Clarke backs gun gelding
WHEN leading Darwin trainer Gary Clarke is “quietly confident”, you can bet his horse will be a good chance of winning.
His seven-year-old Hook Me Up has the equal-highest handicap rating of 76, along with Carl Spry’s Pago Rock, going into the feature $22,000 Garrard’s Horse and Hound Handicap (1300m) race three at Fannie Bay today.
The gelding has finished sixth, second and seventh in his past three races, but they were all during the Alice Springs Cup Carnival.
Today will be a step down in class.
“I’m quietly confident (about Hook Me Up’s chances), but if it was over 1200m I’d be more confident,” Clarke said.
“He ran a really competitive second (to Super Bryan in the $25,000 First National Framptons Handicap over 1100m on April 22).
“And there won’t be as much pressure on him (today).”
Hook Me Up will be ridden by talented jockey Brendon Davis, who has performed well since returning from a broken hip on March 18.
“Brendon’s got his eye back in and is riding some winners,” Clarke said.
Clarke’s Classy Al is also a good chance in today’s feature race.
Barry Huppatz, 51, will ride the six-year-old, Clarke describing the experienced hoop as a “good tradesman”.
Classy Al has finished third, first, second and fourth in his past four races.
Meanwhile, Clarke was modest about All The Credit’s chances in the race five 0-64 handicap over 1100m, despite the four-year-old gelding having the highest rating. “He’ll be against five other high-pressure sprinters,” Clarke said, with stablemates King Kazou and One Faster in the mix.
Kerry Petrick’s Bon Jet (with three wins from his past five runs going into race one), Jason Manning’s Macon County (last-start winner going into race two) and Phil Cole’s Mighty Tax (last-start winner going into race four) are other horses to watch.