Sam Clipperton isn’t expecting a major increase in his riding commitments for Godolphin despite the departure of stable jockey James McDonald to England.
McDonald has joined Sheikh Mohammed’s northern hemisphere team of riders during the English summer racing season, creating an opening for one of his Sydney understudies to share the bulk of the winter workload with stable apprentice Brodie Loy.
Clipperton has ridden four stakes winners for Godolphin and has been entrusted with the mount on two-year-old Shards at Rosehill on Saturday.
But the young rider says there are no short cuts and he doesn’t expect his role with Godolphin to change during McDonald’s absence.
“I’m just going to keep doing the work there and keep doing what I’ve been doing for the past eight or nine months,” Clipperton said.
“I know Godolphin is a great supporter of mine as long as I keep doing the work there.
“It’s nice to know I’ve got a steady flow of rides from the camp. It gives you a lot of confidence.”
The 2013-2014 champion Sydney apprentice, Clipperton is in his first season as a senior rider.
It can be a tough transition but he has managed it better than most and sits 10th on the jockeys’ premiership.
“I was able to achieve all my goals as an apprentice and I don’t think I could ask for much more as a first-season senior rider,” Clipperton said.
“I had a good autumn carnival and now it’s on to bigger and better things, whether that’s next season or whether I might have to wait a few years, I’m going to continue to work hard and build a name for myself.”
Shards is also creating a reputation for himself.
After a debut placing in a strong form race at Canterbury, the colt finished second to subsequent Group One winner Press Statement at Rosehill two weeks ago.
He is an odds-on favourite to break his maiden in Saturday’s TAB.com.au Handicap, a far cry from the immature colt Clipperton first rode in a barrier trial in April.
“I think John has always thought he’s had ability but in his trials he was lazy and didn’t really know what to do,” Clipperton said.
“I worked him on Tuesday morning and he worked exceptional. He’s right on track.”