LOCKWOOD South reinsman Neil McCallum feels his win aboard Magic In Her Moves at Mildura on Friday is the 'confidence booster he needed' in his return to the sulky.
McCallum, who was 15 days into his return from a broken back sustained in a road accident earlier this year, broke through with his sixth and final drive on an 11-race card at City Oval Paceway, for young trainer Lachlan Prothero.
The popular reinsman was unlucky not to have left Mildura with a double, after being relegated into second place behind the Glenn Douglas-trained and Abbey Turnbull-driven Jayedgar earlier in the day.
McCallum said he was both delighted and relieved to have gotten his first winner after spending four months on the sidelines.
" It was very satisfying all round, especially for the young fellow (Lachlan Prothero). He's only taken up training about 12 months ago," he said.
"I used to drive for his father (Andrew) for years, who is still running the show, but the lad is so keen, he wants to run the show.
"That's his seventh or eighth winner, which is not bad for a small stable, which only mucks around with three or four horses. He's as keen as mustard.
"It was great for the owners as well, who are from Shepparton way."
McCallum said for himself it was a good morale boost.
"I've probably had about a dozen drives since coming back and run a few placings," he said.
"I guess it comes down to weight of numbers, you were always going to crack one, it was just a matter of getting the right run and a bit of luck.
"A few of (the horses) have been going well, you just need a bit of luck going your way."
The win was Prothero's second in four starts with Magic In Her Moves, following the three-year-old's previous win at Mildura on July 24.
The filly is on to her fourth trainer and has won four races in total from 16 starts.
McCallum, 55, who now has seven steel rods inserted in his back, said he was feeling as good as to be expected this early in his return, following the injuries he sustained in a collision with a kangaroo near Baringhup in late March.
"Leaving for Mildura at 8am and getting home at 10pm, after spending eight hours in the car and a lot of time walking around, and driving six on a track that was a little rough, by the time I got home (Friday night) I knew about it," McCallum said.
"But a win makes it very satisfying."
A busy schedule ahead for McCallum will include drives at Geelong on Tuesday, Maryborough and Swan Hill on Wednesday night, and Melton next Saturday night.
Meanwhile, a win for the Douglas-trained Jayedgar was the five-year-old's second on the trot after his success at Melton last Monday.
The consistent gelding has now won 12 races and been placed 18 times from 65 starts for earnings of more than $68,000.
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