By Julieanne Horsman
Canberra trainer Matthew Dale took out last Saturday’s TAB Highway Handicap with Hay Now and he could do it again this Saturday with promising filly, Clipper.
The three-year-old resumes from a spell at Royal Randwick and will be out to add to her impressive record of two wins and two thirds from just four starts.
“She has matured and filled out nicely,” Dale said. “She is a game, honest filly who did a great job in her first preparation and I am excited about stepping her out again.”
Clipper was just beaten in her last two starts, both TAB Highway Handicap races over 1200m, and looks better suited to 1100m on Saturday.
“Ideally we would have kicked her off over 1000m but we knew we’d be starting with an 1100m race and have factored that into her work,” Dale said.
“She’s in great order and deserves another crack at the highway.
“Hopefully we don’t get too much rain this week. She likes a bit of sting out the track but I wouldn’t like to send her around on a heavy surface.”
In-form jockey Tim Clark, who is currently fifth in the NSW Premiership, has been booked for the ride.
Clipper’s owners are loyal supporters of Matthew Dale and are not strangers to success. They previously raced Royal Jackpot who had 24 starts for five wins and five places as well as Unanimously who amassed earnings of $650,000 in his career which included winning the Wagga Town Place twice, the Listed Ortensia Stakes at Scone and the Listed Canterbury Classic.
Unanimously’s dam (Heaven’s Eyes) is Clipper’s grand dam and Clipper races in the same colours.
“The owners bred Clipper themselves and I am grateful they brought her to me to train,” Dale said.
Matthew Dale and Matthew Dunn jointly the hold the title of most successful TAB Highway trainer, having won seven of the popular races each.