Jockey Tim Clark kicked off a winning double at Canberra on Saturday when he scored back to back wins in the Listed $200,000 Canberra Cup (2000m) on the Gai Waterhouse and Adrian Bott trained Dark Eyes.
Clark also combined with Gai Waterhouse last year before she teamed up with Bott to win the Canberra Cup on Hippopus.
Clark was riding in hot form and was able to win one of the other feature races on the card when he steered the Gerald Ryan trained Trapeze Artist to victory in the Group 3 $300,000 Mercedes-Benz Canberra Black Opal Stakes (1200m) .
“Great day, great day. I thought I had a couple of each-way chances and fortunate enough I got the breaks when I needed them and it all fell into place,’ Clark said.
“Good thrill coming down here, I rode a lot here as an apprentice so it’s good to get back down here and win a couple of the big races.
“I like getting back to Wagga and Albury and those sort of areas. I rode a lot around these regions as an apprentice and a lot of trainers down in these areas helped me out to get where I am today.
“It’s good to come back down here and ride a few big winners on the day.”
Clark ended up in the box seat before the field turned out the straight for the first time and had Dark Eyes travelling like a winner a long way from home.
Rose’s Song ($41) set a good solid pace up front and Clark started to make a move at the 600m when he moved one off the fence looking to go forward and had clear running when he eased him to the outside in the straight.
Dark Eyes then responded bravely under hard riding from Clark to record a neck win over The Lee and Anthony Freedman trained Cool Chap ($4.60) with Coolcat Dancer a length away in third spot.
Dark Eyes was sent out as the $3.60 favourite for the Canberra Cup after scoring a three and three quarter lengths win in a 2000m BenchMark 85 Handicap at Randwick on February 25 at his previous start.