Any horse that wins the first eight starts of their career clearly has plenty of ability.
But just how good Mick Price-trained galloper Callanish is will be revealed on Saturday when the gelding takes on Caulfield Guineas winner All Too Hard in the Group 1 CF Orr Stakes (1400m) at Caulfield.
The four-year-old has been well placed in the early stages of his career but has still had to overcome big weights on a number of occasions and even the very best horses can come unstuck early.
Callanish will be having by far his biggest test yet when he lines up in the top grade on Saturday with regular jockey Dale Smith in the saddle.
The son of Fastnet Rock has never raced at higher than Listed level, with his biggest result to date coming in the $150,000 Seymour Cup in October.
After winning his first six starts in midweek company, the exciting prospect was given his first Saturday challenge last September.
He didn’t put a foot wrong in his first trip to Caulfield as he knocked off Toorak Handicap runner-up Spirit Song by a dominant four lengths.
But even with such a promising start behind him, the $8 chance is going to need to have improved during his summer break in order to topple $2.40 favourite All Too Hard.
The weight-for-age race has All Too Hard carrying 55.5kg, 3.5kg less than Callanish, on the back of a Spring Carnival where he confirmed himself as one the country’s best gallopers.
The team Hawkes-trained gelding was always bound to attract plenty of hype due to being a half-brother to Black Caviar but he carved a reputation of his own with some stellar performances.
Despite starting as a $12 outsider in the Caulfield Guineas, All Too Hard thundered down the Caulfield straight to end Pierro’s unbeaten record and silence his critics.
Adding further salt into the wound and reinforcing his sheer talent, the son of Casino Prince produced a brave effort to finish runner-up behind Ocean park and one better than Pierro in the Cox Plate.