Sam Clipperton knows what victory for Mazu in Saturday’s Doomben 10,000 will mean, and he is confident it will end a frustrating run of seconds at group 1 level for him personally.
If he wins, he probably gets into the Everest, Clipperton said. He feels like a horse that is getting better all the time and I think that is where he will end up as one of the top sprinters.
But he has to prove it on Saturday. It would be nice to get back in that group 1 winner’s circle as well. He is the type of horse that can take me a long way because of his talent.
Clipperton has played a huge part in Mazu’s unbeaten run through the Sydney autumn since being gelded and Peter and Paul Snowden deliberately held the three-year-old back from the top level until Clipperton could ride him.
They took an easier option on Golden Slipper day, winning the Darby Munro Quality rather than running with a light weight in The Galaxy, because Clipperton would be able to ride him.
When the Galaxy came around, we weren’t going to a risk him with another jockey because Sam knows him so well and rides him so well, co-trainer Paul Snowden said.
His style really suits this horse and that’s why we waited for a group 1 with Sam and he gets his chance to do it on Saturday.
It was the right decision because he is just getting better with every run. He has improved again for his biggest test.
Clipperton was again in the saddle of Mazu to win the $1 million Arrowfield Sprint at The Championships. It was a reward for his good form during the carnival, when he rode without luck in the big races.
He was second on Mirra Vision in the Coolmore Classic and despite a near-perfect ride from the front on Best Of Bordeaux in the Golden Slipper, he was picked up late by Fireburn.
Moving The Coast could make for a better autumn
Racing NSW extending its spring and autumn carnival with Saturdays at provincial and country tracks has proved a winner. With a slight tweak, the autumn program could be better and could include the whole state.
The Coast has become an ideal platform for horses to lengthen their preparation at Gosford on the first weekend of May, but the clash with the Wagga carnival weakened both meetings.
Moving the Gosford meeting to straight after the completion of the Randwick carnival in April would give a better flow to the program and encourage Doncaster runners and leading three-year-olds to run in the $500,000 feautre.
It would mean Gosford would be before Hawkesbury, with the two meetings leading into the Scone two-day carnival in the middle of May. It would also open up the option of giving the Wagga Cup a standalone Saturday, delivering a prizemoney boost to the south of the state.
It would mean the Gosford and Wagga cups wouldn’t compete for horses and would offer a three-week gap between The Coast meeting and the Scone Cup, which has become more attractive to trainers as a Big Dance qualifier.
Dr Drill chases another Scone Cup
David Eustace is hopeful of getting James McDonald to ride Dr Drill in Friday’s Scone Cup as he looks for another win in the race to go with his 2020 success.
Eustace will make the trip to Scone on Friday before going to Adelaide on Saturday for the South Australian Derby, where he and training partner Ciaron Maher will saddle favourite Detonator Jack.
Dr Drill is a horse that is always sharp early in his preparation and if he got clear first-up, he would have just about won, Eustace said. The mile is perfect for him second-up and we know he will like the firmer condition.
Dr Drill was beaten just over three lengths in the Victoria Handicap at Caulfield when stewards reported he went to the line untested.
The horse is going really well and if he had got clear, you would have gone really close, Eustace said. He has the fittest from that run and will be right in the mix on Friday.