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Sam Clipperton dismounted from Saturday’s Group Two Tea Rose Stakes winner Pearls and immediately apologised to Godolphin trainer John O’Shea.

In a sign of how seriously he takes his riding, Clipperton berated himself for taking off too early on Pearls despite her neck win over Honesta ($21).



“Sorry about that,” Clipperton told O’Shea.

“I wasn’t expecting her to pick up that well, she just sprinted to the line. It was a super win.”

From the family of Group One winners Helmet and Epaulette, Pearls ($14) was ridden quietly by Clipperton and unleashed a strong sprint down the outside to defeat Honesta ($21) with favourite Kimberley Star third.

It was her second win in three starts, all but earning her a return trip to Randwick in two weeks for the Group One Flight Stakes.

“We felt she might run a strong mile and she’s still yet to do that but if she was to come through it well it would be a natural race for her,” O’Shea said.

Waiting for Pearls in the Flight will be Golden Rose runner-up Speak Fondly.

Clipperton will be serving a careless-riding suspension and won’t be able to stick with the Godolphin filly but he has no doubt she will be a force in the fillies’ feature.

“One thing about her, she is going to be very strong on the line. The trip is not going to worry her,” Clipperton said.

Stablemate Ottoman led and weakened and O’Shea said the 1400m trip found her out and she would be brought back to sprints.

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