Clarken’s Split decision now reaping rewards
PROMISING Adelaide filly Split Lip “wants to be a racehorse” and that’s why trainer Will Clarken is confident she’ll handle another big test at Morphettville tomorrow.
Split Lip has done plenty of surprising Clarken in her four start career to date.
The $11,000 yearling purchase isn’t overly big and Clarken resisted the temptation to try to make an early running two-yearold out of her.
That move paid off when Split Lip was an upset winner of the Dequetteville Stakes three weeks ago and heads into the Group 3 $120,000 southaustralia.com Breeders’ Stakes (1200m) on a hat-trick.
“She’s always shown good ability but I didn’t want to force the issue with her,” Clarken said.
“We’ve let her work it out herself because I didn’t want her to turn into a four furlong wonder.
“She’s happy to relax in races and hit the line which I think is a real asset for two-year-olds.”
Clarken said the “penny dropped” Split Lip during a short summer break following thirds at her first two starts.
She beat subsequent winner Plover Lover on the Parks track in mid-March before dashing home late to claim her Listed success.
“She knows what she’s doing and doing it well,” Clarken said.
has got a bit of speed but she can also get back and hit the line.
“She galloped on a rain affected track on Tuesday morning, I was really impressed with her work so I think she will be strong at the six (furlongs).”
Split Lip’s goal this preparation is SA Sires’ Produce Stakes (1400m) on May 13 and Clarken will head that way if she is strong at the finish Saturday.
“I thought she’d excel at the 1400m around the Parks but her last win was a bonus along way,” he said.
Recent stable acquisition Evangelist is a horse Clarken has spent a bit of time trying to get a guide on and he’s quietly confident of cheeky run in the Listed $110,000 City Of Adelaide Handicap (1400m).
The seven-year-old was sent over hurdles last year but in the two starts Clarken has trained the gelding he’s recorded a couple of closing minor placings over 1400m and a mile.
So he’s sticking with that formula.
“I think I’ve worked him out a bit between runs, he likes to be fresh and I’m half expecting to run a race even though he’s up in class,” he said.
“He keeps missing the kick which is a negative for him but when he gets out over a trip he loses the will to try.
“We’ll back up him again over a mile and repeat the process.”
Clarken also has Baker’s Dozen engaged in Max Basheer 90th Birthday Handicap (1400m) and he said if she doesn’t fire she’ll be heading for a spell.
Trainer Will Clarken believes Split Lip can take another step up at Mor phettville tomorrow