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.

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