride again on the weekend,” Calder said. “The main reason for coming back is the family. The twins, Jax and Tye, will be one year old on the 25th (April) and it’s good to have the family around. That’s what we missed in Macau.”

Calder (35) has been riding in Macau since 2011, initially for a year during which time he notched wins on the Paddy Busuttin-trained Imabayboy in the Macau Derby (1800m) and Macau Guineas (1500m).  

“I came back here to New Zealand for five months then went back to Macau full-time,” Calder said. “It was a good experience and I enjoyed it. I’ve been in the top five on the premiership for the last five years.

“One of the things I’ll miss, though, is not travelling and not needing a car. There is just the one track and we lived within 10 minutes walking distance from it so we either walked where we wanted to go or got a taxi.”

Calder, a relatively natural lightweight, has had no trouble keeping his weight under control.

“I could ride 53 kilos each week without wasting and that was riding just once a week. I’m sure I’ll get it down further with more racedays here,” he said.

Calder left New Zealand with 39 black-type successes, including seven Group Ones, and a total of 722 wins to his credit. 

Calder is now closing in on 1000 career wins, having surged past the 900-mark in Macau, and is keen to climb the jockeys’ premiership ladder again in his home country.

His best New Zealand seasons came in the early 2000s. He kicked home 96 winners in 2004-05 then the following season he finished second on the New Zealand jockeys’ premiership behind Lisa Cropp with 104 wins.

Best Of Luck with Andrew Calder in the saddle winning the Macau Hong Kong Trophy at Taipa Racecourse.  -  Hong Kong Jockey Club

Best Of Luck with Andrew Calder in the saddle winning the Macau Hong Kong Trophy at Taipa Racecourse. - Hong Kong Jockey Club

Before his lengthy stint in Macau, Calder spent 11 months in Singapore in 2007, notching 20 wins, and he has ridden once in New Zealand since he settled in Macau. That was last Boxing Day when he and his family were back for Christmas and he finished fifth on the Collett-trained Top Prospect in the Dunstan Feeds Championship Final (1500m) at Ellerslie.

Hardly had he got off the plane back in Auckland on Monday, than he was again persuaded by Collett to ride one for him at Tuesday’s Waipa trials, winning on the two-year-old Fluorobus, a promising Helmet gelding having his first trial.

Earlier that morning he got the feel of his Champion Stakes mount Time Lord in trackwork and a day later he rode race rival and stablemate, last-start winner Azaboy, in work to determine his ride in the Group Two.

“Time Lord impressed me the way he worked and taking a line through his Waikato Guineas run he gets the nod,” Calder said. “Azaboy will be suited by a heavy track, but if it’s not that bad it’ll help Time Lord.”

Time Lord, a one-race winner, finished third to Xbox and subsequent Gr.1 New Zealand Derby (2400m) runner-up Mongolianconqueror in the Gr.2 Waikato Guineas (2000m) then after his ninth in the Derby he was just beaten by Smart Dragon over 1600m at Pukekohe recently.

Calder has picked up the Time Lord mount as his last-start rider, Kelly McCulloch, is currently suspended, and he is likely to get more raceday rides from the Collett stable when his sister-in-law, Alysha Collett (who is riding at Riccarton this weekend), heads to Singapore for a stint.

“Alysha is just waiting on her visa to come through,” Calder said.

Posted by: AT 07:57 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email