Clarke’s faith in Bens­ley to lift peren­nial placeget­ter Duke Of Dow­nun­der

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - RACING - RAY HICKSON

ON the score of con­sis­tency, trainer Garry Clarke can’t fault Duke Of Dow­nun­der, but says a run of plac­ings can get frus­trat­ing.

The hon­est four-year-old takes a string of five mi­nors into the Skyview Win­dows Plate (1600m) at Queanbeyan to­day and seems des­tined to make it six af­ter draw­ing wide.

But Clarke hasn’t given up hope of a break­through win and is hop­ing jockey Richard Bens­ley can put in a 10-out-of-10 ride.

“I think he is a good chance,” Clarke said.

“He can come from be­hind. We will have to ride him quiet from that bar­rier, there’s no good go­ing out and hunt­ing him for­ward from out there.”

Duke Of Dow­nun­der is back to his pre­ferred dis­tance range, at the mile, and class, to­day af­ter run­ning third in a class 3 over 2000m on his home track on April 22.

The geld­ing has won once in 19 starts but has fin­ished sec­ond or third a fur­ther 10 times.

The Queanbeyan trainer — who also part-owns Duke Of Dow­nun­der among a small string of nine horses he trains — says the horse is pay­ing his way.

“His sec­onds have been a bit frus­trat­ing,” he said.

“But he al­ways runs a good race and tries all the time.”

Clarke is con­fi­dent there’s a win down the track for lightly raced mare Mylove­for­lara who has just her sec- ond start in the Coun­try Style Win­dows Maiden (1000m). The ac­ci­dent­prone four-year-old only made her de­but last month and fin­ished in the sec­ond half of the field at Can­berra.

“She’ll prob­a­bly still need the run, it is still experience for her,” Clarke said. “We’ve fi­nally got her to the track, we had to start some­where. I think she can win a race.”

Among the in­ci­dents the mare has been in­volved in are putting her head through the top of the horse float and go­ing through a fence in the pad­dock.

All Time Mis­chief will kick off Clarke’s day in the Sheri­dan Garage Doors Hand­i­cap (900m).

He’s an­other hon­est geld­ing, who has won one from 11 with an­other three plac­ings.

He’s al­ways run well on his home track, though Clarke said he’s been in work for a while and is headed for the pad­dock af­ter to­day’s race so his ex­pec­ta­tions aren’t high.

“He’s jump­ing a cou­ple of classes so it might be a bit hard for him, an­other plac­ing would be great,” he said.

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