By Julieanne Horsman
Coolcat Dancer notched his third win a row with an emphatic victory in the $50,000 Bega Cup at Sapphire Coast Turf Club.
With in-form Sydney jockey Grant Buckley at the reigns, the gelding flew home to claim the feature by more than four lengths.
“I’m over the moon with that run,” trainer Richard Clarke said.
“He just keeps on improving with each start.
“He had a good run in the Moruya Cup the other day but this was better.”
Coolcat Dancer jumped from barrier 2 and settled in sixth position where he had a nice rails run before making his move at the 200m mark.
By the final 150m he had dashed away and none of his rivals had a hope of catching him.
He beat Ray Wheatley’s All Giving who also put in an impressive performance to come from 3rd last at the turn to 2nd, as well as Lynda Bundy’s Sigmund who hung on for 3rd.
“He is fit and going well but I didn’t expect him to win by that much against such a strong field,” Clarke said.
“He was still making ground after the post.
“Grant’s given him three textbook perfect rides in a row.”
Clarke purchased Coolcat Dancer for just $10,000 from the Inglis Yearling Sales.
It’s proved to be a solid investment with the bargain buy now boasting a record of six wins and five placings from 26 starts and earnings close to $120,000.
“It’s exciting to have a horse like this and to put in the hard work and have it pay off,” he said.
Richard Clarke is a quiet achiever with a win rate of 22% and a place race close to 40%.
He trains from his family farm at Reidsdale, 20kms out of Braidwood in the NSW Southern Tablelands and has a track and facilities there.
His son Luke is his right hand man and the pair will become a training partnership in August this year.
“It’s a real family affair,” Clarke said.
“Luke helps the most but so does my wife and sometimes my other sons do a bit of trackwork too.”
Coolcat Dancer will now be aimed at the $200,000 Listed Canberra Cup at Thoroughbred Park on 5 March.
“He has shown us he could probably get out to 2000m and Grant agrees he had more in the tank after today’s race.
“I’d like him to have one more city run between now and then and if there’s nothing suitable locally we will have to go to Sydney.
“I won’t be terribly worried if I can’t find a suitable race though.
“He is not the sort of horse who has to be galloped all the time to stay fit.”