Callie brings Delight to the Verryt family 

By Rob Courtney 

There is often a ‘back story’ to many of our proud owners and their treasured equine possessions and the latest Group 1 winner Callie’s Delight (Bettor’s Delight – Callie O’Malley) is no exception.

Callie’s Delight, trainer Bob Butt, driver Blair Orange and connections after her Grp1 NZ Standardbred Breeders Stakes win

Back in 2008, dairy farmer/breeder Dan Verryt went along to the standardbred yearling sales at Karaka for a ‘look’ and came home with an Elsu filly already named Callie O’Malley.  

She was offered by the Henleys and sold for $9000. 

According to brother-in-law Peter Cowsill, Verryt was impressed with the filly’s physique although he did have an interest in studying pedigrees stemming from his work with the cows. 

Cowsill himself had followed both the thoroughbred and standardbred codes pre 2008 and after garnishing interest from other family members and a couple of close friends, a syndicate was formed to race the Elsu filly. 

Callie O’Malley had some breeding behind her being a daughter of Precious Vance who was good enough to race at two and a half-sister to a smart 3yo in Captain Lee who ran 2nd in both the NZ and Great Northern Derbies. 

Callie O’Malley, trained throughout her career by Derek Balle, would eventually win five races and Cowsill describes her as a good honest type, having also placed 22 times in a total of 74 starts. 

Breeding from Callie O’Malley was a natural progression.  

Her first foal, Cullen’s Caviar won one in a short career then a family suggestion of going to Bettor’s Delight resulted in Callie’s Delight, now the winner of 12 and close to $200k. 

Winners are grinners! Peter Cowsill, Steve Gibson, Dan Verryt

The family syndicate entered into an ‘breeding arrangement’ soon after breeding their Group 1 winner with Alabar and Graeme Henley, this also coinciding with Dan Verryt selling his dairy farm. 

This ‘arrangement’ has resulted in the family syndicate now owning Rocky O’Malley (3yo by Rock N Roll Heaven) now with Matty Williamson and showing ability but with a few steering issues and hopeful that a change of scenery will work for the better, and Star of Heaven, a yearling filly also by Rock N Roll Heaven in work with Bob Butt. 

Callie O’Malley is currently in foal to Art Major. 

Callie’s Delight had her first 39 starts (7 wins) with John and Josh Dickie but once up in the grades, it soon became much more difficult to find suitable races for their good mare.  It was the Dickie’s recommendation that she transfer to the Woodend Beach base of Bob Butt, a decision that the ‘family’ have been very glad about.  

Another five wins and now Group 1 glory and their bonny wee mare has very little more to prove.  

The ownership group have had a real buzz following her race career. Cowsill describes her as a neat horse who has provided them with so much fun. 

Like her mother before her, Callie’s Delight has a big heart, always tries her best and is a delight to have around the stable. 

Footnote – Callie’s Delight did have some swelling in a front leg post-race and now the family have to come together to decide the mare’s future.