By Ray Hickson
Tim Clark says he has every reason to be confident in exciting front-runner Arbeitsam as the in-form four-year old faces his biggest test at Hawkesbury on Thursday.
Arbeitsam has shown grit, versatility and a ruthless attitude as he’s sailed through the grades this winter and will again be the horse to catch in the Listed $150,000 Rowley Mile (1600m).
Clark saw plenty of Arbeitsam’s backside in the gelding’s easy 4-3/4 length win over 1800m at Rosehill on August 12 as he rode third placed Sultan Of Swing but two weeks earlier he was doing the steering as he led all the way over 1400m.
"He’s hardly put in a bad run, he’s been very consistent and he’s been doing it over a range of distances,’’ Clark said.
"He’s been a bit of a find over the winter. He was extremely dominant last start and won with a leg in the air, he was most impressive.
"With the form he has been in, it’s been nothing short of brilliant, and I’m going into the race full of confidence.’’
Arbeitsam will be aiming to give co-trainer Gai Waterhouse her sixth Rowley Mile success.
The champion trainer has won the Hawkesbury feature previously with The Offer (2015), Rabbuka (2008), Beauty Watch (2007), Fiery Venture (2003) and Adamantly (2001).
"It looks an ideal target for him, Gai and Adrian (Bott) were keen to go to Hawkesbury with him to target this race and he gets in with a nice weight as well,’’ Clark said.
"He’s a good, tough, honest gelding that has come of age, he has a will to win and it’s a perfect race for him to continue on his winning run.’’
One of Clark’s most interesting rides at Hawesbury is the Gary Moore-trained three-year-old San Marco who makes his debut for the stable in the Ebet Maiden Plate (1100m).
Formerly with Team Snowden, San Marco has been gelded and impressed Clark in winning a Rosehill trial back on August 1.
On debut, San Marco ran fourth behind Marsupial and Frolic at Canterbury before finishing down the track behind the latter filly in the Inglis Classic.
"He did everything right in his trial and more importantly he ran good time and did it good style,’’ Clark said.
"There’s been a little bit of form to come out of that trial too (with the runner-up winning at Newcastle).
"It looks a suitable race for him to kick off and it’ll be interesting to see how he goes. All I can judge him on is the trial and I was pleased with the work he did.’’
Clark gave stablemate Mr Kylin, who resumes in the Philon Maiden (1000m), a pass mark – "he trialled up like he’s ready to go’’ - from his barrier trial on the same morning as San Marco.
Mr Kylin ran fourth on debut at Hawkesbury back in February then failed on wet tracks in two subsequent starts.
Among Clark’s rides at Rosehill on Saturday will be the flying Condor Heroes in the Group 3 San Domenico Stakes and Classic Uniform, runner-up to Arbeitsam last start, in the Listed Premier’s Cup.