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Clark's Forward Thinking Removes Chelmsford Doubts

By Ray Hickson

Most people would look at Samadoubt’s barrier 16 in the Group 2 $250,000 Bob Ingham Chelmsford Stakes (1600m) and grimace but jockey Tim Clark isn’t one of them.

Tim Clark after Samadoubt's Group 1 Winx Stakes win (Pic: Steve Hart).

Clark is exactly the opposite, he loves the fact the last start Group 1 Winx Stakes winner will step into the outside stall at the Randwick mile.

“I enjoy it, I prefer to draw wide on go-forward horses,’’ he said.

“I would think it’s better to draw out but other people have different opinions. If you’re on a go-forward horse the worst draw you can come up with is one.’’

While every race is different, Clark said the make up of the Chelmsford is ideal for a front-running type like the Bjorn Baker-trained Samadoubt.

No horse has jumped from wider than 11 and won the Chelmsford in the past 30 years but at the same time it’s not always a capacity field.

“Looking at the race, where there doesn’t look to be a lot of tempo, you can take your time and I don’t have to rush him,’’ he said.

“It’s different if there’s three or four other go forward horses drawn inside you, that’s when it gets a bit tricky.

“When you look like you’re on the designated leader you can rate them better early on and race at a more consistent tempo throughout.’’

Samadoubt won the Winx Stakes as a $31 chance but he’s on the third line of TAB betting for the Chelmsford at $9 and he’s aiming to emulate Winx who completed the Warwick (Winx) Stakes-Chelmsford double in 2017.

In the Winx, Clark established a lead running 13.63 and 10.80 for the first two 200m splits then started to back off to the point he ran the slowest 200m of 11.59 from the 800m to the 600m (Punter’s Intelligence) before hitting the go button again.

He stopped the clock at just 0.72 outside Trapeze Artist’s 1400m course record.

“He didn’t get the lead as soft as I thought he would in the Winx, going into the race I thought he was an outside chance but it wasn’t the way I thought he would win it,’’ Clark said.

“He ran quick time and I thought it was more of a case he’d get steady sectionals then from the 600m try to take off. But he ran them into the ground a bit.

“He ran proper Group 1 time, it was a tough win to do it from the front and run good sectionals. He thoroughly deserved it.’’

Clark knows he’s going to be more of a marked man in the Chelmsford but said he sees no reason why the six-year-old can’t repeat the dose.

He concedes favourite Avilius, who ran fourth in the Winx with the race's best last 600m of 32.85, is the horse to beat.

“I’m sure he’ll run a bold race again,’’ he said.

“The mile doesn’t hold any fears, he’s a winner at 2000m, maybe he’s just come back a better horse this preparation.

“We’re in the post-Winx era and these weight for age races are a bit more up for grabs now.’’

Samadoubt wins the Winx Stakes at Randwick on August 24

Tim Clark’s comments on his other Randwick rides:

Ballistica (Race 3, $4.40) – "She won well first-up, showed a nice turn of foot. She’s had a gap between runs, which I think is a good thing as she will react well to being fresh. She has to take the step to Saturday grade but she couldn’t have done more first-up.''

Murillo (Race 4, $6.50) – "I thought he ran well (first-up), he only went into it off one short trial and had improvement to come. The 1200m is going to suit him, he’s drawn well, down in grade, hard to beat.''

Villami (Race 5, $7) – "I thought she should have run second (in the Silver Shadow). When Pretty Brazen kicked up underneath she over raced after that, it was a great effort to give a kick and go down narrowly for second. If she relaxes better early on she will still be strong late. Obviously Libertini is an impressive filly and deserves to be a short priced favourite.''

Penske (Race 8, $11) – "He’s jumping a couple of grades, he’s trialled up well and worked well on Tuesday.''

All the fields, form and replays for Saturday's Royal Randwick meeting

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