Clement holds strong hand at Awapuni

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  • July 07, 2023
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Hawera trainer Anna Clement will head to Awapuni with a strong hand on Saturday and hopes her stakes-winning filly Rocababy can return to her winning ways.

The daughter of El Roca pleased with her first-up runner-up effort behind Fellini at Awapuni in May before she pulled up lame when 13th at Wanganui last month.

She recovered well and bounced back with another runner-up result at Awapuni a fortnight later, and Clement is hoping she can go one better in the BJW Motors Ltd 1400 this weekend.

“She went really well the other day,” Clement said.

“She pulled up lame the start before and came back for a nice second, so it was very pleasing to see that she was back in form.

“I am quite happy that she has drawn out a little bit wider (8) and I think she will go well.”

TAB bookmakers share Clement’s optimism, installing Rocababy a $3 favourite for Saturday’s contest.

Clement is also excited about the prospects of stablemates Stallone and Tavis Court in the Bayleys Mid West 1200 and Evans Henderson Woodbridge Barristers & Solicitors 1400 respectively.

The pair are vying for a spot in the Listed Opunake Cup (1400m) later this month and Clement is confident both geldings can continue their strong form lines on Saturday.

“Stallone won well last start and he has trained on well. I can only hope that he can do it again,” she said.

“I have been really happy with Tavis Court. He is getting a bit long in the tooth now, but he always races well and tries his hardest.

“He has drawn well in three as he does like to race up on the pace. There are a couple of front runners in there, so even if he just sits in behind them, I will be happy with that.

“We will just wait and see how they pull up, but we may head to the Opunake Cup with both of them.”

Meanwhile, Clement will also head south to Awapuni on Friday to give a couple of her stable runners experience on the synthetic surface.

Cocktail Lad will be first-up in the Carters “Trade Leaders Now Online” 1700, while Stolen Spirit will be looking to return to form in the Ashurst Deer And Duck Inn/Hotel Raumai 1200.

“You are either going to handle the synthetic or you are not,” Clement said. “We will just see how they go and hopefully get a little bit of money.”

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