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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 53729 Bittersweet Moment For Clarken As Yasuke Makes Smart Debut

Bittersweet moment for Clarken as Yasuke makes smart debut

Bittersweet moment for Clarken as Yasuke makes smart debut

Breaking his maiden at Metropolitan level on his first start is exactly what Clarken imagined Yasuke was capable of once he’d got him up and running at his South Australian stable.

However, as circumstances changed, through no fault of his, the horse was transferred to Champion Trainer Chris Waller and Clarken watched on as on Wednesday Yasuke made his debut.

Settling three wide and without cover, Jye McNeil made his challenge down the centre of the track aboard the 3-year-old colt, grabbing the lead with 50 metres to run and seeing out the race in good style to win by 0.75l from Magnupur (Magnus), with Futile Resistance (NZ) (Almanzor {Fr}) a further 0.75l away in third.

Having retained a share in his ownership, Clarken couldn’t help but think back to when he identified him as a yearling as he crossed the line in front.

“He was a horse that Suman (Hedge) and I identified at (Inglis) Easter,” Clarken told TDN AusNZ. “I just went for a bit of a look around and saw him and we both fell in love with him. He’s got a South Australian pedigree, it’s an amazing family from a bit of obscurity.”

Bred by Arrowfield Stud, he was offered in their draft at the 2021 Inglis Australian Easter Yearling Sale, where Suman Hedge Bloodstock (FBAA), Clarken Racing and Ausbred Racing signed for him for $540,000.

Out of the South Australian mare Only Roses (Redoute’s Choice), Clarken was immediately attracted to his second dam, Gift Bouquet (King’s High), whose progeny are led by G3 CS Hayes S. winner The Inevitable (Dundeel {NZ}).

“The mare’s unbelievable, she’s only a little pony and she’s left several stakes winners,” he said. “He’s the granddaughter of her, and when I saw the page and I saw him I fell in love with him, and so did Suman.

“He’s a horse that, at Easter, you’d have expected to make $300,000 but he passed $500,000 because every trainer wanted him. He’s just so full of class. He’s got a beautiful head and a big jowl.”

His dam Only Roses is a fair producer herself too, with her three foals to race including the Group 3-placed Game Of Thorns (Animal Kingdom {USA}) and three-time winner Temple One (Real Impact {Jpn}).

“We bought him and for a little while it was a bit sketchy because we thought one client was taking more than he ended up doing. He ended up taking a quarter and Suman and I were left with the rest. I rang Ozzie Kheir and he was good enough to take half of the horse, then I syndicated a quarter of the horse to my stable clients including myself.”

Settling the horse into his stable, Clarken brought him along steadily as a late-season juvenile until he was ready for his first trial in March of last year. He showed up well, leaving connections pleased, and was steadily progressed to a second one. When he disappointed in that, it was obvious to Clarken that he was in need of a rest.

“We sent him for a good, long spell and whilst he was out we had a discussion with the ownership group - he was a $540,000 yearling, the prizemoney in Adelaide is out of step with the big states…

“The ownership group, as a whole, wanted to move him. I have a share in the horse, I’m a great believer in him and I wanted to stay in and make sure we didn’t have an emerging star on our hands that I wasn’t in, so I’m going along for the ride.

“It’s a touch bittersweet, but I think if you’re going to be a racehorse trainer in an area like I am in South Australia or New Zealand you have to be completely aware that, unfortunately, you’re going to lose horses just to the enormity of how these other states have snowballed their prizemoney.

“I’ve got a really good relationship with Ozzie Kheir, and I’m sure we’ll do something again in the future.”

With some loyal stable clients, now friends of Clarken, also sharing in the ownership group, the sweet part of the victory is accentuated further.

“I’m really happy for everyone and hopefully he can get to a really big race one day and I can go and watch him.”

Although it might seem a little out of kilter, it’s not the first time that Clarken has raced horses with other trainers, and his talents as a selector often play into his hands.

“It’s a business, and you go along for the ride. I’ve been lucky enough to race a few really good horses with other trainers.

“A while ago I raced a horse I bought as a yearling, breezed up then raced it... The horse ended up being sold to Hong Kong for about $1 million off a $20,000 yearling purchase in Adelaide.”

Aside from the financial rewards, Clarken has also found that racing the odd horse with other trainers has helped him bring his own business along too.

“It was a really big turning point in my career because I got the updates and I realised how other trainers operate.

“I’ve since raced a couple of horses with my good friend Ciaron Maher and I’ve got one at the moment there - it gives you a bit of inside information as to the level of professionalism that we have to target for our owners.”

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