By Julieanne Horsman
Booting home 100 winners in a season is something most jockeys strive for but only a handful manage to achieve.
Tim Clark came achingly close in the 2015/16 season with 99 winners and was determined to go one better this season.
He arrived at Royal Randwick this morning with 99 victories to his name and when Clipper sailed past the post in the TAB Highway Handicap (1100m) there were celebrations all round. “It’s a personal goal and I’d never done it before,” Clark said. “I got so close last year so I worked to get myself into a position where I could achieve it.”
Clipper had been well fancied all week but late support saw her start as $3 favourite.
From barrier two she went forward, settling just off the leaders, and was fourth at the turn for home.
“There were two good horses in the race and she had the tactical advantage and used it,” Clark said.
“She quickened then laboured for 50m then she really got going.”
She hit the front with 200m to go and kicked away to win by a length and a half from Suncraze who flashed home from second last.
“She was strong through the line and it was a really encouraging first up performance,” Clark said.
“She has come back in great order and is an honest little filly who gives her all.”
Clipper now boasts a record of three wins and two thirds from five starts.
Clark was also full of praise for Canberra-based trainer Matt Dale.
He’s won eight TAB Highway races, making him the most successful trainer in the history of the series.
“He’s very astute where he runs his horses and when they turn up race day they are generally very competitive,” Clark said.
Tim Clark notched two more winners throughout the day to blast past 100. He guided My True Love to victory in Race 5 and In Times Of War in Race 6.