Jack Callaghan in a league of his own at Newcastle

Going places: Jack Callaghan has an unassailable lead in the Newcastle Drivers Premiership
Going places: Jack Callaghan has an unassailable lead in the Newcastle Drivers Premiership

GUN young reinsman Jack Callaghan is two weeks away from achieving a rare feat in harness racing.

The 17 year-old is about to secure the senior Newcastle Drivers' Premiership in his first full season of driving.

Jack is the son of well known Morrisett trainer Mark and is keenly sought after by other trainers as a freelance driver.

"I'm so proud of him," Mark said.

"I remember he wanted to start with the mini trotters and I said no, if you're serious, lets go down the back and start with working a quiet one.

"John and Todd McCarthy have also had a huge influence of his development when he went to spend time with them in Sydney.

Like his mentor Todd, Callaghan leans back in the sulky and is getting winner after winner.

With only a fortnight to the end of the season, Jack has driven 42 winners at Newcastle and is six wins ahead of his nearest rival.

And he is set to increase that tally with an outstanding book of drives at the Newcastle Paceway on Friday.

Callaghan has a great opportunity to replica last week's winning treble and cites Glen Innes Boy as his standout chance.

"Glen has been knocking on the door for a win and finds the right race tonight," Callaghan said.

"He ran a close second to Mister Finnigan two starts and he should lead all-the-way tonight."

Callaghan is also keen on the prospects of Power Surge (Race 1), Johnny White (Race 2) and Courageous Dancer (Race 8).

"Power Surge grades well and if she can cross to the front she'll be hard to run down. She had no luck last time out," he said.

"Johnny White hasn't had the best of luck in three starts since coming from New Zealand and I expect him to go close.

"Courageous Dancer led all the way last time and a repeat performance is on the cards," Callaghan added.

Friday's Newcastle Quaddie comment by Paul Micallef

Race 5

DAWN MAGIC (Darren Elder): Improvement noted past 2 starts here after being restrained early and doing best work at finish. Better drawn but class may test.

LIGHTNING BOB (Jenny Sellers): Speedy 7yo local who mixes his form. Usually shows up with a run to suit which he should get here but this field could be too strong for him.

JIMMY THE EDITOR (Clayton Harmey): Tough performer who keeps being brave from bad draws. Back row Bankstown winner last time beating Sams A Blast. This is harder but won't disgrace himself.

DYNAMIC ARCHIE (Martin Howell): Very fast 5yo winner 2 of past 4 starts. Behind leader for quick 1:53.7 mile win here Aug 3 beating First Fleeter. Up in class.

BIG BANG LEONARD (Clayton Harmey): First run for trainer was 3 pegs from gate (7) Tamworth for 11m 3rd Kid Montana Aug 8. Gets chance to go forward here. Consider.

GOTTASHOPEARLY (Jake Mitchell): Worked to lead over 2550m and not disgraced 6m 4th Black Silhouette here Aug 10. Wait for something a little easier.

AIR TIME (Darren Reay): Back from Qld campaign where he didn't have the best of luck. Is a very smart pacer who can work in his races and expect a big showing.

SANTANNAS ROCKET (KerryAnn Morris): Sydney visitor with a stack of ability and will make his presence felt here as the stable usually does. Can be versatile.

LUCKY LOMBO (Shane Sanderson): Raced 4 pegs and should have finished closer than 12m 6th Tiger Tara (1:53.9) Menangle 2300m Aug 10. Fantastic run last time and serious player here.

PADRISIMO (Jarred Hetherington): Placed all 4 runs since let-up, latest followed winner but found Kid Montana too good Tamworth 1980m Aug 8. Will be running on but needs luck.

Race 6

ROBYN TAYLOR (Neville Greenwood): Safely held twice since beating moderate lot here 2030m May 11. Prefer others.

ROCK THE PARTY (Shane Sanderson): Behind leader to win Penrith then 4 pegs 18m 6th Balfast (1:53.6) Menangle mile Aug 6. Better placed here and worth consideration.

LONDON DELIGHT (Mark Callaghan): Proving very costly but has had excuses. Broke gear and retired Jul 29 before losing driver Aug 3. Then $2.00 fav for 6m 5th Victory Valley Aug 10.

SMOOTH DAKOTA (Barry Matterson): Tamworth winner 3 starts back. Given a short break after 20m 4th Rock N Joy here 2030m Jun 8. In good hands.

SHEZABONNYGEM (Stacie Elliott): Not won a race in 35 starts this season with only 4 placings. Hard to recommend.

GUPTAS CULLEN (Mark Callaghan): Unplaced to stablemate Glenn Ford last time after chasing leader/winner 7m 2nd Tinted Lass in 1:56.7 mile Aug 3. Not to be overlooked.

FIRENZE (Kyle Brooks): Racing well without winning. Placed 3 from 4 here before making ground 13m 4th Glenn Ford Aug 10. Honest and worth including in all multiples.

CORINGA DELIGHT (Melanie Elder): Resuming from year break and was Maitland trial winner for new stable. Very smart mare with speed and can easily threaten these at best.

Race 7

STELLA MARIA (Dean Ingold): 37 start maiden and not been placed in any of her 16 starts this season. Hard to recommend.

NO RISK NO RETURN (Scott Wade): Winner here and did score at Bankstown from behind the leader 4 starts back Jul 19. Must be considered in this line up.

MINI CAM (Danny Mackney): Has failed to impress in any of his 5 unplaced runs since resuming, latest closest at finish 8m 5th Private Sector Aug 10 when $51.

CATCH A RUBY (Greg Brown): Not won in 31 starts this season and recent efforts are poor. Hard to see him troubling these.

DOTHEDEALDYLAN (Ray Harkness): Set the pace over 2030m when creditable 11m 3rd to smart Sydney 2yo filly Adira here Aug 12. Should go close to winning this.

ONLY WHEN I PLAY (Darren Reay): Awkwardly placed and never likely twice since resuming. Did run 2m 2nd to Jasper Styles 2030m here Feb 1 five runs back and gets top Sydney driver aboard. Ready to improve.

SAINT BREENY (Cameron Davies): 27 start maiden. Surrendered lead and did well 10m 3rd to highly rated Sydney 2yo Ananais (1:56.9) here Jul 29. Finds himself in winnable race if good enough.

JAK MAGIC (Mark Farrugia): Out of luck twice since strong finishing debut win 1:59.7 Penrith 1720m Jul 25 beating the luckless Major Hall. This suits and expect him to be hard to beat.

TIZ A MAGICTIME (Stuart Pringle): Very, very risky beginner and because of that she has been unplaced in all 10 starts. Has shown enough ability to suggest some hope here is she began safely.

Race 8

A PARADIGM SHIFT (Kevin Warby): 19 start maiden. Midfield trail when handy 6m 4th Mister Finnigan (1:57.5) here Aug 3. Has early speed and can be placed from the pole.

MAYWYN TOUGH (Jeffrey Andrews): Fast beginner. Has had his chances in 5 placings from past 6 starts but all runs contain some merit. Likes to lead but has options at start and should go close again.

MONSIEUR DARCY (Tiarn Sutton): Gelding only having fifth start when worked to lead over 2030m and wilted late 4m 4th Battlecraft here Aug 12. Definite improver.

BE A GOOD SPORT (David Brown): Handy Sydney 3yo with a win and 2 placings from 4 runs here. Disappointing all 3 unplaced runs since resuming but returns to the front line for the first time here. Keep very safe.

ONEOFTHELADS (David Brown): Stablemate to above and winner twice here, latest beating Velocity Stride over 2030m Feb 23. Needs to lift after unplaced past 5 runs.

MAJOR MONDO (Michael Formosa): Unraced Art Major 3yo brother to 6 winners including dual G1 winner Ima Spicey Lombo. Did enough in only trial here Aug 2 to suggest a forward showing is on the cards.

COURAGEOUS DANCER (Mark Callaghan): Bounced back to best with an all-the-way easy 8m win over Ponderosa Bigz in 1:59.9 mile Aug 10. Very quick and big chance to repeat should he cross Maywyn Tough.

ALIMONIE (Clayton Harmey): Risky beginner with his share of ability. Broke in score-up and severely checked early when 25m 4th Double Bliss Bankstown 1740m Aug 9. Can show up on best behaviour.

This story Young gun Jack streaks away from Newcastle rivals first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.