Clifden Clowers defies age

NZ HARNESS NEWS

Young and old combined for a popular victory when Clifden Clowers won at Rangiora on Thursday for driver John Morrison.

The 10-year-old trotter looked as spritely as a horse half his age when bolting away to win by six lengths for Geraldine trainer Sandra Mounce.

The victory was Clifden Clowers’ 10th and came in his 143rd start.

Though he has clocked up plenty of miles in his legs and is getting to a ripe age, the horse is showing no signs of slowing down.

In fact, it’s the opposite, Mounce said.

“He is a funny wee fella. Everyone who knows him knows he might be old, but he still acts like a two-year-old.”

After such a dynamic win, it should be obvious that Mounce has no plans for Clifden Clowers to retire.

“He just loves running so I’ll just keep ticking him along and he will let me know when he has had enough.
“But right now it beats standing there looking over the other side of the paddock.”

Clifden Clowers suffers from stringhalt, a neurologic disease in horses that causes them to halt and momentarily lift their back legs up before taking their next step, predominantly when walking.

The condition is something that does not bother Clifden Clowers, though it is something that Mounce keeps monitored.

“He has had it his whole life. A lot of my vets have said to me not many that have it keep going and get that far.”

Clifden Clowers’ victory made up for his last start at Motukarara where he missed away and battled to get into the race.

That result completed a horror day for Mounce and husband, John, who had a breakdown with their float on the way to the meeting.

There were no breakdowns and no slow getaways for Clifden Clowers on Thursday.

The trotter stepped quickly and was aided by a good front-running drive from John Morrison.

The junior reinsman controlled the race in front, before asking Clifden Clowers to sprint when his rivals tried to work into the race on the home bend.

The victory was Morrison’s 24th of the season and extended his lead in the national junior drivers’ premiership.

“Johnny just gels with him, he knows him so well,” Mounce said.

Clifden Clowers is nominated to race at Timaru on Saturday and could start there depending on how he comes through his victory and what handicap penalties apply.

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