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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.”


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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