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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 57788 Clarken Blown Away By His Blue Diamond Filly

Clarken ‘blown away' by his Blue Diamond filly

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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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 Racing.com (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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