Group 1 winning trainer Nat McCall ‘One On One’

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One of my favourite trainers in QLD is the down to earth and very astute and Group 1 winning trainer Nat McCall. For a lady with a smallish stable she bats well above what would be expected and always seems to find the winners circle!

I thought no time better than now for people to just find out a bit more about one of our really nice people in QLD racing.


Gibbo: Thanks for taking a bit of time to do the ‘One On One’ Nat. I have only known you for a few years but in that time I have followed your horses and it has to be said you do an outstanding job!

Let’s start by just letting people know where you grew up and for those who don’t know, how you got into racing?

Nat:Was born and raised in cold old Toowoomba until I was 7, then Dad moved the family to the Sunny Coast to become a private trainer for a client. He set up a 60 acre property with 40 stables, pool, track and many spelling paddock that the whole family worked hard no and ran for a number of years


Gibbo: Your dad is a bit of a legend around the joint, what were a few of his best horses and major wins?Nat McCall

Nat:Dads a quiet achiever, has had some more than handy types over the years, Top Echelon could have been anything, Group 1 placed as a 2yo and was doing that on total raw ability. Messiaen was a Group 2 winner of the QTC Cup and a Straddy runner, great old horse, not unlike River Lad, a real trier. Latin Poet never won a black type race but was stakes placed and won around 25 races. He has won every race over the Rocky carnival at one point or another, he loves going up there.



Gibbo: Have you got a favourite of the old horses he trained?

Nat:Messiaen was my absolute favourite, I owned half of him and mum owned the other half, he and I had a special bond, I rode all his trackwork and spent a lot of time leading him off the pony through the forestry. When I was 9 both of my sporting ponies died within a few months of each other and we went to the sales and dad said pick a cheap one and I’ll buy it for you. So I picked a little chestnut filly we bought it for $1000. She won a few races including a midweek in town, her name was Grand Shower and she was the mother of Messiaen. She had 10 to the races for 10 winners, a stakes winner and a stakes placegetter in Cole Trickle. So he was special to us.

Also Hot Symbol was a ripper, he won an Amateur Bracelet and Newmarket in Rocky within 4 days



Gibbo: Now on to your horses. How many in the stable? And you are based on track at the Sunshine Coast?

Nat:We have 20 in work. On course at the Sunny Coast, the most amazing stabling complex, it is truly wonderful. Great training facilities, I wouldn’t be anywhere else. I didn’t realise how great it was until I took Bill to Sydney and stayed at Randwick, we are lengths ahead of them as far as the stabling complex goes.

River Lad..


Gibbo: You have had some really smart types like the speedstar Kelbenjar, but no doubt the real stars are classy mare Lady Echelon and River Lad? Truthfully what were your first words as he went over the line?

Nat:Honestly???? He’s so f*#^ing tough!!!! Don’t know if you can say that lol He was beaten 10 times down the running and still managed to put his head in front on the line. He loves to win



Gibbo: I heard a quote that you said “Champagne only for dinner tonight.” Was that the case? How were celebrations?

Nat: Haha, there was plenty of Moet flowing at dinner. The owners, my partner Ryan and Bill’s strapper Tara and I all went to George’s Paragon for dinner, the owner had booked win lose or draw, he was just so wrapped to have a runner in the Straddy



Gibbo: You have a smaller sort of team, how many in work? And always room for new clients who want you to train?

Nat:We keep 20, room for 22. Always room for new clients, I have no desire to have a big team, that is big enough for us, I like to be very hands on and still ride the majority of my own work, but I would love to improve the quality.



Gibbo: Best piece of advice you have ever been given?

Nat:2 things 1) Always listen to every piece of advice you are given, you never know when you might need it and 2) more horses go the races overtrained than undertrained




Gibbo: You’re down to your last $100, what do you do?

Nat:Firstly I’d pull my finger out…..obviously I’m not working hard enough if I only have $100 to my name!! Then I’d wait until Bill goes around…..very rarely he wouldn’t net you a nice return!



*A massive congrats on the Stradbroke victory, you are officially a QLD legend! Best of luck in the future and I am certain the winners will continue!!

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