Clear Left gives Crystal Hackett her 50th win
By Michael Guerin
Cambridge maiden winner Clear Left has a lot to live up to but he has at least started off on the right hoof.
The son of Art Major was a winner at just his second start on Thursday night, clinging on to beat Rockafilly in the hands of Crystal Hackett, giving the in-form young driver her 50th career success, half of those this year.
Trainer John Dickie says the win won’t be Clear Left’s last as he is at the improving stage of his young career but he also know he has some big shoes to fill in his family.
“He is very well bred, he is a half to Mr Mojito,” says Dickie.
Mr Mojito was a very smart three and four-year-old for the All Stars and even returned to New Zealand after being exported to join Kerryn Manning’s stable to finish second to Heaven Rocks in the Four-Year-Old Jewels at Ashburton.
His dam Wanaka Bay has also left the smart pacer Mr Kiwi and after Clear Left’s win all six foals from Wanaka Bay are now winners for breeder Ben Calder.
“It is a really good family and I’d like to keep this horse but I can imagine he would end up in Australia because he would be perfect for racing there.
“He has gate speed and is tough and while he wears a single spreader now he will mature out of that. So I’d expect Ben will get an offer or two for him.”
Dickie says his stable star Old Town Road is ready to resume hoppled work after a slight delay to his return from a spell.
“He had a stone bruise burst out of his hoof while he was spelling and I’d like to think that is what might have caused him to be just a fraction down on his best form in the autumn.
“With it coming out he might be about two weeks behind where he could have been but I don’t see that being a big problem.
“I can still get him to the Holmes D G at Alexandra Park then potentially Ashburton and it sounds like there could be another open class race at Addington a week or two out from the Cup.
“So we are still very much planning on having him there.”
Other highlights of Thursday’s meeting included a rare dead heat for first when Leo Lincoln and Cassius Clyde couldn’t be split in race 5 and the return to winning form for handy trotting mare Ruby Ridge, who trotted a sharp 3:26.4 in the hands of Peter Ferguson.
And local trainer Jason Teaz, these days training under his own name, made it three training wins in a week when Wishing Star bolted away with the last race.