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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 53053 Will Clarken Appoints Co Trainer Niki Oshea To Take Stable To The Next Level

Will Clarken appoints co-trainer Niki O'Shea to take stable to the next level

Will Clarken appoints co-trainer Niki O'Shea to take stable to the next level
Looking to take his stable to the next level, Will Clarken has welcomed former jumps jockey Niki O'Shea to his team, appointing him co-trainer from next month.

With Clarken set to open a new stable at Murray Bridge next year, in addition to his farm at Sellicks Hill and boxes at Morphettville, he's decided the time is right to make the move.

O'Shea came to Adelaide from Ireland in 2013, securing a handful of victories over the sticks before making the switch to training, collecting 31 winners with his partner Ashton Downing.

Clarken is confident that joining forces with O'Shea will help the stable reach greater heights.

"We're very similar but he's probably more committed to spending the time around the horses and I'm more thinking about the business, so we're keen to share the stress load, share the burden and share the success," he said.

"He's a really good horseman and we've probably been under-coaching our younger horses and underachieved a little bit.

"The other issue we've got is we don't have enough stables so when Murray Bridge opens up I think we'll go from 30 horses to 50 quite quickly.

"We've got 110 horses (on the books), so we've just got to get them coached up a bit better.

"He's an awesome horseman, we've been friends for a long time and he trains horses hard, at a high-level intensity, which will suit me. We've got pretty similar philosophies there.

"He's done a really good job with some of the horses he's had."

After running a bold second with Ironclad in the Group 1 Northerly Stakes last week, Clarken hopes to go one better when Beau Rossa lines up in the $1.5 million Gold Rush at Ascot on Saturday.

The five-year-old was unlucky when seventh in the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes and the trainer is thrilled with how he's come through the run.

"I'm ecstatic about him," Clarken said of the $17 chance.

"I could argue he should've run third (in the Winterbottom) and he seems to have peaked for this run.

"He's a horse that takes a bit of racing - he was third-up in the Memsie (Stakes) when he ran second.

"It's going to take a good Todd Pannell ride from the gate (eight) but we'll be right, I think he'll run really well."

Clarken also takes a dual-pronged attack to the Listed Christmas Handicap at Morphettville but he is slightly less optimistic about the hopes of He's A Balter ($11) and Second Slip ($26).

"They're both horses who have probably outperformed their ability and have to carry big ratings now," he said.

"He's A Balter was good the other day but needs to improve and Second Slip is getting to the twilight years of his career and we've put the blinkers on to see if that sparks something.

"We'll be happy if they both run well."


Kuro's low-key return

A home-state, black-type win is the immediate aim for South Australia's most-exciting young horse Kuroyanagi, but Will Clarken admits it's hard not to dream about spring features in both Melbourne and Sydney. The Blue Diamond placegetter made a low-key return to the track in a 600-metre jump out at Thomas Farms Racecourse Murray Bridge on Thursday, pleasing both her trainer and jockey Ben Price. Clarken said the Listed Lightning Stakes (1050m) at Morphettville later this month shapes as the perfect kick-off race and a suitable chance for the filly to secure a Stakes win, after her Group 1 and Group 2 placings over summer. "All being well, we'll get a good trial into her at Balaklava in seven days' time and then a nice gallop on some Good ground, we'll look to kick her off in the Lightning," Clarken said. "It'll come down to her first-up performance but races in both Melbourne and Sydney are definitely there as options. "It was such a vintage year of juveniles, so we'll just have to pick our way through and dodge a few of them. "We just want to get a black-type win next to her name, so we'll just chase little fish to start and build into it. "But we cant hide our excitement about her." During her first racing campaign, Clarken maintained that the daughter of Written Tycoon was far from the finished product and he said he's satisfied with the physical development she's made since the Blue Diamond. And while her early targets are likely to be in the 1000-1200-metre range, he's excited at the prospect of stretching her out in trip. "She's got a lot stronger in her time off," he said. "We did the right thing by stopping after the Diamond, so she got a really good spell into her. "Skeletally, everything has settled down because she was just feeling her shins off and on last prep. "I'd love to see her rolling over seven furlongs because I just think she's got this amazing action. "Brenton (Avdulla) gave us some amazing feedback that she felt like a horse that would get further after he rode her in the Diamond."Story from (James Tzaferis)

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Former South Australia galloper a future Hong Kong star

Galaxy Patch showcased his remarkable turn of foot once again at Sha Tin on Sunday, June 23, clinching a dominant victory in the HK$4.2 million G3 Premier Plate Handicap (1800m) for trainer Pierre Ng. Ridden by Vincent Ho, Galaxy Patch surged from near-last to first in the home straight, completing the race in 1 minute and 48.64 seconds. The four-year-old galloped the final 200 meters in a swift 21.69 seconds, finishing as the race’s second favourite with betting apps in Australia. “He’s a future star with immense potential. He was the best horse in the field, and that’s why he can perform like this. From a wide barrier (10), we just aimed to settle him. He was a bit keen over the first 400 meters but then relaxed just before the turn,” Ho said post-race. Galaxy Patch, sired by Wandjina, initially raced in South Australia as Gulinga Spirit under Will Clarken and Niki O’Shea before being sold to Hong Kong. Earlier this month, Galaxy Patch triumphed in the HK$4.2 million G3 Lion Rock Trophy Handicap (1600m). His impressive record now includes six wins from 12 starts in Hong Kong, with notable runner-up finishes in the HK$13 million G1 Queen’s Silver Jubilee Cup (1400m) and the HK$26 million BMW Hong Kong Derby (2000m) this season. “I just took my time, let him gradually advance, and then asked for an effort. He’s a very decent horse,” Ho remarked. “Thanks to Pierre’s team for their support and trust – riding such quality horses means everything.” Beauty Joy finished a neck behind in second, with Happy Together securing third place. The race favourite, Chancheng Glory, ended up in fourth. “It was likely from an impossible position, but he’s shown versatility across various distances. Now at 1800 meters, he even placed second over 2000 meters,” Ng commented. “He’s like an all-rounder, typical of Australian horses, adaptable from short to long distances. He was much more mature today, and I hope he continues to develop next season.” “We’re definitely targeting big races. Let’s see what the schedule holds,” Ng added. This victory was part of a treble for Ng, propelling him back into the lead for the trainers’ championship with 65 wins, ahead of Francis Lui’s 63. Ng also celebrated success in both feature races of the day, with Mugen and jockey Karis Teetan overcoming California Spangle in the HK$4.2 million G3 Premier Cup Handicap (1400m).Story from JustHorseRacing

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