Greg McFarlane may revise his strategy to aim Clear The Beach at next autumn’s Provincial Championships.
The Gosford-based trainer admitted grander plans may be conceived for the lightly-raced four-year-old gelding after he held the chasers at bay to comfortably win the Lloyd Williams Hall Of Fame Handicap (1100m) at Rosehill on Saturday.
McFarlane started training Clear The Beach in March last year and since then he has only had two starts, though a thin schedule was anything but frustrating.
“That’s the nature of the beast; you look after them and if they’re a nice horse they’ll pay you back ten fold,” Mcfarlane said.
“When I’m not happy I just tip them out and bring them back again.”
Christian Reith piloted Clear The Beach ($10) home by three quarters of a length from Dissolute ($9), while Old Man Sam ($8) was a further length adrift in third.
Although Clear The Beach is already being set for the Provincial Championships, McFarlane was flexible.
“You never know, we might aim for a bit higher than that,” he said.
McFarlane was always confident Clear The Beach could record the second win of his five-start career in a benchmark 72.
“I didn’t think it was a strong race,” he said.
“I thought it probably midweek city quality and I rate him as a solid Saturday class horse, at least.”
Reith rode Clear The Beach in his previous start at Randwick last October and was pleased to see improvement.
“He’s always showed talent but he’s been his own worst enemy,” Reith said.
“He was quite keen in his last preparation.
“Greg and his staff have done a fantastic job with him; he’s a lot more relaxed and a lot easier to control.”