Hawkesbury races: Clarry Conners attacks with awesome foursome

Throughout history, this weekend has always been a big one for Clarry Conners.

There’s something about this time of year that has delivered the diminutive giant of the training ranks some of his many highlights.

He won the Spring Champion Stakes in 2001 with Viking Ruler, two Stan Fox stakes, the Thousand Guineas with Arborea and best of all, the Caulfield Guineas with his beloved Encounter, a son and grandson of two of Conners’ star colts – Tierce and Victory Prince.

The stakes are somewhat lower when Conners heads to Hawkesbury on Sunday with an awesome foursome made up of honest mare Kariba, stable veteran He’s A Given, Derby type Real Peace and exciting debutant Pick The Score.

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Clarry Conners had VRC Derby hopes for Real Peace. Picture: Mark EvansSource:News Corp Australia

Real Peace is a grandson of Deep Impact and half brother to Hawkesbury Crown winner Irithea and has shown all the signs that he could end up in next year’s Queensland Derby.

“I think he is a really nice horse and has a future and that’s why I had him nominated for the Stan Fox but we decided to go the easier way so we’re off to the provincials to win a maiden,’’ Conners said.

Real Peace was nominated for next month’s VRC Derby but is unlikely to make the trip.

“He’s not ready. He has got to mature; he is a nice horse but he just hasn’t thickened up yet,’’ the AJC Derby-winning trainer said.

Ditto that for cleverly-named stablemate Pick The Score, a daughter of So You Think and Footy Fan, who steps out for the first time in the Hotel Maiden Handicap (1000m).

“I am very lucky to have her,’’ Conners said. “A very good friend of mine, Tom Sewell, bred her from his good mare Footy Fun, who Claire Nutman used to ride, and he said to me I have this filly I want you to train for me when she was first born.

“Unfortunately, Tom departed us and his family said ‘we want you to have this horse and she goes good’. She is not real big so we will give her a bit of time, we have been kind to her, but she is going along nice.’’

Conners’ stable favourite He’s A Given lines up for his 81st start on Sunday in search of his 10th win, bearing in mind that only three of them have been good tracks from 47 runs on the dry.

“He has been pretty sound and he is a lovely horse to train and they are good owners,’’ Conners said. “He is a chance without it being wet. His last win was at Wyong over 1900m and it wasn’t soft that day.’’

Conners would be doing well to point to a more genuine racehorse at Victory Lodge than Kariba who deserves some reward for effort in the last race on the card.

“She has been running good races without winning,’’ Conners said.

Tom Sherry will ride Real Peace for Clarry Conners at Hawkesbury.Source:The Daily Telegraph

FIREBIRD SET TO SOAR

Hawkesbury-bound Californiafirebird could be a surprise visitor to Oakbank in the Adelaide Hills in 2021 with trainer Peter Robl expressing a desire to see if the blueblood can jump as well as he runs.

Few would have foreseen when he was sold for $400,000 as a yearling that the son of Fastnet Rock might one day end up as a hurdler, but Robl is tinkering with the idea of turning his hand in new a direction.

“I am probably going to send him to Victoria next week because I want to get him his jumping ticket,’’ Robl said.

“He loves jumping so I was talking to his other owner and thought we might send him down for a month to someone like Patrick Payne, get his jumping ticket, then bring him back and spell him and at his next campaign when he had had a few runs under his belt he can go down there (to Victoria) and hope we get to Oakbank one day.

“I always thought he would be a good jumper because he has got good tactical speed, he has got a little turn of foot, and the few times I have schooled him, he is a pretty safe sort of jumper.’’

Trainer Peter Robl is keen to test Californiafirebird over the jumps in Victoria. Picture: Jenny EvansSource:News Corp Australia

Californiafirebird won’t have to overcome too many obstacles at Hawkesbury today with a maximum of three rivals for his 1600m assignment. Robl’s gelding is on the quick back-up after fading to finish fourth in an 1870m at Newcastle last Saturday.

“The run the other day didn’t suit him, even though he led, he just went too slow on him and turned it into a sit and sprint which just doesn’t suit him,’’ Robl said.

”He has done well in the week since and he goes into Sunday in good order.

“He was unlucky not to win at Warwick Farm the start before and ideally that would be the way we would like to ride him; back off the speed and give him the last shot at them, but that’s not going to happen on Sunday.

“There is a big chance he is going to take the pacemaker’s role up and turn it into a genuine mile.’’

Originally published asHawkesbury preview: Fab four on song

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