Jockey Tim Clark’s quest to ride a hundred winners this season could get a push along if Metal Bender could cause an upset in the Group 2 $175,000 Pro-Ride Warwick Stakes (1400m) at Warwick Farm on Saturday.
Metal Bender with Clark aboard, took out the 2010 Warwick Stakes and is one of six Chris Waller runners to contest the weight for age Group 2.
Sydney’s fastest horse Rain Affair will start a short price favourite and will set a sizzling pace which Clark says will suit Metal Bender.
“They will roll along at a good genuine gallop and while he is suited over a bit further it might suit him because he should be strong on the line,” Clark told the Sportsman.
“I’m looking for a positive run and we’ll go from there.”
A severe tendon injury suffered by Metal Bender is the reason why the eight year old has been off the scene since winning the 2012 Group 1 $400,000 The Daily Telegraph George Ryder Stakes (1500m) at Rosehill.
Clark got a feel of Metal Bender at a recent 800m Warwick Farm barrier trial and was pleased with the effort.
“He felt well and like he still has that zest for racing,” Clark said.
“He wanted to be competitive so that is a good sign.”
“As long as he is hitting the line well, if he happened to get over the top of them that would be lovely but he obviously hasn’t raced for a while and has had his problems.”
Clark has set himself some positive goals as he kicks off his first full season since returning to Australia in May following a two year riding contract in Hong Kong.
In the very competitive racing environment of Hong Kong, Clark was able to notch up a healthy thirty-one winners last season and has set himself the task of riding a hundred winners for the season, looking to better his best figures of ninety-seven winners in the 2010 – 2011 Australian season.
“I’m really happy with the way things have been going since I came back and I’m looking forward to the Carnival,” Clark said.
“I’ve never ridden a hundred winners in a season, I got pretty close the year before I went to Hong Kong, so I would like to get there this season.”
Metal Bender is one of the outsiders of the field at $34 with Rain Affair heading the market at $1.90.
Doomben Cup winner Beaten Up at $10 is the shortest price of the Waller runners in front of Hawkspur at $21, Foreteller at $26, Kelinni at $41 and Moriarty at $51.
Clark has a solid book of seven rides with several good chances including the Gai Waterhouse trained filly Greytfilly in the Group 2 $175,000 Coolmore Silver Shadow Stakes (1200m) and Diamond Oasis for trainer John O’Shea in the Group 3 $125,000 IBIS Styles Lansvale Up and Coming Stakes (1300m).
He will also be on the Queensland trained Sizzling in the Group 3 $125,000 Show County Quality (1200m) and is hoping to get a good feel of the four year old who is heading towards the Group 1 $500,000 The Star Epsom (1600m) at Randwick on October 5.