Fresh from group 1 glory for Gai Waterhouse, Sam Clipperton will combine with the champion trainer again at Newcastle’s Beaumont track on Thursday.
Clipperton will ride Waterhouse filly Prompt Response, which will be a long odds-on favourite in the 1200-metre two-year-old maiden. Last Saturday, Clipperton piloted English to victory for Waterhouse in the Randwick All Aged Stakes.
Prompt Response, which will carry just 55 kilograms, has had three starts, all in group company. She was a half-length from the winner, Concealer, when second in a group 3 at Flemington in November. She was beaten two lengths in the group 2 Rosehill Magic Night Stakes last month and a head in the group 3 Percy Sykes Stakes at Randwick on April 9.
Clipperton will ride another favourite, Nic’s Vendetta, for Lower Belford trainer Todd Howlett in the 1350m class one handicap. Nic’s Vendetta was narrowly beaten in his past two starts on the Beaumont track.
Clipperton will also be aboard Newcastle trainer Kris Lees’ only starter, Second Obsession, at the meeting. He rode the mare, which is in the 2100m benchmark 64 handicap, when she was beaten a length at Hawkesbury three weeks ago.
“Prompt Response is obviously the best of my rides and she is so well weighted,” Clipperton said. “I thought she went massive when a close second in the group race last start, she went down fighting. This filly will race in the first two or three.
“Nic’s Vendetta has very good form and has a good trainer and should be hard to beat in the small field. I rode Second Obsession last start and the key to this mare is to get her to settle. She is a bit one paced, but the distance won’t be a problem and she can sustain a long run.”
Clipperton has two other rides at the meeting.
“My ride in race two, Fast Candy, went very well first up,” he said
“She is a big player in the race. I am on a first starter [Dorawin] for my old boss Ron Quinton in race four and she has been impressive in the trials and has a good gate.”
Meanwhile, the Wine Country Race Club will stage the traditional Anzac Day race meeting at the Cessnock Racecourse on Monday.
It is a non-TAB meeting and the Anzac Day crowd is normally the biggest of the year at Cessnock.
The feature race is the John Cleaves Memorial. Cleaves, a well-known Cessnock solicitor, was chairman of the Wine Country Race Club, a director of the Newcastle Jockey Club and treasurer of Cessnock Leagues Club.