Surprise juvenile packet wins over trainers

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  • July 28, 2023
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By Paul Vettise, LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

Shaun Clotworthy didn’t foresee Quirky Habits contending for black-type honours as a two-year-old, but has been more than happy to be proved wrong by the youngster.

With wife Emma, he prepares the son of Belardo whose late season progress has seen him emerge as a leading chance in Saturday’s Listed Phil’s Electrical & Gipsy Caravans Ryder Stakes (1200m) at Otaki.

“He hasn’t done anything wrong, he hasn’t showed us a lot on the track but has delivered on race day,” Clotworthy said.

Quirky Habits rounded off strongly on debut at Avondale last month to finish runner-up and then had no trouble going one better at Pukekohe Park.

“He’s a big, rangy type of Belardo and looks more like a horse that wants to go over ground,” Clotworthy said.

“I thought he would make a three-year-old, but he went quite nicely when we took him to the trials and then went well first-up before he won his second start so he’s been a pleasant surprise.”

Quirky Habits has proved himself adept on rain-affected going and will be ridden by Jonathan Riddell.

“After he won, we thought we would give him a trip away and see how he handles going left-handed and I’ve been very pleased with him since his last run,” Clotworthy said.

“He’s developed mentally and physically and he looks good. He’s a good-doing horse so I think he will handle the trip.  

“He’s had a couple of hit-outs left-handed at home and seemed to be well-balanced around the corners.

“He will have a few weeks in the paddock after this and then he looks like a horse who can push on further in distance. He’s only raced on wet tracks so we don’t know beyond that yet.”

Unraced stablemate La Parisienne is also in the Ryder Stakes field, but a start remains in the balance for the El Roca filly.

“It’s a big ask for her, but she’s got ability. We’re just not sure whether to chuck her in at the deep end straight away so we’re still thinking about it,” Clotworthy said.

The consistent Aqua Man, who has finished in the money in all of his last five appearances, will contest the UZA Bus Handicap (1400m) and the son of Power will then continue on his travels.

“He’s genuine and will head to the South Island after Otaki. He will probably run on the last day of the winter carnival at Riccarton and then stay down there,” Clotworthy said.

The stable will also be represented by the in-form Roc Up Ralph in the Katie Walker Real Estate (2100m) at Te Rapa on Saturday.

The son of Roc de Cambes posted minor placings in his first two appearances before he was successful over ground in an amateur riders’ event at Avondale with Adam Scott to take the reins again.

“He’s coming to the end of his campaign and he’s a nice staying type of horse. This race fits in well and he was well-ridden last time and hopefully that’s the case again and he’ll be thereabouts,” Clotworthy said. – LOVERACING.NZ News Desk

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