Veteran Casino trainer Leo Clapham was happy to see the scratching of Camillo from Tuesday’s Murwillumbah meeting as he searches for a breakthrough win with former Sydney galloper Schopenhauer.
Formerly trained at Warwick Farm by Craig Ritchie, Shopenhauer is yet to win in nine starts for Clapham but has put in several encouraging runs including a good second to Spirit Of Husson in a Benchmark 60 Hcp (1400m) at Lismore on September 21 and as last-start fourth behind the in-form Grafton galloper Belflyer in the Community Cup (1400m) at Ballina on October 1.
His last win for Ritchie was at Muswellbrook over 1500m back on September 23 last year.
Schopenhauer – named after a 19th century German philosopher – tackles Tuesday’s The Riverview Hotel Murwillumbah Class 2 Hcp (1530m) and his task has been made easier by the scratching of David Kelly’s promising four-year-old Camillo, an impressive winner of his past two starts at Grafton.
“I’m certainly going into the race happier now that Camillo won’t be running – he certainly looks a promising horse and would have been very hard to beat on his recent Grafton runs,” said Clapham.
“I bought Schopenhauer off the internet earlier in the year and he’s raced pretty well since we’ve had him. He’s been a bit unlucky not to have won in a couple of his runs.
“The step up to 1530m at Murwillumbah should suit him – I eventually want to get him up to 2000m. And he’s drawn ideally to get a nice run in the race, so hopefully he can get the job done.”
Clapham has been involved in racing for half a century, a contribution that was recognised by the Casino Racing Club back in May.
“They named a race in my honour and made a special presentation to me and I also won the Casino Beef Week Cup at that meeting with She Tells Lies which made it a great day,” he said.
Tuesday’s seven-race meeting also includes the Tallai Country Gold Club Benchmark 55 Hcp (1200m) and the Turf Care Australia Benchmark 60 Hcp (2020m).
The Benchmark 60 looks an event with Prince Albert, Outstrip, One More Two More, Joueur and Walk Of Shame among the leading contenders.
Topweight Devil’s Fire has been scratched and is likely to run at Ipswich on Wednesday and Brisbane mare Classy Ruby is not likely to start at Murwillumbah either.
The John Shelton-trained Prince Albert is chasing back-to-back wins in the 2020m event after breaking through at Grafton over 2370m on September 26 – his first win since April, 2015.
The rail for Tuesday’s meeting will be in the true position and the track is currently rated a good 4.