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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 54045 Clarkens Farm Success

Clarken's farm success

Clarken's farm success

Shifting half of his stable from an on-course base at Morphettville to a property an hour south of Adelaide was a bold move from prominent South Australian trainer Will Clarken, but one that he's beginning to see the benefits of.

After joining forces with now co-trainer Niki O'Shea, Clarken has taken a full-time approach to training from Sellicks Hill and the results speak for themselves.

"It's obviously paying dividends, we've done a bit of hard yards to get it all set up and we've got a lot to go, we've got a lot of big plans coming," Clarken said.

"We've been at Sellicks Hill for just over a year, I'm like a bull at a gate - my nature, I thought I'd be able to get it running a lot quicker than I did, it's taken a fair bit of time.

"Now it's up and running I'm so proud of it, I love living out here, the horses love it here and we've had about three or four Stakes winners from the farm so far."

Clarken's property is not the usual piece of land a trainer might acquire for spelling horses, in fact it's quite the opposite, with facilities such as a sand track and treadmill allowing Clarken and O'Shea to train their horses solely from there.

"It's not the greatest land down here to have horses in paddocks, it's more about having horses in work, it's like a stable next to a track that is for training horses," Clarken said.

The picturesque nearby Sellicks Beach is also proving invaluable for Clarken and O'Shea, with trips to the coast a regular thing all-year round.

"It's so close to get them to the beach, I believe that Silver Sands - the beach that we use - is most probably the best beach in the state for recovery," Clarken said.

"It's a terrific area, especially over summer - the horses love it."

Clarken and O'Shea will begin breaking in their own horses at the property, while also developing a life after racing program for retired gallopers.

"I want to have about 50 on the property in a couple of years' time, and my main aim at the moment now is to do basically everything inside our system - that goes from the breaking in, to the training and also rehoming - that's another thing we really want to get right," Clarken said.

Clarken and O'Shea joined forces late last year and have enjoyed a successful start to life in a training partnership, with even more growth - including a new Murray Bridge-based stable - on the horizon.

"Mine and Niki's principals really align, he's got a wealth of experience with horsemanship, he's an excellent horse person, he's an excellent rider," Clarken said.

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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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