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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 55983 Clarken Chasing Third Consecutive Lightning Stakes

Clarken chasing third consecutive Lightning Stakes

Clarken chasing third consecutive Lightning Stakes

Will Clarken will chase a third consecutive $120,000 Listed Lightning Stakes (1050m) victory, a first in partnership with Niki O’Shea, at Morphettville on Saturday.

The top Adelaide stable have enjoyed a strong finish to what they have described and indifferent season producing five winners form their past 10 runners (including two placings) in what has been their equal strongest month of the racing season.

“We’ve had an up and down season,’’ Clarken said.

“We’ve had a really good year trading horses to Hong Kong, you take five of the two and three-year-olds out and it makes it hard to keep your winning numbers up.

“We ran second in another Group 1, we’ve done that the last two seasons, we lost a couple of horses and we’ve gained a couple of new ones,’’ he said.

Clarken said getting to their new Murray Bridge stable later in the year and the more experience gained following the shift to his farm at Sellicks Beach should see good things happen in season 2023-24.

“I think next year Niki and I will get a better rhythm together, from the new base at Murray Bridge I can see us really building some momentum,’’ Clarken said.

“Niki heads a really good team of trackwork riders which is key, and I think that will pay dividends.

“Every trainer always says they have a really good crop of young horses, but we’ve got a really good crop of two and three-year-olds coming through,’’ he said.

Clarken won the 2021 Lightning Stakes with Beau Rossa before Extremely Lucky produced a dazzling burst of speed to power over the top of rivals in last year’s edition and the stable have no short of four acceptances in this year’s feature.

“We’ve obviously had a better standard of horse in this race over the last couple of years, but these fillies get some weight off the others, and I was happy to see the main hopes drawing wide,’’ Clarken said.

“They’ll go hard and that will bring a few of ours into it, whether they have the class we will have to find out, but I think they are better (chances) then their prices indicate,’’ he said.

The interesting runner is Sweetened, an ex-Lindsay Park filly first-up for her new stable.

“She’s going in off two little gallops, we’ve missed a couple of jump-outs and trials but her two pieces of work have been exceptionally good,’’ Clarken said.

“She’s obviously got good performance figures and I’ve got a hunch she’s going to be a better horse ridden off them over the short trips,’’ he said.


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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