By Ray Hickson
Jockey Tim Clark isn’t prepared to give up on talented colt Mandela despite the three-year-old proving costly in his two starts to date.
Mandela was dual accepted in a 1200m maiden at Kembla Grange, which he was scratched from, and the 2019 Owners Awards Handicap (1200m) at Randwick on Saturday but Clark is keen to have another shot after going under as favourite two weeks ago.
The Peter and Paul Snowden-trained galloper is again TAB elect at $2.60 and while Clark says he was entitled to finish a little closer than 1.6 lengths from Excellent Proposal last start he feels Mandela won’t get a better chance to atone in town.
“It looks a good race for him, I hope they run him in town, he has the best set up in the race by a country mile,’’ Clark said.
“He’s 1400m back to 1200m on a heavy track whereas everything else is first-up or never really been at the trip. He’s set up so much better than anything else.’’
Aside from learning Mandela isn’t a fan of the whip, Clark said he didn’t appreciate being held up inside horses, after jumping only fairly and winding up three back on the fence, and that’s something he’d hope to avoid.
According to Punter’s Intelligence sectional data Mandela still managed to run the second fastest last 600m of the race (34.85).
“It’s not a massive field but I wouldn’t want to be locked away again on him if I could help it,’’ Clark said.
“He’s drawn where he is so there is the possibility of that happening again. He’s obviously shown stacks of ability from the way Peter and Paul speak about him, it’s just a matter of him getting it right on race day.’’
Clark, who turned 33 on Thursday, is looking forward to getting on the back of another promising three-year-old in Battle Guardian in the NSW Trainers Association Handicap (1200m) after missing his debut win through holidays.
Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott took the gelding to Gosford for his debut and he was heavily backed before cruising home under Blake Shinn over the 1000m.
He’s a $9.00 chance with True Detective stifling the market but Clark said he knows the horse well and is interested to see how he measures up.
“I’ve probably sat on him in a good six or eight gallops in the last three or four weeks,’’ he said.
“He’s a pretty casual horse at the track, he’s definitely not a standout trackworker but when the blinkers went on race day he really switched on and showed a bit of class.
“It’s hard to get a guide on him in the mornings but he did a good job on debut. It’s a big step up for him, he’s got to take on not only a few quality three-year-olds but he also has to take on four-year-olds.’’
Cyber Intervention runs second at Rosehill on July 13
With the scratching of Costello, Clark’s job on emerging stayer Cyber Intervention has become that little bit easier in the Industry Recognition Race Day Handicap (1800m).
The five-year-old, $2.50 favourite, has closed strongly to place in both runs back and Clark was successful on him over 2000m before a spell so he says the horse will relish stretching out in distance.
“It’s the right distance and right sort of track, an ordinary barrier is probably the only negative,’’ he said.
“Where he gets to in the run could be a bit tricky but other than that everything seems to be good.
“He should be very hard to beat third-up getting out to his right sort of trip.’’