Familiar colours to the fore in St Leger

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  • March 20, 2023
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RBC Racing’s blue, gold and black colours were carried to Gr.1 New Zealand Oaks (2400m) glory by Miss Mossman in 2014, and on Saturday they struck black-type gold again at the same Trentham meeting – this time with up-and-coming stayer Ess Vee Are in the Listed Barneswood Farm New Zealand St Leger (2600m).

The Clothier family bred and race Ess Vee Are, and they have entrusted his racing career to fellow Matamata family the Weatherleys – trainers Darryn and Briar, and jockey Sam.

Ess Vee Are has been a model of consistency throughout his four-year-old season. He won at Te Rapa in December and February, and those victories have been backed up by four minor placings including a close third behind Aquacade in the Dunstan Stayers’ Championship Final (2400m) on New Year’s Day.

A late-finishing fourth in the Nathans Memorial (2200m) two weeks ago, Ess Vee Are relished a strong pace in Saturday’s St Leger as he launched a relentless run from third-last.

Angled to the outside at the top of the long Trentham straight, Ess Vee Are rolled home over the top of Rapid Falls and Fierce Flight and scored by a long neck.

From 16 starts, Ess Vee Are has now recorded four wins, two seconds, three thirds and three fourths. He has earned $153,185 in stakes.

“He’s never really run a bad race for us,” Darryn Weatherley said. “He tries so hard and is a real stayer, and I think he’s still about six months away.

“The pace was on today. He got back in the running, but Sam had a handful going down the back straight. He just needed those leaders to come back to him, which they did, and he finished off really well.

“I’m very pleased for the connections, the Clothier family. They’ve been family friends for a long time, they threw us a line when we needed one a few years back, and they’ve been really good supporters.”

Ess Vee Are’s impressive staying performance on Saturday may have earned him an opportunity on the other side of the Tasman later in the year.

“There’s been talk about going over to Melbourne in the spring,” Weatherley said. “He looks like an ideal type for some of those country cups. This will be his last run today and he can go out into the paddock. He’ll be back in work at the start of June, and we’ll look at something like that.”

Post-race celebrations were unfortunately cut short by an injury to Darryn Weatherley, who was kicked by Ess Vee Are and was taken to hospital for X-rays on his leg.

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