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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 57546 Exciting Filly Scores On Debut As Clarken Oshea Weigh Up Blue Diamond Tilt

Exciting filly scores on debut as Clarken-O'Shea weigh up Blue Diamond tilt

Exciting filly scores on debut as Clarken-O'Shea weigh up Blue Diamond tilt

Hype filly Kuroyanagi was all the rage heading into the opening race at Gawler on Saturday, and the Will Clarken and Niki O'Shea-trained youngster made light work of her rivals, cruising to an easy debut win and keeping a Blue Diamond assault under consideration.

The two-year-old daughter of Written Tycoon – who was a $390,000 purchase at last year's Inglis Premier Yearling Sale – was a heavily-backed $1.35 favourite off the back of impressive trial form in recent weeks, and it was clear to see why when she loomed up to take the lead on the home turn with jockey Ben Price almost unmoved in the saddle.

The filly cruised to a comfortable 2.7 length win over her rivals and has been nominated for the Group 1 Blue Diamond (1200m) at Flemington next month, but metro premiership leading trainers Clarken and O'Shea are yet to determine what they will do with their promising filly – who is now an $11 fancy (TAB) in the early Blue Diamond betting markets.

"We'll see how she pulls up, whether she goes to the paddock or goes on," Clarken said.

"I'm more excited about training her into the three-year-old season, she's really raw and if you asked me six or eight weeks ago I'd say she wouldn't have gotten to the races.

"She's really come on in leaps and bounds in the last month, she came through my system, she was broken in at the farm and she was really backwards.

"She's just kept improving and kept improving, it's a little bit of a feat for one to come through the whole system."

Price was confident in the filly winning a long way from the line, but he also believes she has a lot more to learn.

"I was the winner a long way out, (she's) just a beautiful filly," Price said.

"She's going to need to switch on a little bit more when the company gets a bit better but she won well today knowing that she's got a stack of improvement to come.

"She's a racehorse that's going to learn a lot more after today. The way she cruised up, I thought I was going to put 4, 5, 6 (lengths) on them but you will be able to see in the replay her ears were pricked the whole way from the moment she got to the front.

"In time if they can run her a long a little bit and she can get a couple of pairs back she's going to chase really well – she's a lovely filly going forward."

Kuroyanagi was the first of two winners for the Clarken and O'Shea's stable on Saturday, with in-form mare Second To Nun saluting for her third consecutive victory with an impressive on-speed display with Rochelle Milnes aboard.

Story from Racenet (Tyler Maund)

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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 Racing.com 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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