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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 53060 Ironclad Primed To Make An Impact In Cranbourne Cup

Ironclad primed to make an impact in Cranbourne Cup

Ironclad primed to make an impact in Cranbourne Cup

He's already got a Golden Mile under his belt and now Ironclad is eyeing another Victorian feature, with trainer Will Clarken saying he's got the veteran going as well he can ahead of Saturday's Listed Cranbourne Cup.

The seven-year-old resumed with an eye-catching third in the Group 2 Linlithgow Stakes at Flemington on Derby Day and the South Australian handler is thrilled with how he's come through the run.

Ironclad can be a tricky horse to manage at times but Clarken believes he's ready to produce a peak run, in a similar vein to his Golden Mile victory at Bendigo last year.

"It was terrific (his run at Flemington) – unfortunately it looked like there was really good speed in the race but the scratchings came out and so did the speed and we had to go back and take our medicine," he said.

"He ran home well – he really tried – his head was nice and low and you could tell he put in.

"He went over there a bit underdone and he's really thrived since then. We've got him in a really happy place now.

"I haven't had the horse this good since he won the Golden Mile and hopefully we can see a similar performance on Saturday."

Clarken is less thrilled with the barrier draw for the $500,000 contest, with Ethan Brown having to navigate gate 13 of 15.

"We've been given the short end of the stick," he said.

"I would've just loved him to draw five or six, he could stay in his lane and we wouldn't have to go back.

"There are a couple of horses that have to be ridden one way and hopefully they bowl along and there's some tempo in it."

Ironclad is rated a $10 chance with the TAB with Uncle Bryn and Visinari sharing favouritism at $5.

Clarken is also taking He's A Balter across the border for the Apache Cat Classic, the six-year-old having his first start since a campaign in Meydan where he collected a second and a Group 2 fourth.

"He's paying for his consistency – he's got quite a high rating and he really came from nowhere – he out-tries his ability," the Sellicks Hill trainer said.

"But I couldn't be happier with his two latest trials, he looks to have come up well for a horse who was on the other side of the world."

Clarken has had plenty of success travelling horses over the years – he's also sending Beau Rossa to Perth for the Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes later this month – and has the systems in place to ensure they can compete at their best.

"For Ironclad and Beau Rossa, their ratings basically rule them out for 99 per cent of the races in South Australia, so they have to travel," he said.

"For stakes-grade horses, you could leave a horse here for a race like the City of Marion Stakes, but they're not worth as much as a metro race in Melbourne now.

"That's a bit sad and it's a bit hard on the owners so realistically, if we're going to have these sort of horses in our yard, they're going to have to spend a lot of time interstate.

"Older geldings like that are amazingly tough. Once they get used to the travel, they are incredibly resilient."


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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