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Malt Time in top shape for Tauranga Classic

3 minute read

A spectacular lead-up performance at Ruakaka has given Shaun and Emma Clotworthy confidence that their stable star Malt Time is primed for a bold showing in Saturday's Listed Team Wealleans Tauranga Classic (1400m).

MALT TIME winning the PORTHOUSE BAR EATERY BREAM BAY SPRINT
MALT TIME winning the PORTHOUSE BAR EATERY BREAM BAY SPRINT Picture: Race Images Photo

The daughter of Adelaide went into this month's Bream Bay Sprint (1400m) on a winless streak that dated back to the Listed Legacy Lodge Sprint (1200m) at Te Rapa in November of 2022. But she had proven herself against the very best during that time, placing in this season's Gr.1 Arrowfield Stud Plate (1600m) and Gr.1 TAB Classic (1600m) along with the last two editions of the Gr.2 Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes (1400m).

Those credentials made Malt Time  a clear standout on paper at Ruakaka on June 8, and she powered home from last to score a commanding victory by five and three-quarter lengths.

"That was a pretty pleasing performance," Shaun Clotworthy said. "She'd had only one other start there and won that too, so she obviously quite likes that surface at Ruakaka.

"We haven't had any issues with her since then and we haven't had to do a lot with her. She had a gallop on Tuesday morning and went really, really well. Ace Lawson-Carroll, who will ride her again on Saturday, was thrilled with how she felt. So I think she's heading into Saturday in good shape. It looks like a suitable race for her."

The Tauranga track was rated a Heavy9 on Friday, which is in stark contrast to the Soft5 footing of Malt Time's last-start Ruakaka romp. But her five starts on heavy tracks have produced a second to Mustang Valley in the Arrowfield Stud Plate, a third behind Darci La Bella and Express Princess in the Auckland Thoroughbred Breeders' Stakes, and a fourth and a fifth in open sprints at Te Rapa.

"We're hoping she'll get through the ground okay this weekend," Clotworthy said. "We don't really know how she'd go on a Heavy10, but she's run some good races on tracks that are on that slightly better side of heavy and it's good that the Tauranga track has come a bit through the week."

The Clotworthys will consider another Ruakaka assignment for Malt Time after Saturday's fillies and mares' feature.

"We won't do a whole lot more with her in this preparation, but she might head back to Ruakaka for the Winter Championship Finals (on July 13)," Clotworthy said.

Malt Time headlines a five-strong team at Tauranga for the Clotworthys, who will also saddle first-starters St Vincent and Kerryanna along with Overstate and Mitonic. 


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