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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 53061 Will Clarkens Iron Horse Perth Bound

Will Clarken’s Iron horse Perth-bound

Will Clarken’s Iron horse Perth-bound

Will Clarken admits it is a ‘bold’ play, but the South Australian horseman thinks if ever there is a time to back-up Ironclad on opposite sides of the country it is now.

The imported gelding today flew out with a host of eastern states horses bound for Perth and the Group 1 contests that make up The Pinnacles.

The son of Dubawi will run in this Saturday’s $1.5 million Railway Stakes (1600m), just seven days after finishing fourth in last Saturday’s Listed Cranbourne Cup (1600m).

“It’s unorthodox and pretty bold to try and back him up seven days from Victoria to WA, but the race is there,” Clarken said.

“He’s very much a horse built on confidence and when his confidence is up, which, I’d say now it is as high as it’s been, you can do anything with him.

“It will be one day at a time and if he gets to Friday and he looks a little bit mopey or his blood’s not right or something, we will pull him out, but I would say if he’s ever going to cope with something as abstract as this, now is the time to try it.”

Clarken was happy with Saturday’s effort under Ethan Brown, which followed a third placing in the Group 2 Linlithgow Stakes (1400m) at Flemington on October 29, and while he didn’t suggest he could have beaten Uncle Bryn he thought he could have run second with a clearer passage in the straight.

“Both Ethan and I probably came out of the race thinking that he should have run second,” he said.

“I told Ethan to ride for a little bit of luck, but if we had ridden him differently and run second you’d go there (Perth) and be really confident.

“We just have to take a line through that and hope that we’re right.”

Ironclad was one of two members of Clarken’s stable on the flight to Perth, joined by Beau Rossa, who will contest Saturday week’s $1.5 million Group 1 Winterbottom Stakes (1200m).

The Unencumbered five-year-old is coming off a fourth placing, beaten less than 1-1/2 lengths by Argentia, in the Group 3 Rising Fast Stakes (1200m) at Flemington on Derby Day and Clarken was buoyed a piece of work at Murray Bridge last week.

“The horse galloped between races at Murray Bridge the other day and I’ve never seen him gallop as well,” he said.

“I’m happy to say that he’s in the right headspace and he’s going there full of confidence as well, it’s just whether he’s going to be good enough.”

A rider is yet to be confirmed for Beau Rossa, but Lachlan Niendorf will be granted a Group 1 opportunity in the Railway Stakes, in which Ironclad is on the 53kg limit.


ICYMI - Galaxy Patch runs a smashing second in the Hong Kong Derby

  A $50,000 Adelaide Magic Million purchase by Will Clarken, Suman Hedge Bloodstock and David Jolly the son of Wandjina was purchased with Hong Kong in mind. After winning impressively on debut at Morphettville, Hong Kong was on the radar.   Instantly the gelding made his presence felt in Hong Kong winning on debut he then went on to win three further races following an unplaced run on the all weather track. Going into the Hong Kong Derby he was second at Group One level against California Spangle. The step up to 2000 metres was a question mark having previously only ran over the sprint trips.   From the big raw lad we purchased at the Adelaide Magic Millions in 2021 it is such a pleasure to see the vision we had almost become a reality on international shores.   Galaxy Patch became the second horse selected at the Adelaide Magic Millions by Will to reach the Hong Kong Derby after Prawn Baba a $20,000 purchase placed seventh in 2017.

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Kuroyanagi's spring goals

South Australian filly Kuroyanagi will spell in Victoria after a terrific run to finish third in the Group 1 Blue Diamond Stakes at Caulfield, with her trainers already looking ahead to further elite-level targets in the spring. Niki O'Shea, who co-trains with Will Clarken, said the filly could head towards Guineas options later this year, having shown a great deal of raw talent in just her first racing preparation. "It was great, she was fantastic," O'Shea said. "When she came off the bit early, I thought we were in big trouble, so I was just happy that she did what she did. "On Sunday morning you wouldn't have known she'd had a run. She's actually going to stay there, she's gone to the paddock at one of those nice places down at Mornington." Clarken and O'Shea were not sure where Kuroyanagi would get to in her first preparation, with the view the $390,000 Written Tycoon filly will be a superior three-year-old galloper. "We've hardly trained her really, she's just done it under her own steam, we nearly put her in the paddock three or four times and she just kept pointing us in the right direction," O'Shea said. "He (Brenton Avdulla) said she was just green, ran off the corner and ran around the place, she's still six months away. He said she might even be a Guineas-type of horse, she's got the big action and she'll only keep improving."Story from Tim Yeatman

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Clarken ‘blown away' by his Blue Diamond filly

Blue Diamond contender Kuroyanagi is doing things Will Clarken has never seen before. The Group 1-winning trainer is astounded by the physical development of the talented filly and her appetite for work, confident she's going to run a big race in Saturday's $2m feature at Caulfield. Clarken has been open about the fact he's been searching for an excuse to tip Kuroyanagi out, convinced she's going to be even better as a three-year-old, but she's just thriving. "It's amazing. Me and (co-trainer) Niki (O'Shea) are just blown away by what she's done," Clarken said. "I could send people a video of her first gallop this prep and you'd just think it was a different horse. The way she's improved and the way she can handle pressure in a preparation is phenomenal. "I've never had a juvenile who has strengthened and developed in work. Week-to-week she's getting bigger and stronger and more durable. She's a ferocious doer and nothing fazes her. "I haven't dealt with a lot of really good young horses like this but she's just obviously got a great constitution." Kuroyanagi first came to prominence in early January when superstar jockey Jamie Kah made a rare visit home to South Australia to ride her to a dominant victory in a jumpout at Murray Bridge. She went on to win her debut in soft fashion at Gawler before an agonising second across the border in the Group 2 Blue Diamond Prelude for fillies earlier this month. "She's just come home and thrived. I haven't had one travel back and handle it so well for a long time," Clarken said. "That was our main concern as it was the first trip away for a young horse but she's put on weight, she's really above herself and he work has been terrific – we've been able to get two good gallops into her." With Kah and Blake Shinn, who partnered Kuroyanagi in the Prelude, opting to go elsewhere, Clarken was left searching for a suitable rider and he was watching a recent Sha Tin meeting when it hit him that Brenton Avdulla would be perfect. "I like to keep an eye on Hong Kong racing because we've got a small pool of horses over there now and he's riding so well," he said. "I was going through options, I asked a couple of Sydney guys and they had rides up there, so I said to (racing manager) Lachie (Weekley) ‘why don't you ask (Avdulla)'? "We watched him ride a double at the Chinese New Year meeting and I thought ‘imagine getting him on, it'd be awesome'." Kuroyanagi is rated an $18 hope with the TAB and Clarken thinks that presents good value. "The gate (two) to me is not ideal, I would've liked to have drawn out a little bit, but we've got the gun riding her, so that will help," he said "If she gets a little luck in running, I think she's a genuine each-way chance. "It's hard to say that going into big Group 1s but she has trained on remarkably well."

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