Jockey Tim Clark fully expects improving three year old Singing Flame to handle the step up to the 2400m of the Group 1 $2m BMW Australian Derby at Randwick on Saturday.
Clark has been aboard Singing Flame at his last two starts for a win over 1800m in a BenchMark 70 Handicap on the Kensington track at Randwick on March 26 followed by a second to Gallatin in the Group 2 $175,000 Nathan Berry Tulloch Stakes (2000m) at Rosehill last Saturday.
Clark admits that he got to the front too early last week but is adamant that Singling Flame will have no problem running out the extra distance.
“I’m sure he’ll run out the trip and a bit of rain won’t hurt,” Clark told TVN.
“He relaxed really well last start and got into a good rhythm and that gives me confidence he will relax and run out the trip strongly.
“He got there (the front) a bit soon last start when the other two dropped off sharply. He was brave and if he can repeat that performance I’m sure he will be hard to beat.”
Clark said that Singing Flame went through the heavy ground at Rosehill okay and the prospect of another rain affected track for the Sydney Autumn Carnival on the first day of ‘The Championships’ won’t pose a problem.
Trainer Kevin Moses agrees with Clark but at the same time doesn’t want to see the track too heavy.
“It will still be heavy on Saturday, we have no drying weather and we get more rain than anywhere at Randwick,” Moses said.
“If we get any more rain it will just get heavier and heavier.
“I wouldn’t like to see it really heavy.
“He seems to get through it fine and doesn’t shorten his stride.”
Singing Flame will jump from barrier two and Clark is certain to take up a good position in the first half of the field and will once again be coming up against the Peter Snowden trained Gallatin who will jump from gate seventeen in the eighteen horse field.
Gallatin will be ridden again by Nash Rawiller who brought the Street Cry gelding from last at the eight hundred metres to overhaul Singing Flame in the last fifty metres of the Tulloch Stakes.
Rosehill Guineas winner Criterion is a clear cut $3.70 favourite for the Australian Derby with Ladbrokes.com.au in front of Kiwi colt Puccini and Thunder Fanatsy who share the second line of betting at $7.
The Gold Coast trained Teronado is next in the betting at $10 while Singling Flame has come in for plenty of support and is now marked at $11 in front of the John O’Shea trained Savvy Nature at $12, Hooked at $16, and Gallatin at $17.
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