Everest-bound Clements has high hopes for Siam Vipasiri

 Oct 11 2018

From what the daughter of Bernardini showed in her pre-debut work at home, much more was expected than a debut second and a seventh place from her two starts as a juvenile.

But Clements said the Thai-owned filly had excuses at both starts, which came in the fourth Leg (Inglis Ready2Race Stakes over 1200m) of the Singapore Golden Horseshoe series first and the final Leg itself, the Group 2 Aushorse Golden Horseshoe (1200m) on July 13. .

“We gave her a break so she can strengthen up further. She’s come back in good order and let’s hope she can now have a more decent campaign.

“She had two barrier trials (ran second in both under Glen Boss). She’s in a good spot now and she can certainly go for the 3YO series next year.”

The Zimbabwean-born handler has picked the $85,000 Restricted Maiden race over 1200m on Friday as her comeback race. He will couple her up with another filly who ran fourth on debut in a similar race three weeks ago – Agni.

The Denman three-year-old was given no chance by punters – and Clements - going with her $1,098 odds, but after coming off a smothered run in midfield, she surprisingly closed in well for fourth place, 3 ¼ lengths off the winner, favourite Mach.

Clements’ apprentice jockey Shafrizal Saleh was aboard then and will stay on at the second assignment, while it will be Glen Boss – who was aboard at her two barrier trials - who will partner Siam Vipasiri for the first time. Daniel Moor rode her at her first two starts.

Pleasantly surprised by Agni’s forward run first-up, Clements can only hope it was no flash in the pan, but it is clear which half of his duo he is leaning towards.

“Agni showed nothing on Polytrack in her trials, but she ran well on turf on debut,” he said.

“I’m waiting to see how she runs on turf again. It does look like turf is more her go.

“I’m expecting her to run better, but Siam Vipasiri is obviously the better filly.”

While the future looks bright for Clements – currently caught in a three-way battle with Lee Freedman and Shane Baertschiger in this year’s title race - with so many young bucks coming through the ranks, he is showing no let-up in the stock renewal department.

On Tuesday, he attended the Magic Millions Gold Coast 2YOs in Training Sale where he didn’t check out with an empty cart, shelling out A$650,000 for three buys including the sale-topper (A$320,000) for good measure – a Shamexpress gelding for the Falcon Racing Stable.

“I bought three horses, two for the Falcon Racing people, a Shamexpress gelding and a colt (A$230,000) by a new sire, Shooting To Win,” he said. 

“I also bought a filly (A$100,000) by Fighting Sun for the same owners as Alamak. I’m then heading to the Inglis (Ready 2 Race) sale in Sydney next Monday.”

The Everest will also be squeezed into his busy schedule - not the famous roof of the world the pony-tailed trainer must have sighted in the few Himalayan expeditions he has been to, but the famous Sydney race.

“I’ll also be at the races at Randwick on Saturday to watch The Everest, it’s something different!” he said.

At its second edition, The Everest is, with its purse of A$13 million the richest race in Australia and the richest turf race in the world.




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