by Trenton Akers

Sunshine Coast trainer Natalie McCall trains horses for Boost Juice tycoon Jeff Allis, but it’s not nearly as big as the personal boost she got from winning the 2014 Stradbroke Handicap with roughie River Lad.

McCall said the boilover win won her enough money to make a deposit on a house, which recently resulted in her being able to run a spelling farm.

It also ultimately led her to Allis and his wife Janine Allis, a one-time shark on popular Channel 10 program Shark Tank, who has also featured on Australian Survivor and Celebrity Apprentice Australia.

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The power couple, who now call Noosa home, have a handful of horses with McCall and are looking to win the $125,000 QTIS 3YO Plate on Saturday at Doomben with Tiger Shark.

McCall said winning the Stradbroke put her name up in lights and changed her life.

“I suppose it did (change my life), it is a predominantly male game racing, so you gain a bit of respect from everybody,” McCall said.


Natalie McCall after winning the Stradbroke Handicap with River Lad. Picture: Mark Cranitch

“It gets your name out there and people recognise it a bit more.

“I ended up getting a good deposit for a house on the back of it … It set a good foundation for us, we just bought a spelling farm on the back of that.

“Because River Lad was a cheap horse we got a lot of cheap horses off the back of it with people thinking we could do the same.

“The numbers have been steady and the winners coming through, there are no superstars but it is all going well.”

The promising Tiger Shark boasts stakes-level form, and was an eye-catching run behind Miss Coota last start, where she was posted wide.

Janine Allis in Australian Survivor modeJanine Allis in Australian Survivor modeImage: Twitter – SurvivorAU

“The owners had a horse with Luke Oliver called Jessy Belle that was sent up here for the winter carnival, she stayed with us,” McCall said.

“Jeff Allis owns her, he owns Boost Juice, and his wife Janine is on Shark Tank, so they own a lot of companies.

“They owned Jessy Belle and came to visit the horse here when they came up to see her, this is six or seven years ago, and they had just bought a place at Noosa.

“He said he would give me some horses when they moved up, you don’t really think any more of it, but 12 months ago we were on holidays in Europe and I got a message from him saying he had horses for me.

“I thought she was super the other day, (jockey) Damien (Thornton) was rapt with her and he wanted to stay on her, that was a good line.

“She was three-deep without cover first up and went huge, she has drawn a bit awkward again, but she will improve again.

“When the trackers came out after the last run, she ran an extra seven or eight meters to the other horses, it’s a bit when you look at the margin she was beaten.”

Tiger Shark is an $8.50 chance with TAB on Saturday, with Kelly Schweida’s Deep Respect commanding $2.40 favouritism.

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