NSW’s leading apprentice Samantha Clenton, who rode Magnalane to success in the Taree Country Championship Qualifier on Magnalane last weekend, can continue her winning momentum.
The star apprentice has seven rides, including favourites I’m On Break ($1.85), Solvency ($4.60) and Star Alibi ($3.50), while Mbappe ($4.60) and The Launcher ($5) are on the second line of betting.
Clenton has ridden 53 winners this season and leads the state apprentice premiership, while she is just outside the top 10 in the jockeys’ rankings.
It’s a remarkable achievement given Clenton has already outridden her apprentice’s claim in the provincial and country regions.
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Jockey Samantha Clenton rides Greenspan to victory in race 3, the TAB Highway Plate, during the Expressway Stakes Day at Randwick. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
She is due to come out of her time in September but is considering her options given her riding career has been punctuated by serious injuries.
“I’ve missed two-and-a-half years of riding because of injury so I might apply for an extension of my apprenticeship,’’ Clenton said.
Clenton has some excellent winning chances at Tamworth, including Mbappe, an impressive last-start winner of a Scone maiden and the topweight for the Class 1 Handicap (1400m).
“I really like Mbappe,’’ Clenton said. “He beat nothing at Scone but it was the way he did it.
“If he drew a gate that day, he would have settled much closer to the lead and although he jumped a half length in front of them, because we drew wide I didn’t want to use him up too much early.
“He was jumping from 1100m to 1400m at just his second start and I wanted to make sure he was strong late in the race. He ran right through the line and won easily.’’
RAY THOMAS’S TOP PICKS
BEST BET: EMPEROR’S STAR (Race 8, No. 1)
Emperor’s Star gave nothing else a chance when scoring first-up at Scone, recording 57.54s for the 1000m including a brilliantfinal 600m sectional of 33.55s. She’s won three of her eight starts and is destined for better races.
NEXT BEST: STAR ALIBI (Race 5 No. 2)
Star Alibi worked to the line well to place at Muswellbrook over 1500m. Fitter for two runs from a spell, the step up to 1600mshould be ideal and she has more upside than her rivals.
VALUE: MBAPPE (Race 4, No. 1)
Mbappe was having only his second start when he unleashed a powerful surge from well back on the turn to score an impressive win over 1400m at Scone. Promising three-year-old and although he is giving weight to older rivals he looks very hard to beat again.
Race 5: 1, 2, 6, 7
Race 6: 2, 5, 6
Race 7: 4, 6, 10
Race 8: 1, 2
TRAINER TO WATCH
BRETT CAVANOUGH has four starters at Tamworth including favourites Pure Faith (race 4), Hardspot (race 6) and Emperor’s Star(race 8)
JOCKEY TO FOLLOW
Star apprentice Samantha Clenton has a super book of rides including I’m On Break (race 1), Solvency (race 2), Mbappe (race4) and Star Alibi (race 5).
Clenton could easily “bookend” the Tamworth meeting with I’m On Break in the opener, a maiden over 1000m, and then when she rides The Launcher in the final race, a Class 3 1000m dash.
Both sprinters are trained on track by Melanie O’Gorman.
“I’ve had a bit to do with I’m On Break. He’s a nice horse and I think he will be hard to beat,’’ she said.
“The Launcher was dynamic in his first two wins for Melanie then he was a bit plain at his next two starts before running well at Scone.
“You have to ride him a bit ‘ugly’. He has to be left in his rhythm but he should run well.’’
Clenton gave punters a good push for Solvency, trained by Jason Deamer, who makes her debut in the Fillies and Mares Maiden Plate (1000m).
“I ride this filly every day,’’ Clenton said. “She can be a problem, she is not exactly very co-operative at times.
“But she has been well behaved at the trials and I’m hoping that is the case at Tamworth as she has ability.’’
Star Alibi, a stablemate of Solvency, will be one of Clenton’s better rides when she contests the Class 3 Handicap (1600m).
“This mare showed a fair bit last preparation but I was a bit worried after her first-up run,’’ Clenton said.
“Then she really came on last start when third at Muswellbrook. I thought she was really good that day and she is in a suitable race (today).’’
Meanwhile, Magnalane is likely to go straight into the $500,000 Country Championships Final (1400m) at Royal Randwick on April 4 after his Taree heat win two days ago.
“Magnalane had eight weeks between runs before Taree and Jenny (Graham, trainer) has said the horse will have a barrier trial and then go to the final,’’ Clenton said.
“I’ve also got other options for the Country Championships as I’m riding Ligulate in the Tawmorth Qualifier.
“The Provincial Championships start this weekend at Newcastle and (trainer) Kris Lees has booked me for every heat, including Occupy on Saturday.’’
RAY THOMAS’S INSIDE MAIL
RACE 1 (1.15pm)
I’m On Break resumes here after showing some ability at a two-start debut preparation earlier this season. His recent trialeffort when he matched motors with the race-fit Schappose for a long way was very good. Looks primed in a very winnable race.Mathematics ran on well wide out for a close third at Scone over 1000m but perhaps might be looking for a touch further now.Nevercan ran well at Gunnedah late last year and can sprint well fresh on his home track. Milo’s Charm was a beaten favouriteat Scone when he found the 1300m too far and better suited back to 1000m here.
Betting strategy: I’m On Break to win, saver on Mathematics at odds
Race 2 (1.50pm)
I like the first-starters Solvency and Nana Neddy. Slight leaning to Solvency who was kept under a tight hold when cruisinginto fourth placing in a Newcastle barrier trial last week and nicely drawn here. Nana Neddy has had two trials to preparefor her debut and looked to have plenty in reserve when a close fourth in a Scone heat. Honey Elysees has been placed in fourof her 11 starts and she did run very well first-up last campaign when second over 1000m at Scone. Cutie Patoutie ran successiveplacings at Dubbo then was never on the track when unplaced there last start. She has to overcome a horror draw here.
Betting strategy: Quinella 10, 12
Race 3 (2.25pm)
Treble Clef settled well back in the field and had to be taken wide on the turn but he got to the line strongly when thirdat Walcha. Improver and suited at 1600m. This is his chance. Luck In Running comes out of the same Walcha where he ran sixthafter being in an awkward spot coming to the turn. He ran well over this course and distance at his previous start. SisterWife is drawn to get all the favours and Serriano should improve now she is out in distance.
Betting strategy: Treble Clef to win
Race 4 (3.05pm)
Mbappe drew wide and was ridden conservatively early but overwhelmed his rivals to win running away at Scone. He was veryimpressive claiming his maiden and looks a promising type. Barring bad luck in running, he can win again. Chargement is adefinite threat to Mbappe. Fitter for two runs from a spell, Chargement was beaten last start by a smart type in Animate,a stablemate of Mbappe. Pure Faith broke her maiden with a convincing last start win and Solar Panel comes off two solid effort.
Betting strategy: Mbappe to win, Chargement each way if he stays around $7.50
Race 5 (3.40pm)
Star Alibi ran on well to finish third at Muswellbrook at her second run from a spell. Lightly raced mare showing promiseand getting out to 1600m should suit. Sir Leo finished in front of Star Alibi at Muswellbrook but then struggled to run outthe 1800m when unplaced in a Randwick Highway. Better suited here but drawn right off the track. GeeGeeaye has never beenin better form and will run another competitive race. Shangato loomed up to win at Taree but might have peaked on his run.Fitter for two runs from a spell and will be hard to beat.
Betting strategy: Box trifecta 1,2,6,7
Race 6 (4.15pm)
Hardspot chased the speedy Frozen In Time throughout when second at Scone over 1000m. She was beaten by a smart type first-upbut her run was full of merit. Lightly raced mare with ability and looks hard to beat. She’s Smart raced on the speed andforged clear to score well at Forbes. Drawn the rails and will make a race of it with Hardspot. Former Victorian Class Aplenty,aided by a brilliant ride, impressed at her debut for a new stable when winning at Tamworth and the 1200m should be even moresuitable. Stella Maris is coming back in trip but has place claims.
Betting strategy: Box trifecta 2,5,6,8
Race 7 (4.50pm)
Zioptimus ran on strongly when resuming at Taree, finishing second over 1007m. He’s won up to 1400m so will appreciate today’s1200m trip. His winning strike-rate isn’t overly encouraging but Greg Ryan rides and this race sets up well. Captain Eychehas never been in better form and scored with authority over this course and distance last start. Raided ran an improved raceat Walcha and should get the run of the race. Smooth Factor comes out of a strong Scone race and goes well on his home track.
Betting strategy: Zioptimus each way
Race 8 (5.30pm)
It’s hard to tip against Emperor’s Star. She led and dominated her rivals scoring by more than two lengths over the Scone1000m course in fast time. Smart filly who looks too good for this field. The Launcher ran third to Emperor’s Start when resumingand although he meets the filly better at the weights he has to make up nearly three lengths no her. Cocky Rocky and AvagoBoy are minor place chances.
Betting strategy: Emperor’s Star to win
Two Big Fari zooming along in attempt to reach Qualifier
Todd Howlett is hoping promising Two Big Fari has done enough to earn a start in the Tamworth Country ChampionshipsQualifier after his impressive win in the TAB Highway at Rosehill Gardens last Saturday.
Two Big Fari scored his third win – and two seconds – from just five starts when he fought back after being headed to takeout the Highway.
“He’s a tough horse and a real competitor,’’ Howlett said.
“It was his first try at 1400m and I was worried when he started to pull a little early but the best part of his race wasthe last 100m.
“Hopefully that win can get him into the field for the Tamworth Qualifier because he is going really well and I’m confidenthe will be competitive.’’
Trainer Todd Howlett. Picture: AAPSource:AAP
Howlett will get a look at the Tamworth track on Tuesday when with three runners entered including Chargement in the Class 1 Handicap(1400m).
Chargement, a Tamworth maiden winner back in August, has been improved by two runs from a spell including his last start secondto the promising Animate at Scone.
“He is only lightly-raced because he has needed time but he’s a promising horse,’’ Howlett said,.
“After this race I think he is ready to step up over further but 1400m at this stage of his preparation is ideal.’’
Howlett has Sir Leo and Apache Junction set to clash in the Class 3 Handicap (1600m).
Sir Leo disappointed last start in a Randwick Highway with Howlett believing the chestnut struggled to stay the 1800m trip.
“He is better at 1600m but the barrier is a concern (15) so I will talk to the owner about what we will do,’’ Howlett said.
“Apache Junction missed a run in the Highway race that Sir Leo ran in but I’ve freshened him up so the 1600m should be okfor him.’’
– Ray Thomas
Originally published asTamworth tips: Sam riding for a haul
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