By Ray Hickson
A sign of an above average three-year-old is the ability to beat older horses early in the season and in-form filly The Art Of The Bar will attempt that feat at Warwick Farm on Wednesday.
In recent weeks we’ve seen Napoleon Solo and Kapajack account for older rivals in town.
After guiding The Art Of The Bar to a 6.5 length win last week, jockey Tim Clark said the ANZ Bloodstock News Handicap (1200m) at Warwick Farm on Wednesday represents a new challenge.
“She’s taking on older horses so it’s another step up for her and she has to do it on the dry track,’’ Clark aid.
“It’s not easy to do but you’d like to think she will be very hard to beat.
“There are a few extra hurdles she has to overcome but she’s always shown ability and it’s nice to see her putting it together.’’
The Art Of The Bar opened $1.55 favourite with TAB to make it three straight following a good track win over 1000m at Kembla and last Wednesday’s easy win on a heavy track at the Farm.
Enough was thought of the filly by trainers Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott to debut in a Listed race a year ago and she was sent out favourite at her second start before finishing fourth behind Graff in April.
“She’s improving with racing, only lightly raced still and hasn’t been this far into a prep before,’’ Clark said.
“The racing is doing her the world of good, she’s learning her craft and seems to have a liking for wet tracks.
“She handled them pretty comfortably last week, I don’t know if she beat a lot but she handled them easily.’’
The Art Of The Bar's easy win at Warwick Farm on November 28
Clark is protecting an unbeaten record on Tracey Bartley’s filly Bare Naked Lady in the TAB Rewards Handicap (1100m) in what promises to be a defining race for her.
He steered the filly to an easy win in the Inglis Challenge at the Scone carnival in May before reuniting with a first-up win at Hawkesbury on November 23.
Bare Naked Lady was a noticeable drifter at Hawkesbury but led all the way over 1000m with Clark adamant she’ll improve considerably out of that run.
“She’s a very nice filly, I quite like her, she has a great attitude and does everything you want,’’ he said.
“When I saw (favourite Lancaster Bomber) had missed the start I decided to take advantage from the draw and own the race.
“She ran a quick time, assisted by the wind at Hawkebsury, and it looks a suitable race for her.’’
The filly opened at $8 with TAB and was quickly in to $6.50 on Monday behind Rosina Kojonup ($2.90).