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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 56976 The Alabama Express Keeps On Rolling

The Alabama Express keeps on rolling

The Alabama Express keeps on rolling

Yulong’s first-season sire Alabama Express has made a huge impression in his fledgling career, and on Thursday, he chalked up his first stakes victory when the Richard and Chantelle Jolly-trained Karavas made it two from two. Karavas triumphed in the G3 Ottawa S., scoring by 1l under Jake Toeroek, with Eneeza (Exceed And Excel) second and Arabian Summer (Too Darn Hot {GB}) third.

“To get a stakes winner so early on in the season is great for Alabama. I think everyone probably wasn’t expecting them to be as early, but they’ve got the right constitution and they’ve got the speed,” Yulong’s Chief Operations Officer Sam Fairgray told The Thoroughbred Report.

“She was his first winner and has turned into his first stakes winner, it’s a fantastic result.”

Alabama Express - a Group 1-winning son of Redoute’s Choice - now has three wins on the board from just three runners; two victories are courtesy of Karavas, while the other came via Kirkham Plate victor Shangri La Express. That colt has the chance to add to his winning tally, and that of his sire, in Saturday’s Inglis Golden Gift at Rosehill.

“Obviously, they (Alabama Express’ progeny) were really well-received as yearlings and then by the pre-race educators as well. The feedback from trainers has been very positive, saying they’re good movers with great brains, and now the feedback is that they also have the speed and turn of foot.

“It’s exciting, especially given that he’s a son of Redoute’s Choice. We know what a good sire of sires he has been, so for Alabama to have come out hitting the ground is great.

“She was reared off the farm, we’ve also had Blue Stratum, who ran second in the stakes race on Cup Day, and Shangri La Express was also bred and reared on the farm, so it has been a really nice start and gives us confidence that the system is going well.”

Yulong Stud bred Karavas and then offered her at the 2023 Inglis Premier Yearling Sale, where Richard and Chantelle Jolly Racing paid $260,000 for her. The filly is owned by Neville Morgan, who has enjoyed Group 1 success in recent times with Kovalica (NZ) (Ocean Park {NZ}).

Richard Jolly told there was a lot to like about the filly at Oaklands. “She’s a real athletic filly, well-muscled, always looked like she would go early, and here she is,” Jolly said.

“We paid a bit of money, we don’t usually spend that much for them to be honest, but I had the backing of Nev Morgan.”

Karavas won on debut at Murray Bridge on October 7, and Jolly claims that experience held her in good stead.

“I think it means a lot, you see a lot of them improve after a run. She had the benefit of that run at Murray Bridge,” he said.

Karavas is from the winning Pierro mare All Of Me and she herself is a half-sister to the stakes winners Star Of Giselle (Reset), Solicit (Street Cry {Ire}) and the stakes performer Ducal Castle (Domesday). Star Of Giselle has produced the Group 2 victress Starelle (More Than Ready {USA}).

The filly’s grandam is the dual Listed scorer Princesa (Danehill {USA}) and she is closely related to the Group 3 winners Nayeli (More Than Ready {USA}) and Kaphero.

Story from TTR AusNZ

Check out our classy Alabama Express filly HERE who we purchased from the same farm and sale as Karavas.


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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