If Akiko Gold can maintain her brilliant record in the Moruya Cup on Monday it will be more than just another country cup for the Clarke family.
Father and son Richard and Luke Clarke recently became a joint training partnership and Akiko Gold is the first horse they have raced under that banner. Even though they have worked the horses together for many years, it was only recently they were officially recognised.
Akiko Gold [$9.50 into $7 on TAB fixed odds] has raced once for the training duo in the Narooma Cup when she finished a solid second behind the impressive Almost Court.
With Almost Court not racing on Monday and the step up from 1425 metres to 1650 metres in her favour, Akiko Gold is ready to produce at peak performance.
The Clarke family have been racing horses out of Braidwood for many years with Richard’s oldest son Aaron also starting horses on Monday. One of those, Failed Approach [$41] will contest the Moruya Town Plate.
Richard and Luke will only have Akiko Gold – a five times winner of $107,000 - representing the stable. Richard said Akiko Gold, which the family race with some friends, always performed at Moruya.
“They ran a class record in the Narooma Cup and the mile will suit her better on Monday,” he said. “She will be fitter for the run and I expect her to be in the finish.” Leading jockey Jeff Penza wanted the ride on Akiko Gold after her first-up run.
“He said he was happy with how she went so we head into this race knowing she will go well like she always does at Moruya,” he said. “She has had nine starts at the track for three wins, four placings, a fourth and a fifth which is pretty good.”
Goldmine [$4.40], a winner of her past two starts at Moruya, will line-up as one of the main chances after being scratched from the Cowra Cup on Sunday. Director is the ruling $2.60 favourite for the race at his Australian debut ahead of Goldmine and Let It Roll [$5].
Many of the horses racing on Monday will push on towards the two day Sapphire Coast carnival on February 3 and 4.