By Ray Hickson
Trainer Angela Davies figures there's everything to gain and nothing to lose from in-form mare Clipper having a "throw at the stumps" in Thursday's Listed Takeover Target Stakes (1200m) at Gosford.
The five-year-old is unbeaten since joining Davies but her racing days are numbered as she had been served by Astern when she arrived at her new Gosford home.
A mare can race no longer than 120 days from the date of service and in Clipper's case that day is February 10.
"The owners want to give her the chance because we've only got three more weeks,'' Davies said.
"She's going really well and we thought she might as well have a crack on her home track.
"Even if she just races well and runs a place she's a lot further ahead as a broodmare.''
Clipper, formerly with Matthew Dale, is the first mare in foal that Davies has trained.
Clipper wins at Randwick on December 29
She was a dominant winner at Scone on December 14 then backed it up winning at Randwick 15 days later with Sam Weatherley in the saddle, running a slick 32.97 for her last 600m (Punters Intelligence).
The leading apprentice rides again on Thursday and Davies said drawing barrier two made the decision to run easy.
"She's really blossomed since being here, whether it is the pregnancy that has had something to do with it I don't know but within a month she'd put on 15kg,'' Davies said.
"I was very pleased with her going into Scone. I felt she'd improved again going to Randwick and I think she's improved again.
"If she'd have drawn horribly I probably would have said let's go to Sydney on Saturday but she's going to get a gun run from there.''
TAB has Clipper rated a $15 chance in the Takeover Target.
Davies said a win, place or just a big performance would encourage her to give Clipper a swansong in the Group 2 Breeders' Classic (1200m) at Warwick Farm on February 9 - the day before she has to concentrate on being a mother.
"It's exciting for the owners, I said to them they might as well have a throw at the stumps,'' she said.
"Mares in form, who knows, she might run out of her skin and let's hope she does.''