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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 53106 Jones Not Daunted By Dubai Stars

Jones not daunted by Dubai stars

Jones not daunted by Dubai stars

Adelaide-based jockey Caitlin Jones says she is embracing the opportunity to compete against some of the world's premier riders in Dubai this weekend.

In the early hours of Saturday morning, the 31-year-old will partner the Will Clarken-trained pair of Parsifal and He's A Balter in lucrative sprint races at Meydan as part of the Dubai World Cup Carnival.

While a weighing room that includes champion riders Frankie Dettori, Mikael Barzelona, William Buick and James Doyle might ordinarily be a daunting experience for a young jockey riding abroad for the first time, Jones said she is instead relishing the opportunity.

"To be quite honest, at the moment it's still a little bit surreal," Jones told RSN927.

"It probably won't occur to me too much until I'm sitting in the barriers with them, but obviously I've looked through the field and I've seen who I'm up against.

"It's not only the riders that I'm up against, I'm up against some quality horses and trainers that are renowned here and have had great success here.

"I've been given a wonderful opportunity by Will Clarken and the owners behind both of these horses to be here and ride, so that gives me enough confidence in myself to go out there and perform as best I can on the back of these horses that are giving me nothing but good feels.

"For me it's a dream come true."

Parsifal will tackle Charlie Appleby's dual-Group 3 winner Lazuli and last-start Stakes winner Mutaraffa in the Listed Dubai Sprint (1200m), while He's A Balter will take his place in the Dubai Sprint Consolation, over the same track and distance.

While she acknowledged the quality of her rivals, Jones thinks both horses can prove competitive based on the way they've settled in and worked since arriving at Meydan last week.

A four-time Stakes placegetter under Clarken's care, Parsifal was last seen when running third to Marabi in the Listed Christmas Stakes (1100m) at Caulfield.

Like his stablemate, Jones has never partnered He's A Balter in a race but is taking confidence form his recent form, which includes a Stakes placing at Morphettville in December.

"Parsifal's race especially, it's a very quality field," she said.

"Both Parsifal and He's A Balter are in very good form in Australia and I think Parsifal's form will hold up exceptionally well.

"Both races are actually looking like they'll be run to suit our horses.

"I'll delve into it a lot more now once the fields are out, my homework will be to work out where I think I'll be (in the run) and who I'll be following into it.

"I hope I can do everyone proud at home and I hope these two boys can do the same thing."


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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