Friday, 9 March 2012
: Australian trainer Cliff Brown is looking further afield with his two runners in the Group 3 $200,000 Polytrack Mile Championship over 1600m on Sunday.
Photo by Singapore Turf Club
Well regarded as a conditioner of stayers in Australia before setting up his base in Singapore, Brown has longer range plans for Clint
who will represent the stable in Sunday's race.
He has his sights set on the Group 2 $350,000 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes over 2000m on April 27 and if their form warrants – and they gain a start – then the International Group 1 $3 million Singapore Airlines Cup over 2000m on May 20 also beckons.
But first fitness comes into the equation and Sunday's Polytrack Mile Championship will ensure the two Brown runners will edge closer to their top following the outing.
Clint, last year's Group 1 Emirates Singapore Derby winner, is working his way back into fitness and Brown said the five-year-old was still well short of his best, fitness wise.
With John Powell, who won the Derby on the gelding, electing to ride Waikato
on Sunday, Brown has engaged French jockey Olivier Placais.
After his Derby win in July Clint was then prepared for Singapore's richest domestic race, the Longines Singapore Gold Cup over 2200m, but a wet track certainly dampened his chances.
He didn't handle the conditions at all and finished at the tail of the field behind El Dorado
who recorded his third win in the $1.35 million race.
Clint was given a spell following that race and returned with a tenth of 12 runners in a 1400m Open Handicap on February 24 and again Brown said the track conditions didn't suit the son of Casual Lies.
“He doesn't handle any sort of give in the track and it was a bit shifty underneath for him,” said Brown.
“He's still fairly fat so he'll improve with this run under the belt.
“We're aiming him towards the QEII Cup. Once he gets up to 2000m I'm sure we'll see him run a bit better, but he's going to need a bit more racing before then.”
Sunday's race will be Clint's third start on the Polytrack having recorded a third in the Group 3 Proinn Construct Stakes over 1700m in December 2010 behind Escamonda
and a five-length win in a Benchmark 74 class race over 1700m in May last year.
Tenzing, a last start Group 3 Fortune Bowl (2000m) winner on January 24, is also resuming from a freshen up and Brown just feels the 1600m journey may be a bit short.
The five-year-old has mixed form on the Polytrack surface but does boast a win on the surface for Danny Beasley, his rider on Sunday.
In fact Beasley has the perfect record on the son of Catbird
having ridden him just the twice for two wins.
“We gave him a freshen up after his last win and have just been pottering around with him,” said Brown.
“He seems good but I just think the mile might be a bit short for him and he might find a few of them just a bit sharp.
“He's drawn inside and he did win well on the Polytrack with Danny on him before, so I guess if the breaks went his way then he'd be some sort of chance.”