Tim Clark has had his tremendous 2011 form rewarded yet again with another Group 1 start in Brisbane this weekend.
Zero Rock is an outside chance for the Stradbroke Handicap but her odds will only shorten after the booking of Clark today.
Zero Rock ran second to a fast finishing Hurtle Myrtle on the weekend in the Dane Ripper Stakes but has pulled up very well from the run.
Trainer Kelso Wood is content with where she’s at but is under no illusions she’ll need some luck, starting with he barrier draw tomorrow.
“She’s come through the run very well and I’m really happy with her but I’d like a good barrier,” Wood said.
“The barrier is going to be crucial.
“I wanted to ride her back in the field in her last two runs but we weren’t able to.”
At least the rider issue is settled with Clark filling the void left by regular jockey Chris Munce who is committed to riding Love Conquers All.
Finding a jockey to ride in a Group 1 may not sound like a difficult task but given the handicap weighting the options available aren’t overly extensive.
“Everyone I tried either couldn’t make the weight or they had a ride,” Wood said.
Clark has been in tremendous form in Sydney this year even though he isn’t affiliated with any major stable.
So far he’s collected 55.5 city wins and two of them have been at Group 1 level.
Clark won both The Galaxy and The Doncaster on the same day with Atomic Force and Sacred Choice respectively.
He’s also won at the top in Brisbane as well, last year partnering Hot Danish to glory in the Doomben 10,000.
He only became available for the ride after Joe Pride released him from a booking with Lady’s Angel.
While she isn’t out of the field just yet her spot on the edge of the ballot means she’s unlikely to run unless there are some scratchings.
Wood is confident he’ll be giving Clark a winning chance on Saturday and has rejected claims that Zero Rock can’t run the trip.
“Her critics say she can’t run 1400 metres but that’s rubbish.
“She had to lead last run and the winner (Hurtle Myrtle) got a cosy run.”