Kersley Considers Feature Country Double For Divine Calling

30
Jan

Trainer Fred Kersley has not ruled out Divine Calling contesting a feature race country double in February and March.

The Pinjarra Classic (1300m) and Bunbury Stakes (1400m) loom as possible options for the Stratum gelding after his surprising win in Saturday’s Listed Scenic Blast Stakes (1200m) at Ascot.

“I haven’t mapped out a dead set programme for him, but he has won up to a mile so I think those sort of races are within his capacity,” Kersley said on Tabradio’s The Sports Daily.

“I am also mindful of the fact that he might go pretty good fresh so we have a tendency to keep him on the fresh side.”

Divine Calling snuck under the radar of punters in the Scenic Blast Stakes, sent out a $12 chance, but he powered home to post an authoritative win.

The six-year-old was having his first run in the state after racing for Gai Waterhouse in Sydney and Casper Fownes and Tony Millard in Hong Kong.

He showed his class for Gai Waterhouse in 2013 when ridden by Damien Oliver he won the Group 2 Stutt Stakes (1600m) at Moonee Valley.

He also came close to earning Group 1 status after finishing a close second to Peter Snowden’s Long John in the Caulfield Guineas (1600m).

“I thought he would run a good race, but wasn’t confident he could win the race,” Kersley said.

“I thought he would be competitive and took a line through a horse like North Ridge who has been running in that company and he has been a length and a half to two lengths off winning without much luck.

“Divine Calling works with him most of the time and has his measure so on that basis I had to go into the race thinking he had some chance.

“It’s fair to say things went his way and he just relaxed beautifully in the run and there was a fairly hot pace.

“He got a comfortable run and in the end his ability prevailed. I was really pleased with the effort.”

Divine Calling, who was racing first-up off a 286-day break, gave comeback jockey, Daniel Staeck a city double, his first since returning to the saddle last December.

“It is a good story for Dan and clearly he is one of the best riders in Western Australia,” Kersley said.

“Now that he is back and has got his mind right I think it is an opportunity for him.

“I’m always happy to have him on.

“He’s as good as rider as we have got here.”

RWWA: Julio Santarelli