Highly priced first starter, Pipeline, underlined his ability by breaking the class record, on a soft 7, in winning the Norah Head Bowling and Sports Club Two Year Old (1100m) at Wyong today.
And despite easing from $9 to $11 trainer Gerald Ryan said he thought the horse was a good thing.
“He won a trial in January really well then went for a spell and came back and ran a good third in a trial at Rosehill,” Ryan said.
“I took him to Randwick to trial and we rode him back but he did not handle the soft track.
“He is a bit like his mother, he does not like wet tracks.
“He has been working against some of my good horses and they cannot get near him.”
Ryan and a syndicate which includes Damien Flower paid $575,000 for the colt, a son of Redoute’s choice out of the Anabaa mare Dances On Waves which Ryan trained to win the Villiers in 2010.
“He will be better when he gets to 1400 metres,” Ryan said.
Clark settled Pipline in third place early, went to the lead on the turn and held off the fast finishing favourite Spending To Win to score by a short head.
His time, 1min 04.81 eclipsed the previous class record of 1min 04.87.
Ryan later made it a double when Love’s a Fantasy (Kerrin McEvoy) finally broke back into the winner’s circle in the Wyong Rugby League Club Group Class One (1350m).
It was a year since she won her maiden at Gosford on a heavy track and since then she had been placed another five times without winning.
“Over the summer I thought she might get a mile but she got beaten twice over at 1500 metres,” Ryan said.
“The 1350 metres today certainly suited her and I think she can get to 1400 metres.
“I would have liked to set her for the La Gioconda but I don’t think she will get the 1600 metres.”
The $35,000 La Gioconda, a Class Four for fillies and mares, will be run on the first day of the Wyong cup carnival, Sunday August 28.
Another class record tumbled when the John O’Shea trained Precautions, also ridden by Clark, jut lasted to win the Munmorah United Bowling Club Two Year Old Fillies Maiden (1100m).
Her time of 1min 05.28 secs easily eclipsed the 1min 06.28 secs set last year.
Precautions went into the race on the back of a third in her only trial but she was a big tip on course and punters flocked to back her into odds on favouritism.
They would not have been on good terms with themselves when the horse got on heels and lost momentum at the 900 metres.
“There was a bit of crowding from the inside and she lost her spot,” Clark said.
“If it had not been for that we would have been one out and one back so in the circumstances it was a good effort.
“She has only had the one trial and is still learning.”
Precautions got to the lead nearing the line but then had to hold off the fast finishing Miss Beneteau (Kathy O’Hara) to win by a short head.
Giant three year old Bao Zheng made amends for an unlucky debut at Scone by easily winning The Entrance Leagues Club Maiden (1350m) for trainer Kim Waugh.
“He is lovely horse and is obviously going to get further later on,” Waugh said.
“He was a big yearling when we bought him at the Classic sale.
“We knew he would need time but he had a little injury which meant he had to have even more time in the paddock.”
Despite the fact that the son of Star Witness finished 10th in a Scone maiden earlier this month he was beaten only a little more than three lengths and Waugh said she was quietly confident about his chances in this race.
“He had no luck at Scone and I took him up there because I thought the big track would suit him,” Waugh said.
“I think his future will be on bigger tracks.”
Bao Zheng, ridden by Tye Angland,
Marc Conners could not believe the weights when they released for the Club Toukley Benchmark 65 (1600m).
“She has won at Warwick Farm and Canterbury yet she was receiving weight from every horse including some who had only won one or two races,” Conners said.
“I am not complaining but I don’t understand it.”
Glyn Schofield set up his second winner of the meeting by going straight to the lead, giving the horse a breather at the 1000 metres then fighting off a challenge from Bit Of Cheek to win by a long neck.
“She was supposed to go around at the Warwick Farm meeting that was called off,” Conners said.
“She can get up to 1900 metres so I will look around and find suitable races for her.”
Crown Miss fought back to win by a long neck from Bit Of Cheek with Settle The Future coming from last for a good third.
Former Wagga apprentice, Nick Heywood, had a memorable first day of riding at Wyong with a winner and a third at her only two rides on the track, both for Peter and Paul Snowden.
However he had to wait until the last race, The Doylo – Home Of The Smokehouse Grill And Bar Benchmark 60 (1200m) for his winner on Aaralyn with what Paul Snowden called a 10 out of 10 ride.
Heywood, tall for an apprentice, joined the stable two months ago and this was his fifth winner since coming north.
Aaralyn was having her first start since April and the stable plans to target the spring carnivals at Wyong and Newcastle.
“Hopefully she can win some races and we can use those as a springboard into the city,” Snowden said.
“She improved with the spell and she will have improved with that run.”
Heywood said the filly had been a little tardy at the start but that may have worked to his advantage.
“I was able to get a nice trail because of it,” Heywood said.
He settled Aaralyn in fourth and fifth placed early one off the fence, joined the leaders on the turn then gradually worse them down, going on to beat Prince High which finished along the fence.
Strapper Matty Morgan was all smiles after two year old Candella (Glyn Schofield) led all the way to beat older horses and win the Wyong Golf Club Maiden (1200m) for his boss John Thompson.
“It’s my birthday today,” an excited Morgan said as he went to collect the horse.
Candella was having her third start and her second from a spell and was not disgraced when she finished mid field, on debut, in the Gimcrack Stakes in October last year.
“After she came back she trialled really nicely and we took her Canterbury expecting her race well and she really disappointed us,” Thompson said.
“She is a nicely bred filly and I think she will make the grade in the city.”
Schofield said Candella had travelled comfortably until she got on the wrong leg on the turn and then wanted to drift out.
“If she had not that she would have won by further,” he said.
Candella beat the Johnnie Roberts’ trained outsider Road To Royalty by three quarters of a length.
Road To Royalty’s second was an encouraging effort as he chased the leader all the way and refused to give in.
Thompson later landed a double when Nietta, ridden by Blobby El-Issa, won the Gosford Sailing Club Class Two (1000m) at her first start for the stable after being switched from the yard of his Brisbane based brother, Glen.
It was a lucky pick up ride for El-Issa after Christian Reith, who was supposed to rider her, was injured after the first race.
He was unsaddling Who’s A Star and the horse trod on his foot, breaking it.
El-Issa was impressed with Nieta.
“She was a class above them,” he said.
Thompson said he had brought her to Wyong confident she would run well.
“She is a nice filly and I think she will go on to bigger and better things,” he said.