Blinkered approach to help Guineas contender

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  • September 01, 2023
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By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Shaun and Emma Clotworthy are hoping the addition of headgear may enable Quirky Habits to avenge a last start defeat when he runs in Saturday’s Listed HS Dyke Wanganui Guineas (1200m).

The Byerley Park-trained son of Belardo was narrowly beaten when runner-up behind Itza Charmdeel, a race rival again, when they met in the Listed Castletown Stakes (1200m) at Otaki at the end of last season.

“He hasn’t done anything wrong and he was very close last time out, he just got bombed right on the line and he’ll have the addition of visor blinkers this time,” Shaun Clotworthy said.

“He had 10 days off after the Ryder and he’s had a couple of nice bits of work since and in good order and

“He has travelled away before of course and he’s gone left-handed as well, which is a big advantage for him.”

Clotworthy has yet to lock in a spring path for Quirky Habits, who will be reunited with Masa Hashizume, who partnered the gelding in his debut second at Avondale and a following victory at Pukekohe.

“He obviously handles wet tracks so we thought we’d head down for the Guineas while there is still some sting out of the ground,” he said.

“The next step would be to see how he operates on better tracks and I think he will get out to a mile pretty easily.

“We’ll see how he comes through this race first, but we threw in a nomination for the 2000 Guineas (Gr.1, 1600m) so that would be a long-term goal if everything went well.”

The stable will also be hoping to gain black-type for the El Roca filly La Parisienne, who will be ridden by Ace Lawson-Carroll, when she goes up against Quirky Habits in the Guineas.

She gave a strong account of herself when second at the first time of asking at Ruakaka.

“She was really good and we’ve been happy with her. If she could run in the top four it would be ideal,” Clotworthy said.

“She obviously lacks experience, but she’s also had a trip away and gone left-handed but she has showed enough to be competitive.”

Stablemate Roc It Ralph has also made a bright start to his career and will bid to continue his promising run of form in the Balance Accountants Handicap (2040m).

“He’ll like the track and he’s been in a couple of amateur races with big weights, so he’ll enjoy the relief and Masa rides him most days and gets on well with him,” Clotworthy said.

A minor placegetter in his first two appearances, Roc It Ralph will carry 57.5kg after lumping 68.5kg to score at Avondale two runs back and at Te Rapa last time out when a late closing fifth. – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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