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Clarken Racing | Clarken Racing News 58286 Extremely Lucky Claims Inaugural Running Of John Hawkes Stakes

Extremely Lucky claims inaugural running of John Hawkes Stakes

Extremely Lucky claims inaugural running of John Hawkes Stakes

Extremely Lucky ($7.50) has broken through for his first win in nearly two years, as the five-year-old gelding recorded a nice victory on her return for the Will Clarken & Niki O’Shea stable in the inaugural running of the John Hawkes Stakes at Morphettville.

After spending 12 months with Chris Waller in Sydney, the son of Extreme Choice returned to the South Australian trainers to take his place in the Adelaide Racing Carnival over the next few weeks, and the change of scenery has paid dividends instantly.

Master Eight ($71.00) made sure the race was run at a breakneck tempo as he took off mid-race to lead by three lengths over Celsius Star ($21.00) and Sghirripa ($6.00) who settled behind the leader, and by the time they hit the top of the straight, those two took over to lead the field with 400m to go.

However, it was easy to see that the swoopers were going to run over the top of them in the concluding stages as they launched down the outside with their runs.

In a tight photo finish, Extremely Lucky just held on from a fast-finishing Sans Doute ($4.80), with What You Need ($4.60) and Grey River ($9.00) finishing in third and fourth place, respectively.

Will Clarken was clearly emotional after the win of Extremely Lucky during his post-race interview.

“He’s a horse that we spruiked and and our stable really believes in data and he’s the benchmark, the best horse we’ve trained in that sort of stuff, but has never got there,” Clarken said.

“Whether he will is yet to come. This was a Listed race and it was the right circumstances.

“There was good speed. Jamie rode him and I’ve been a believer that when you’re working with a horse and things aren’t going right, it’s very hard to correct at the time.

“I got a bit of time when he went to Waller’s just to think about things that I would do differently. I corrected every mistake I made and I’m able to train the horse a lot better now.

“He might have lost a bit of time there in his life for a life, but he’s back now well and we’ll give him a bit of time to see how he comes out of that.

“Group 1 horses win Group 1’s. What he can do is quite astonishing and they have to do it race day.

“We’re a long way from that, but he ticks a lot of boxes that a lot of horses can’t do.

“It’s great to haves the Hawkes’ on course today. They’re a famous South Australian racing family and it’s great to see them back here.”

Jamie Kah was also very happy with the win post-race.

“It’s good to see him back. He was a very, very smart horse, but so much went wrong with him,” Kah said.

“He was feeling the pinch near the line, but it was deserved.

“At the 400 metres I thought he was really smoking and I thought he’d easily win.

“He got to the 100 metres and had nearly had enough. Will told me he’d only had the one trial, but it’s good to win on him.”


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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